Finding the balance

Ken Parr’s family has heritage: Father Ken won two bronze medals in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Ken the junior has stepped out from his shadow to make his own history for Team GB. With three Commonwealth medals and a World Cup silver so far, Ken has successfully balanced his work and shooting careers. ELEY asked how he did it:

“Competing against the best athletes in the world is tough. Working full-time and competing with athletes who are training full-time certainly increases the challenge, but it is not impossible.

I made training my career in my bid to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, but reduced my hours after the Games. Going from 40 hours training a week to less than 15 was a bit of a culture shock! I was taught the age old theory about the need for quality training over quantity, but it is also true that you cannot have quality without quantity. Therefore you have to find time where you can.

Time management is essential when you have so little of it, and is as much of a skill to learn as pulling the trigger. At the start of my planning for the year I try and attend as many international events as I can. To free up time for the major competitions I maximise the weekend events to minimise the days off work.

Once my travel plans are sorted, it’s time to put the hours in on the training range. I pack most of my training into the weekends, which doesn’t mean I can’t have the occasional rest as I need to balance my overall fatigue. However, I still commit to training for several hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Training after work is also necessary, as I cannot compete on weekend training alone. Frequency at the range is important too, and even a short evening session is better than none. 

The key I have found is that you have to enjoy what you are doing. Shooting is my passion, so while it is challenging to balance work, life and training, the enjoyment I get from competing at the top level keeps me going through the late nights of training.”