How to make success shot in petanque ?

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Succeed in shooting


Great shooters must have both a good physique and a strong mindset.
Shooting is a spectacular movement that requires a lot of concentration from the players.

It requires more energy than the point and it involves your whole body.

In this tutorial, you will get all the fundamentals and basics needed for shooting practice.
In the following lines, we will only speak about pure technique, the mindset remains a chapter in its own extension.
Then before learning the shot technique, I advise you to learn how to point first, do not hesitate to read our tutorial about the point by clicking here : How to point

The position in the circle

Position of the feet in the circle when you make a shot
Position of Philippe Quintais during a shot
(several times world champion)

The feet

When you shoot, your feet should be anchored to the ground, several positions are possible :

  •   Feet together : this position requires a lot of flexibility and balance but offers a very good pendulum.

  •   Feet apart : the more your feet are apart, the more stable you are, but the more pendulum you lose.

  •   Dominant foot : your feet are parallel. If you are righ-handed, your right foot will be in front of your left foot.

  •   Perpendicular feet : your feet are perpendicular (or almost) and give you good stability and good pendulum. Many players adopt this position : feet slightly apart and almost perpendicular.

What is the best position ?

Most of the time, players adopt a position which is a mixture of what we explained just before.
Once again, it's up to you to find the one that suits you best : find the one that gives you the best stability and the best pendulum possible. Also find the position that wearies you the least ...

Watching the great champions will allow you to understand many things.

The pendulum

The pendulum is the key to success in shooting !

What is the pendulum used for ? Why couldn't we just throw the ball ?

To shoot a boule, you know that you have to keep your arm as straight as possible to success, and it is the pendulum in what allows you to do so.

Let me explain : when you swing your arm without moving your chest, you will notice that it naturally makes a circular (curved) movement.
Now try to swing your arm using your bust : you easily manage to get a straight gesture.

Why do some players raise their arms very high when shooting ?

Do you mean a player such as Dylan Rocher or Didier Choupay ?

Thanks to their gesture, they give impulse to the boule and they waste less energy by using their pendulum (torso and arms) to shoot.

They achieve excellent results by exerting minimal effort.
Therefore, they can stay efficient for longer.

Pendulum gesture when the petanque player Didier Choupay shoot a ball

Pendulum gesture of Didier Choupay when shooting
(several times world champion)

The power potential / flexibility

In petanque, there are 2 types of shot : soft shot and power shot.
Depending on the ground, you may prefer to choose one or the other.

If the ground is rather soft (for example very sandy), then we will choose to shoot in force so that the opposing ball will be sent as far as possible.

Buf if the ground is hard, a soft shot will result in more "carreau" (see the glossary in our tutorials for more details).

In addition, you should know that power is linked to precision : the harder you shot, the more precision you lose.

The training

The training is essential to become a petanque champion

Christian Fazzino often trains to stay at a high level
(voted player of the century)

You may come across good pointers who do not train their technique, but as far as shooters are concerned, it is essential to train regularly so that the gesture becomes as mechanical as possible.

You can train on your own : just create your own workshops.

Please see some examples :

  •   Practice shooting at 6 meters, 7 meters, 8 meters, 9 meters, 10 meters and then repeat. This is to practice shooting at the right distance.

  •   Shooting by "jumping over" (see the glossary in our tutorials for more details) : place boules in front of each other and hit the ball farthest. This requires you to shoot "plein fer".

  •   Shooting the jack : shooting a jack by varying the distances which is equal to "precision training shoot".

  •   Shooting a front ball without moving the other ball : try to shoot the opponent's ball without touching your own ball. This case is frequent in a competition, if you master it you will score points !

  •   Boules close together : place 3 boules close together and shoot the middle one.

Shooting techniques

There are 3 shooting techniques :

  •   Shooting "à la rafle" or "à la raspaille" (see the glossary in our tutorials for more details) : this technique is likely to annoy many players. Who has never been confronted with 2 "old men" who succeed in all their shots "à la raspaille" ? This shot is very effective on "sand/sablette" ground and "smooth/lissette" court.

  •   Shooting in front of (see the glossary in our tutorials for more details) : effective shooting on all types of terrain. With this technique, you are sure not to jump the target ball and you have 9 out of 10 chances of removing it if your arm is straight.

  •   Shooting "plein fer" (see the glossary in our tutorials for more details) : the most spectacular shot ! Nothing is more beautiful than a "carreau" "plein fer". If you master this gesture and you manage to shoot 2 balls out of 3 constantly, you are already a champion !

More precisely, what is the best technique ?

Everyone will tell you : learn to shoot "plein fer", or "full face" as some say.

This has 2 advantages :

  •   Works on all types of grounds

  •   Impress the opponent who quickly discovers that you know how to play boules !

Philippe Suchaud and his particular shooting technique

The shooting technique of Philippe Suchaud
(several times world champion)


Shooting is not innate, it takes practice, and your own experience will determine your gesture.

But don't you worry : you won't encounter many players who are consistent in shooting around you.

We all have our weakness and there are days when without understanding we do not success any shot ...

You have to be positive and adapt your game to your mood of the day.

Finally, if you also have effective shooting training methods, please share them with us !

If you have any remarks or you need help, please contact us.

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