Dear Sir Clive Woodward
About 18 months ago I was introduced both Alexei, with the idea that if a bond was formed between us, Alexei maybe able to help me with my shooting.
I’ve always known that I have the technical and physical ability to be a World Class Pistol Shooter. But what I lacked was the ability to bring this World Class talent out on the day, when it matters.
Shooting is prominently a psychological sport, therefore the sporting challenges that the mind encounters has a particular performance impact. Having worked with Alexei he has opened my eyes to the psychology behind many sports at elite level and how similar the challenges are.
Alexei has a way of communicating that is fun and completely understandable. He listens and asks questions and eight times out of ten I answer my own problems! But when I seem to be drawing a blank, he offers advice and solutions that I’ve found a fantastic help. Often I encounter situations where I struggle to verbalise what I mean. Alexei is very understanding and I find myself describing what I mean in other ways like hand gestures and diagrams.
We don’t get deep into the fine technical aspects of my sport, but look at the bigger picture of how to keep this technique flowing. Another example of how he has helped me is with competition preparation. He’s introduced me to the idea of holding the two opposing beliefs (that the match means everything to me and nothing at all), at the same time.
In this last 18month, my performance has improved dramatically. In October last year I was dropped from the World Class Performance Programme and my Coach went his separate way, to the European Championships this August, where I was the first ever GBR Pistol Shooter to win an Olympic Quota Place. Alexei played a substantial part in this.