Biathlon Level 1-3

Biathlon Level 1

The 3 hour lessons are $75/adult and $40/under 18.

This 3 hour lesson is for people that are interested in a more thorough understanding of biathlon, and may want to compete at a Novice level. Regulation biathlon rifles and ammunition are provided. No prior shooting experience is necessary. We welcome all levels of skiing/snowshoe ability.

The Level 1 lessons cover the four basic steps of biathlon necessary to begin shooting well. Participants learn the parts and operation of a regulation biathlon rifle, how the paper and mechanical targets work, and key safety rules for the range. The lesson also covers body positioning on the shooting mat, loading and operating the rifle, sighting, breathing during the shooting cadence, and basic trigger control. Upon completion of the lesson, participants will be better prepared to race in the Novice class of most races.

Participants will "Dry Fire" first to learn the proper procedure, and then "Live Fire" on the paper targets so the coach can see where the shots land. Shooting is done from a rest supporting the foreend of the rifle.

Participants then shoot on the regulation metal targets (as they would in a race), and learn to score their own shooting. Most of the lesson is conducted without skis in order to minimize task loading, but skis are usually added at the end of the lesson. As time permits, we will add skis and an elevated heart rate to the shooting procedure. The final component is a basic introduction to the standing, or "offhand" position.

Biathlon Level 2

The Level 2 lesson builds on the basics established in Level 1. The goal for the Level 2 and 3 lessons are to prepare an athlete to compete in the "Expert" class. Expert racers generally have their own rifle and ammunition, and they are competent in the safety aspects, range procedures, and shooting (both prone and standing) procedures to compete safely and with minimal supervision.

Participants review the basics of body positioning, breathing, sighting, and trigger control. For participants considering the purchase of their own rifle, techniques for individual fitment are reviewed. The use of an arm cuff and sling (instead of a shooting rest) are added to the prone position.

Drills to establish and confirm the 'Natural Point of Aim' are taught as well. Participants will learn the complete range procedure of doffing the rifle after skiing, getting into position on the mat, establishing 'Natural Point of Aim', following a shooting cadence, donning the rifle, and leaving the range.

The standing position will be reviewed again, but the primary focus is on the prone position and the range procedures.

Biathlon Level 3

The focus of a Level 3 lesson is to learn the standing position and bring together all the previous concepts in a smooth and consistent way. Participants should be focused on safety and proper procedure, rather than speed and scoring. Race techniques are also reviewed.

Participants will learn the key concepts of the standing position, and how to modify the range procedure of doffing and donning the rifle to shoot from a standing position. The standing position is much more individual than prone, and every effort is made to tailor the instruction to the participant. While sighting and trigger control concepts are similar, the breathing technique is quite different and the shooting cadence does not include actively establishing and confirming a 'Natural Point of Aim.'

While these lessons provide the foundation for biathlon, continued practice and instruction is highly encouraged. Opportunities are available through Jackson Biathlon and other local biathlon programs.