Athletes need to nail simple skills and techniques early and then build from there. For example, a Modern Pentathlete needs to develop the shooting fundamentals, skills and technique around shooting before jumping straight into a competitive laser run.
The laser-run is arguably the fundamental discipline of our sport Modern Pentathlon, so it is, therefore, a discipline we need to practice regularly to hone our skills. Organising as much of your training as you can with others, will substantially help your progression in the sport. It then also better prepares you for that competitive environment.
We all know that setting up competitive environments with an opportunity for athletes to test their skills through competition (laser run) will dramatically help the progression of the athlete and sport. Competition is vital for motivation as well as recognising improvement, and shedding light on areas that need improving. Without regular competition, athletes can become stale, demotivated and lack progress through the sport. Regular competition within a sport also creates a sense of a community and support network within the sport. Thus bringing additional benefits.
Remember that competitions can be as formal or informal as you like. We need to get people together regular, have a set course or program (can be as modified or alternate as you want) and then put a stopwatch to the start and endpoint, and provide results. This is certainly enough. We, as a modern pentathlon community, need to start! Start holding regular laser-run session, training and competitions with who ever is available 2 – 20 people.
If you can regularly hold a laser-run session, please speak with your state president for more promotion across the state.
If you need support in how to train, progress or organise competitions for this discipline, please don’t hesitate to contact MPA Pathways and Performance Director, Hannah Every-Hall