Sports psychology has helped a Tauranga Boys' College shooter regain his form and take a national title at the recent New Zealand Secondary School Clay Target Championships in Canterbury.

Devin Holland was one of two Western Bay students to take national titles at the event.
His was in the points score championship while Katikati College student Ryan Crapp won the skeet championship, shooting 50 straight to win.

Holland, fellow boys' college student Hamish Williamson and Katikati College student Blair Ellison were also in the Bay of Plenty regional team that took third place in the team competition at the championship.


Holland had hit a bit of a slump, but boys' college shooting coach Ben Tuck said he had bounced back.

''In the last month he has really fought back and shot unbelievably at the whole tournament - that's really good to see.''

''A lot of the other teams' members are shooting every weekend, so the results the boys got are really great because most of them are part-time shooters, at least compared to other boys. They have defiantly performed above their weight.''

The boys' college shooters had three visits from sports psychologist David Galbraith.

''It was great for the boys, because a lot of it is between the ears,'' said Tuck.

''A lot of it comes down to the pressure they put themselves under to achieve and we wanted to try and control that.''

Holland said he learned about different techniques for keeping himself calm and keeping his mind off other things while Williamson said the visits helped him focus and control his emotions while shooting.

Skeet champion Crapp said he was stoked to win the title.

''He's done a lot of shooing outside school and he does excel at it,'' said mum Tracey.

He has been part of the New Zealand open-age team in the Mackintosh Cup, a postal competition held between Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.

He was a member of the North Island team that beat the South Island at the national championships in March and is hoping to be named in the junior Olympic team to travel
to Perth in January.

Last year Holland also represented the North Island against the South Island.

New Zealand Secondary School Clay Target Championship
Hosted at Canterbury Clay Target Club
315 students taking part
60 teams taking part