Let It Be,......
May 2012 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
From last month's Tip: "Yes, you can move your attention away from the negativity and distractions, provided you first begin to pay attention and listen to the self-talk. Become an observer, a third party listening to the "self-talk" conversation. Maybe even reconsider the conclusion you just came to? Only then can we talk about how to deliberately move 100% of our attention onto the target in front of us."
Maybe you can relate to this. It's 5:30 PM in late August. The temperature outside is still hovering in the high 90's. It was 101 degrees at the gun club, all day. Your wife calls you on the way home and asks you to pick up milk. Can do. You pull into the Supermarket and park, hot, tired and anxious to be on your way. You walk to the farthest corner of the store and make your way back to the shortest cashier line. There isn't one.
Your arm is getting longer holding the milk. On a scale of 1 to 10, your happy meter is plummeting. What seems like 2 years later, 2 full carts have finally gone through and the lady ahead of you steps up to the cashier. She places her hot dog and a soft drink on the counter. She begins to rummage through her purse, you assume for cash. You're thinking, "Couldn't she have gotten that ready before now?" The rummaging continues as a staggering pile of belongings grows beside her purse. At last, she finds it. Her checkbook, but no pen, and the cashier's pen waits until now to stop working. The cashier leaves to get one. Returning, the check for $1.89 is handed to the cashier, who promptly leaves again to have it approved. Did I mention your happy meter?
There are two things to remember here. First, there is no one in line behind you. So not one single soul in this entire busy store knows about, or cares about, your frustration. Not One. Second, this is a self-made frustration.
As you stand in the shooting box, the trap misfires for the 6th time. A 4-wheeler tears down the path behind you followed by a huge dust cloud covering everyone around the box including you. The squad waiting behind yours is more interested in their party and could care less about their shouting and laughter.
Just remember, when we move our attention off the target to the distraction - it has become a distraction only because we moved our attention off the target. Only when we are aware - when we listen to our self-talk and watch where we put our attention - can we move it back to the target. It is we who are making it a distraction, not the trap machine, the 4-wheeler or the crowd behind us. Let it be. Trying to control what we can't control is not only impossible but moves our attention off the target.
Thanks for stopping by. Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
This is the 2nd TIP in a short series to introduce some of the basics of the mental approach to shooting. I believe this training is critically important, once the shooting basics begin to come online consistently. I add that condition because extensive effort poured into the mental aspects of shooting simply won't be able to make up for for a swing that lacks precision, is inconsistent and, at best, semi-reliable. A good swing and a good mental approach work together beautifully-provided both are working. Training for both simultaneously is a splendid combination, recommended highly............
I believe being a writer incurs an obligation to your readers. The writing should deliver on its promise to be educational, entertaining, reporting or possibly some of each. Over the many years of putting my opinions in print, I knew, try as I might, this day's messages might not appeal to every reader. Not all readers step into the shooting box for the same reasons. And while I think it's safe to say that everyone here does want to break the target, how serious we are about that one common goal varies widely from shooter to shooter............