On the 25th of May, the IBU hosted a comprehensive and engaging webinar titled "Shooting - Performance Aspects in Training and Competition". This webinar facilitated an enriching exchange of insights into the sport of biathlon, with a great panel of experts highlighting the performance-determining factors, various training and competition strategies, and the significance of the equipment for biathlon shooting. More than 500 coaches, athletes, and NF staff were registered and 230 attended the webinar live.
Jean-Pierre Amat, a seasoned biathlon shooting coach, shared his extensive knowledge of the technical aspects critical to success in biathlon shooting. He covered key topics including training evaluation, the importance of stability in target positioning, achieving optimal shooting results, the subtleties of trigger release, maintaining the consistency of recoil and bolting, as well as the rhythm of breathing in the sport. Amat's in-depth exploration of these areas offered attendees valuable insights to enhance their biathlon performance and coaching strategies.
In the subsequent segment, Jonne Kähkönen, an esteemed biathlon coach and sports scientist, conveyed his expertise in coaching elite athletes during high-pressure competitions. Kähkönen highlighted the crucial role of effective communication with athletes, providing insight into handling routine discussions, addressing mistakes, and strategizing planning and execution. Further, he sparked discussions on the contrasting approaches required for group training versus individual coaching and the intricate balance between the physical and mental aspects of the sport.
The third speaker, Miika Köykkä, a renowned Sports Scientist from the Finnish Institute of High-Performance Sport (KIHU), directed the discussion toward postural balance and aiming strategies in biathlon shooting. Köykkä provided practical and implementable tips for achieving a stable posture, honing shooting techniques, and formulating an effective wind strategy. His contribution equipped the participants with actionable advice to refine their biathlon shooting skills.
Next, Lars Nygard, a skilled gunsmith and biathlon rifle expert representing the Norwegian Federation, shared his unique perspective on the influence of rifle equipment on shooting performance in biathlon. He elaborated on the vital practices of rifle maintenance, adherence to the IBU's rifle cleaning procedures, and proper ammunition handling. Nygard's segment underscored the crucial role of equipment care in ensuring top-notch shooting performance in biathlon.
Rounding off the webinar, Gerold Sattlecker, Head of the IBU Academy, presented a rigorous scientific review of performance-determining factors in biathlon shooting. Sattlecker discussed the multifaceted factors influencing the shooting results, and the impact of biomechanical elements such as postural balance, rifle stability, and triggering behavior. His comprehensive analysis highlighted the nexus between sports science and biathlon performance, illustrating the profound impact of biomechanics on the sport.
The webinar, accessible online via Zoom, was conducted in English and Russian, ensuring a broad global reach. In conclusion, this IBU event significantly enriched participants' understanding of the multi-faceted nature of biathlon. The wide-ranging discussions and the shared expertise provided participants with practical strategies for performance improvement, effectively demonstrating the diverse elements that contribute to success in this demanding sport.