The relative importance of selected physical fitness parameters in Olympic clay target shooting


  • Zvonko Peljha University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
  • Marcos Michaelides University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
  • Dave Collins University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom



Shotgun, Skeet, Trap


Purpose: To examine the current state of empirical research, theoretical explanations and applied importance of selected physical fitness parameters in Olympic clay target and related shooting disciplines. Method: Four online databases (EBSCOhost, Pub Med, Emerald Insight and Google Scholar) served as data sources for the study. Multiple combinations of key terms (e.g., shooting sport, skeet, and trap) were used to identify relevant literature in the English language meeting pre-specified search criteria. Content Analysis was used to identify 41 articles regarding the importance of fitness parameters in shooting sports. Results: The main finding was that previous studies have primarily concentrated on the stationary shooting disciplines. Only three studies were found on clay target shooting. One focused on the role of Quiet Eye (QE) duration, one on gun kinematics, and one on the role of postural stability. Within the other shooting disciplines, studies focused on establishing the role of postural stability, upper body strength, QE duration and the level of VO² max. Conclusion: Based on the research available with regard to the importance of physical fitness parameters in the Olympic clay target shooting disciplines, it is difficult to offer firm recommendations. In other shooting disciplines, postural stability and longer QE duration, as well as a certain level of strength, appear to be critical to successful performance. This research gap demonstrates the need to develop and expand the knowledge base within the sport.


Download data is not yet available.


Aalto, H., Pyykkö, I., Ilmarinen, R., Kähkönen, E., & Starck, J. (1990). Postural stability in shooters. ORL , 52(4), 232-238.

Abernethy, B., & Neal, R. J. (1999). Visual characteristics of clay target shooters. Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, 2(1), 1–19.

Anderson, G. S., & Plecas, D. B. (2000). Predicting shooting scores from physical performance data. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 23(4), 525-537.

Antunes, H. K. M., Stella, S. G., Santos, R. F., Bueno, O. F. A., & Mello, M. T. D. (2005). Depression, anxiety and quality of life scores in seniors after an endurance exercise program. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 27(4), 266-271.

Baldini, A., Nota, A., Cravino, G., Cioffi, C., Rinaldi, A., & Cozza, P. (2013). Influence of vision and dental occlusion on body posture in pilots. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine, 84(8), 823-827.

Ball, K. A., Best, R. J., & Wrigley, T. V. (2011). Body sway, aim point fluctuation and performance in rifle shooters: inter- and intra-individual analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(7), 559-566.

Ball, K. A., Best, R. J., & Wrigley, T. V. (2003). Inter-and intra-individual analysis in elite sport: Pistol shooting. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 19(1), 28-38.

Bayati, A., Yousefian, R., Sadeghi, H., Jamebozorgi, A. A., & Tabatabaee, S. M. (2015). Correlation of static balance and anthropometric characteristics in Iranian elite male and female shooters. The Scientific Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 4(4), 1-10.

Baer, K. N., Hutton, D. G., Boeri, R. L., Ward, T. J., & Stahl, R. G. (1995). Toxicity evaluation of trap and skeet shooting targets to aquatic test species. Ecotoxicology, 4(6), 385-392.

Behan, M., Behan & Wilson, M. Behan, M.(2008). State anxiety and visual attention: The role of the quiet eye period in aiming to a far target. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(2), 207-215.

Berger, B. G., & Owen, D. R. (1988). Stress reduction and mood enhancement in four exercise modes: Swimming, body conditioning, hatha yoga, and fencing. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 59(2), 148-159.

Bird, E. I. (1987). Psycho-physiological processes during rifle shooting. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 18(1), 9-18.

Brown, M. J., Tandy, R. D., Wulf, G., & Young, J. C. (2013). The effect of acute exercise on pistol shooting performance of police officers. Motor Control, 17(3), 273-282.

Causer, J., Bennett, S. J., Holmes, P. S., Janelle, C. M., & Williams, A. M. (2010). Quiet eye duration and gun motion in elite shotgun shooting. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 42(8), 1599-1608.

Cox, R. H., Martens, M. P., & Russell, W. D. (2003). Measuring anxiety in athletics: the revised competitive state anxiety inventory–2. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 25(4), 519-533.

Dustman, R. E., Ruhling, R. O., Russell, E. M., Shearer, D. E., Bonekat, H. W., Shigeoka, J. W., ... & Bradford, D. C. (1984). Aerobic exercise training and improved neuropsychological function of older individuals. Neurobiology of aging, 5(1), 35-42.

