To describe the long-term changes in shooting technique in relation to competition performances in elite air-rifle shooters.
Seventeen elite shooters completed simulated air-rifle shooting-competition series in 3 consecutive seasons, participating on 15 ± 7 testing occasions. Shooting score and aiming-point-trajectory variables were obtained with an optoelectronic shooting device, and postural-balance variables were measured with force platform. Shooters’ competition results were collected from all international and national competitions during the 3-y period.
Mean test score, stability of hold, aiming accuracy, cleanness of triggering, and postural balance improved during the 3-y period (ANOVA, time, P < .05−.01). Seasonal mean test results in stability of hold (R = −.70, P = .000) and cleanness of triggering (R = −.75, P = .000) were related to competition performances. Changes in stability of hold (R = −.61, P = .000) and cleanness of triggering (R = −.39, P = .022) were also related to the changes in competition performances. Postural balance in shooting direction was more related to cleanness of triggering (R = .57, P = .000), whereas balance in cross-shooting direction was more related to stability of hold (R = .70, P = .000).
The shooting-technique testing used in the current study seems to be a valid and useful tool for long-term performance assessment. Stability of hold, cleanness of triggering, and postural balance can be further developed even at the elite level, resulting in improved competition performances.