Amber Hill Main (Getty)Amber Hill Main (Getty) © Copyright

Prep // Amber Hill

Team GB Olympic skeet shooter Amber Hill tells us how she gets ready to fire her way to victory

THE DAY BEFORE

9am

I’ll be training all day at the range, which we do just so we can get used to the backgrounds and the environment. It’s important because the backgrounds can be really different – one day, you’ll be shooting against a clear sky, and others you’ll be shooting against a really close bank, so it’s just about adjusting your eyes.

5pm

I’ll get the team bus back to the hotel, head up to my room and put all my bags down and just sit and chill out for a bit. I’ll probably sit on my bed, get my phone out and just be on that so I can get some time out from it all.

6pm

I’ll head down to dinner and for me, I just eat whatever is there at the hotel, because in some of these countries that I travel to, I don’t know what to expect. Some people I know like to take their own food with them but I’m quite comfortable just having whatever is available. I stick to my meat and veg – normally chicken or a nice steak.

9pm

I make sure that everything I need for the next day is organised because it’s usually quite an early start. Before I go to bed, I’ll lay out my clothes and get all my equipment packed up – shooting vests, cartridges, eye protection, ear defenders and podium wear are all essential, so it’s important not to forget them.

10pm

I like to get an early night because of the early start, so it’s normally lights out at 10pm. If I’m wide awake and can’t sleep it isn’t the end of the world, but I’ll try and make myself sleep around that time.

 

Amber Hill 2 (Getty)

 

COMPETITION DAY

6am

I’ll normally wake up around 6, sometimes earlier – it depends on start times and things like that – and the first thing I do is brush my teeth, jump in the shower and do my hair and make-up so that I feel nice and groomed for the day.

6:45am

I’ll double check that I’ve packed up all my equipment and that I have everything I need, then I’ll head downstairs for breakfast.

7am

I like to have scrambled eggs on the morning of an event – I don’t know why but it’s just a thing that I have to eat before I go to compete.

7:30am

I don’t like to get to the venue too early, so I allow myself an hour before the start time to mentally prepare. Some ranges are further away from the hotels than others, so I have to allow for the travel time. As soon as I’ve finished my breakfast, I’ll get onto the official bus, put my headphones in to listen to a bit of Justin Bieber and travel to the shooting range.

8am

I’ll arrive and find our team’s designated area. Team GB normally have a camp, whether it’s a table or an area, which is just dedicated to the athletes, so that’s where we can put all our stuff down. As soon as I’ve done that, I always have a cup of tea with milk and two sugars.

8:15am

While I’m having my cup of tea, I’ll walk up and down to see the ranges and see them setting the targets to have a feel for things.

8:30am

Half an hour before I’m due to start shooting, I’ll go to the loo, then when I’m back, I’ll just sit down on my own and take a minute to compose myself.

8:45am

Around 15 minutes before I start, I’ll put my kit on and do a few dry mounts, which is basically just lifting the gun into position. After that, I’ll sit down, clean my glasses and make sure everything is OK. If anything is wrong, this would be the time to say something.

8:50am

I’ll probably go to the loo again because I’m nervous at this stage. Every time I compete, I have that build-up where I get edgy to get out there, but once I’m there, I’m able to control it because I’ve done it hundreds of times before.

8:55am

I have a three-person routine while I am waiting my turn. I’ll watch the first person shoot from wherever I am standing, the next one I’ll stand right behind them and watch the target to get the movement of the shots, then the last one is me, so I’ll walk onto the peg and everything will go blank.

8:59am

I try not to think about anything because at this point, it’s pure instinct. The more I think about things that I’ve learned in training and the little things I need to do, the more I tend to miss.

9am

I’ll close my eyes, take one or two deep breaths to calm myself down, open my eyes and shout “Pull!”

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