Era, P., Konttinen, N., Mehto, P., Saarela, P., & Lyytinen, H. (1996). Postural stability and skilled performance - a study on top-level and naive rifle shooters. Journal of Biomechanics, 29(3), 301-306.

Evans, R. K., Scoville, C. R., Ito, M. A., & Mello, R. P. (2003). Upper body fatiguing exercise and shooting performance. Military medicine, 168(6), 451-456.

Fenici, R., Ruggieri, M. P., Brisinda, D., & Fenici, P. (1999). Cardiovascular adaptation during action pistol shooting. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 39(3), 259-266.

Gangloff, P., Louis, J. P., & Perrin, P. P. (2000). Dental occlusion modifies gaze and posture stabilization in human subjects. Neuroscience letters, 293(3), 203-206.

Goonetilleke, R. S., Errol, R., Hoffmann, E. R., & Lau, W. C. (2009). Pistol shooting accuracy as dependent on experience, eyes being opened and available viewing time. Applied Ergonomics, 40(3), 500–508.

Gulbinskienė, V., & Skarbalius, A. (2009). Peculiarities of investigated characteristics of Lithuanian pistol and rifle shooters training and sport performance. Ugdymas Kuno Kultura, 21.

Hatfield, B. D., Landers, D. M., & Ray, W. J. (1987). Cardiovascuiar‐CNS Interactions During a Self‐Paced, Intentional Attentive State: Elite Marksmanship Performance. Psychophysiology, 24(5), 542-549.

Hatfield, B. D., Landers, D. M., & Ray, W. J. (1984). Cognitive processes during self-paced motor performance: An electroencephalographic profile of skilled marksmen. Journal of Sport Psychology, 6(1), 42-59.

Haufler, A. J., Spalding, T. W., Santa Maria, D. L., & Hatfield, B. D. (2000). Neuro-cognitive activity during a self-paced visuospatial task: comparative EEG profiles in marksmen and novice shooters. Biological Psychology, 53(2), 131-160.

Hawley, J., & Burke, L. (1998). Peak Performance: Training and Nutritional Strategies for Sport, Allen & Unwin.

Helin, P., Sihvonen, T., & Hanninen, O. (1987). Timing of the triggering action of shooting in relation to the cardiac cycle. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 21(1), 33-36.

Heimer, S., Medved, V., & Špirelja, A. (1985). Influence of postural stability on sport shooting performance. Kineziologija, 17(2), 119-122.

Hill, A. V., & Lupton, H. (1923). Muscular exercise, lactic acid, and the supply and utilization of oxygen. Quarterly Journal of Medicine, 16(62), 135-171.

Hoffman, M. D., Gilson, P. M., Westenburg, T. M., & Spencer, W. A. (1992). Biathlon shooting performance after exercise of different intensities. International journal of sports medicine, 13(03), 270-273.

Janelle, C. M. (2002). Anxiety, arousal and visual attention: a mechanistic account of performance variability. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20(3), 237-251.

Janelle, C. M., Hillman, C. H., Apparies, R. J., Murray, N. P., Melli, L., Fallon, E. A., & Hatfield, B. D. (2000). Expertise differences in cortical activation and gaze behaviour during rifle shooting. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 22(2), 167-182.

Ihalainen, S., Kuitunen, S., Mononen, K., & Linnamo, V. (2016). Determinants of elite‐level air rifle shooting performance. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 26(3), 266-274.

Ito, M. A., Sharp, M. A., Johnson, R. F., Merullo, D. J., & Mello, R. P. (1999). Rifle shooting accuracy during recovery from fatiguing exercise (No. P00-73). ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA MILITARY PERFORMANCEDIV.

Kayihan, G., Ersӧz, G., Ӧzkan, A., & Koz, M. (2013). Relationship between efficiency of pistol shooting and selected physical-physiological parameters of police. Policing: an international journal of police strategies & management, 36(4), 819 -832.

Kasapis, C., & Thompson, P. D. (2009). Sports cardiology. The Encyclopaedia of Sports Medicine: An IOC Medical Commission Publication, The Olympic Textbook of Medicine in Sport, 14, 232.

Krasilshchikov, O., Zuraidee, E., & Singh, R. (2007). Effect of general and auxiliary conditioning on specific fitness of young pistol and rifle shooters. Asian Journal of Exercise & Sports Science, 4(1), 15-20.

Koley, S., & Gupta, B. (2012). Correlations of static balance and anthropometric characteristics in Indian elite male shooters. International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences, 24(2), 65-72.

Konttinen, N., Lyytinen, H., & Era, P. (1999). Brain slow potentials and postural sway behavior during sharp shooting performance. Journal of Motor Behaviour, 31(1), 11-20.

