Dennis DeMille is a former Camp Perry National Champion and one of the top High Power shooters in the country. Dennis has served as the General Manager of Creedmoor Sports since retiring from the US Marine Corps Shooting Team. With his decades of competitive experience, Dennis has a wealth of knowledge and shares insights into the most effective ways to train for competition and the fundamentals of marksmanship.
Training for High Power (Across-The-Course) shooting
I think the most important thing is spending time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition. I learned in my garage, or in the barracks, just spending time dry firing, holding exercises.
One of the most helpful things you can do is holding exercises. Dry fire is helpful also but holding exercises where you are holding the rifle up for a minute in position will really help you identify the weak parts of the position.
I think a lot of people miss the reason why you dry fire. The reason you dry fire is not to get your muscles to build muscle memory. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then you will eventually become a High Master.
Fundamentals of Marksmanship
One of the most important fundamentals of marksmanship is Natural Point of Aim. You have trigger control sight alignment but if you don't have natural point of aim from the time you mount the rifle until the shot breaks is an uphill battle. The definition of natural point of aim, in my mind, is where the rifle wants to rest naturally when you are relaxed in your position, where that rifle is, where that front sight is in relationship to the target. If they marry up when you are ready to break a shot and you are naturally resting your front sight there the shot will be good.