Interview with Michael McNabb

Interviews | Friday, Dec 11, 2015

2010 seems to have only just ended but the New Year is off and running at a frantic pace. What was your highlight of 2010?

My highlight was definitely the World Championships in Munich. I was pretty happy with how I went there, to finish equal 8th was a lot higher than I would have expected. I know I could have hit a few more targets than I actually finished with, but knowing that gave me a reason to try harder this year, and hopefully better my performance.

Shooting a PQS in Melbourne was also a huge surprise for me. Overall 2010 was a pretty good year for my shooting.

You have been part of the junior set up now for a couple of years but now are ready to make your transition into the senior team. What are you most looking forward to in this transition?

My time as a junior has been really memorable and I am definitely looking forward to the transition into the Senior Team if I can achieve it. I’m mostly looking forward to the amount I will have to mentally improve to achieve better results in order to actually get a place on the team. It is a lot harder to make a senior team than it is to make a junior team, not only because of the sheer numbers you have to compete against, but the quality of shooters in the senior competition is fairly high in Australia.

The 2011 AISL high performance squads were named recently and you feature as part of the 2016 squad. Does it excite you that the sport is planning this far into the future and you are part of these plans?

I think it’s great that AISL is planning so far ahead. As everyone knows, people cannot be on the team forever, and planning for such occasions is fantastic to see. It definitely does excite me that I am part of these plans, but just because I am a part of them doesn’t guarantee anything. So in order to make the real 2016 team I will definitely have to put a lot of work in to get there. I have a long way to go yet.

You shot a 118 in Sydney at Australia Cup 1 and had a good tussle in the final against Adam Vella and Brett Dunstan. How did you rate your performance?

I’m really happy with how I shot at Aus Cup 1. I equalled my personal best at that ground, which I was pleased with. Sydney is probably the hardest range I have shot on, so to shoot a decent score there was great. The final definitely wasn’t one of my best, which was a shame, but it has given me something to work on for sure, and hopefully I can achieve a similar score at the next Aus Cup and most importantly the World Cup.

The 2011 ISSF Sydney World Cup is just around the corner and you are part of the main team with Michael and Adam in the men’s trap. Are you looking forward to the experience and have you set yourself any goals for the event?

I can’t wait to shoot the World Cup here in Sydney in March. It will be really different having world class shooters in our “back yard”. The fact that there is such a great turn out expected is also really pleasing to see, as it is a lot further than most of the regulars to the World Cups would have travelled before. My only goal is to shoot a score which I am happy with, which will come with sticking to my routines and to just concentrate on my own shooting. I don’t want to make any unrealistic goals for the event.

When you are competing at events talk us through your daily routine and any habits or superstitions you may follow.

I don’t have a set out daily routine as such for shooting competition, but I do have some habits that I try and stick to each time. Waking up in the morning as strange as it sounds is a key point before a competition, I have to allow myself enough time to fully wake up before I am in any state to compete in a big competition. This can sometimes mean allowing myself an extra hour in the morning to get ready and prepare for the day's work.

During the competition I try and keep to myself as much as I can, and try not to talk about the competition with other people. In my opinion there is not much reason to find out how other people are shooting, and to tell people how you shot, there is usually still a long way in the competition to go when these conversations are being had. It also causes you to think about your position in the field, and can have negative effects on your scores and your mind state, which is probably the most important thing in Trap shooting. Keeping a clear mind and relaxing is very important in my daily preparations for shooting.

The last thing I have to mention is warming up before the first round of each day. I have made a mistake many times in the past where I have not been prepared enough to shoot the first round. This might mean I have to get ready to shoot an extra half hour before I normally would. In this time I will stretch, do some dry fire, sit down and think about what I have to remember to do, and even sometimes go for a bit of a jog to get the blood pumping. Remembering to do all these things before the competition is a task in itself!

- AISL Media, March 2011

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