Konttinen, N., Lyytinen, H., & Konttinen, R. (1995). Brain slow potentials reflecting successful shooting performance. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 66(1), 64-72.

Konttinen, N., Lyytinen, H., & Viitasalo, J. (1998). Rifle‐balancing in precision shooting: behavioral aspects and psychophysiological implication. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 8(2), 78-83.

Konttinen, N., Mets, T., Lyytinen, H., & Paananen, M. (2003). Timing of triggering in relation to the cardiac cycle in non elite rifle shooters. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport , 74(4), 395-400.

Koley, S., & Uppal, R. (2016). Correlations of static balance with handgrip strength and anthropometric variables in Indian inter-university archery players. International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, 7(4).

Kruse, P., Ladefoged, J., Nielsen, U., Paulev, P. E., & Sorensen, J. P. (1986). Beta-blockade used in precision sports: effect on pistol shooting performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 61(2), 417-420.

Mason, B. R., Cowan, L. F., & Bond, J. (1989). Biomechanical factors affecting accuracy in pistol shooting. Journal of Biomechanics, 22(10), 1052.

McTee, M. R., Mummey, D. L., Ramsey, P. W., & Hinman, N. W. (2016). Extreme soil acidity from biodegradable trap and skeet targets increases severity of pollution at shooting ranges. Science of the Total Environment, 539, 546-550.

Mets, T., Konttinen, N., & Lyytinen, H. (2007). Shot placement within cardiac cycle in junior elite rifle shooters. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8(2), 169-177.

Meyer, T., Broocks, A., Bandelow, B., Hillmer-Vogel, U., & Rüther, E. (1998). Endurance training in panic patients: Spiroergometric and clinical effects. INternational Journal of Sports Medicine, 19(07), 496-502.

Migliorini, M., Pigino, G., Bianchi, N., Bernini, F., & Leonzio, C. (2004). The effects of heavy metal contamination on the soil anthropoid community of a shooting range. Environ Pollution, 129(2), 331-340.

Mohamed, M. N., Norman, W. M. N. W., Linoby, A., Sariman, M. H., & Azam, M. Z. M. (2014). Breathing pattern influence to the shooting performance. In Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Sports Science, Exercise, Engineering and Technology 2014 (ICoSSEET 2014), 321-333. Springer Singapore.

Mon, D., Zakynthinaki, M., Cordente, C., Anton, A., Rodríguez, B., & Jiménez, D. (2015). Finger flexor force influences performance in senior male air pistol Olympic shooting. PLoS ONE, 10(6).

Mondal, A., Majumdar, R., & Pal, S. (2011). Anthropoimthy and physiological profile of Indian shooter. International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences, 23(2), 394-405.

Mononen, K., Konttinen, N., Viitasalo, J., & Era, P. (2007). Relationships between postural balance, rifle stability and shooting accuracy among novice rifle shooters. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 17(2), 180-185.

Morrillo, M., Di Russo, F., Pitzalis, S., & Spinelli, D. (2006). Latency of prosaccades and antisaccades in professional shooters. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 38(2), 388-394.

Nian-hong, L. (2003). Research of precompetitive anxiety of shooting athletes [J]. Journal of Shandong Physical Education Institute, 3, 15.

Niinimaa, V., & McAvoy, T. (1983). Influence of exercise on body sway in the standing rifle shooting position. Canadian journal of applied sport sciences. Journal canadien des sciences appliquees au sport, 8(1), 30-33.

Lakie, M. (2010). The influence of muscle tremor on shooting performance. Experimental physiology, 95(3), 441-450.

Lakie, M., Villagra, F., Bowman, I., & Wilby, R. (1995). Shooting performance is related to forearm temperature and hand tremor size. Journal of sports sciences, 13(4), 313-320.

Landers, D. M., Han, M., Salazar, W., Petruzzello, S. J., Kubitz, K. A., & Gannon, T. L. (1994). Effects of learning on electroencephalographic and electrocardiographic patterns in novice archers. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 25(3), 313-330.

Liberati, A., Altman, D. G., Tetzlaff, J., Mulrow, C., Gøtzsche, P. C., Ioannidis, J. P., ... & Moher, D. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. PLoS Med, 6(7),

Loze, G. M., Collins, D., & Holmes, P. S. (2001). Pre-shot EEG alpha-power reactivity during expert air-pistol shooting: a comparison of best and worst shots. Journal of sports sciences, 19(9), 727-733.

Pellegrini, B., Faes, L., Nollo, G., & Schena, F. (2004). Quantifying the contribution of arm postural tremor to the outcome of goal-directed pointing task by displacement measures. Journal of neuroscience methods, 139(2), 185-193.

Pellegrino, B., & Schena, F. (2005). Characterization of arm-gun movement during air pistol aiming phase. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 45(4), 467-475.

Petruzzello, S. J., Landers, D. M., Hatfield, B. D., Kubitz, K. A., & Salazar, W. (1991). A meta-analysis on the anxiety-reducing effects of acute and chronic exercise. Sports medicine, 11(3), 143-182.

Pryimakov, A. A., Eider, E., & Omelchuk, E. V. (2015). Stability of equilibrium in upright stance and voluntary motion control in athletes-shooters in the process of ready position and target shooting. Physical education of students, 19(1), 36-42.

Puglisi, M. L., La Rocca, R., Sarra Fiore, A., Gibiino, C., Buscemi, A., Petralia, M. C., & Nicotra, R. (2014). Evaluation of postural balance in skeet shooting. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(12), 53-60.

Raglin, J. S., & Morgan, W. P. (1987). Influence of exercise and quiet rest on state anxiety and blood pressure. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 19(5), 456-463.

Sattlecker, G., Buchecker, M., Müller, E., & Lindinger, S. J. (2014). Postural balance and rifle stability during standing shooting on an indoor gun range without physical stress in different groups of biathletes. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 9(1), 171-184.

Sforza, C., Tartaglia, G. M., Solimene, U., Morgun, V., Kaspranskiy, R. R., & Ferrario, V. F. (2006). Occlusion, sternocleidomastoid muscle activity, and body sway: a pilot study in male astronauts. CRANIO®, 24(1), 43-49.

Shumway-Cook, A., Anson, D., & Haller, S. (1988). Postural sway biofeedback: its effect on reestablishing stance stability in hemiplegic patients. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 69(6), 395-400.

Spaeth, R. A., & Dunham, G. C. (1921). The correlation between motor control and rifle shooting. American Journal of Physiology, 56, 249-256.

Stambolieva, K., Otzetov, M., Petrova, D., Ikonomov, R., & Gatev, P. (2015). Postural stability during static upright stance in archers. In Posture, Balance and the Brain. International Workshop, 29-35.

Stuart, J., & Atha, J. (1990). Postural consistency in skilled archers. Journal of SportsSciences, 8(3), 223-234.

Sorvari, J., Antikainen, R., & Pyy, O. (2006). Environmental contamination at Finnish shooting ranges—the scope of the problem and management options. Science of the Total Environment, 366(1), 21-31.

Su, F. C., Wu, W. L., & Lee, W. D. (2000). Stance stability in shooters. Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 20(4), 187-192.

Swanton, A. (2016). Development of a recording system to empirically analyse the shooting characteristics of Olympic trap clay target shooters (Master’s thesis, University of Limerick, Sreelane, Castletroy, Co. Limerick, Ireland). Retrieved from

Tang, W. T., Zhang, W. Y., Huang, C. C., Young, M. S., & Hwang, I. S. (2008). Postural tremor and control of the upper limb in air pistol shooters. Journal of Sports Science, 26(14), 1579-1587.

Roberts, R., & Turnbull, O. H. (2010). Putts that get missed on the right: Investigating lateralized attentional biases and the nature of putting errors in golf. Journal of sports sciences, 28(4), 369-374.

Rooney, C. P., & McLaren, R. G. (2000). Distribution of soil lead contamination at clay target shooting ranges. Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology, 6, 95-102.

Vercruyssen, M., Christina, R. W., & Muller, E. (1989). Relationship of strength and precision in shooting activities. Journal of human ergology, 18(2), 153-168.

Vickers, J. (1996). Visual control when aiming at a far target. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 22(2), 342-354.

Vyas, N. B., Spann, J. W., Heinz, G. H., Beyer, W. N., Jaquette, J. A., & Mengelkoch, J. M. (2000). Lead poisoning of passerines at a trap and skeet range. Environmental Pollution, 107(1), 159-166.

Wells, G. D., Elmi, M., & Thomas, S. (2009). Physiological correlates of golf performance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(3), 741-750.

Zatsiorsky, V. M., & Aktov, A. M. (1990). Biomechanics of highly precise movements: The aiming process in air rifle shooting. Journal of Biomechanics, 23(1), 35-41.

Zemková, E. (2014). Sport-specific balance. Sports Medicine, 44(5), 579-590.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Peljha, Z., Michaelides, M., & Collins, D. (2018). The relative importance of selected physical fitness parameters in Olympic clay target shooting. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 13(3), 541–552.



Olympic Section