On A Journey Or Attending An Event?
June 2012 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
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.
For some, a trip to the shooting ground is an event. I know many social shooters who have no problems with score coming in second to camaraderie; admiring the magnificent French walnut stock and engraving; the deep emotional connection of shooting Grandpa's scarred old Winchester model 21 or model 12 that harvested untold scores of game for the dinner table; and let's not forget all the trash talk with our best friends at the local tavern after the guns are stowed and secured.
Then, too, there are those who thrive on the challenge of competition. Here, the trip to the shooting ground is one more step in a journey, a journey that includes all of the social shooters pleasures and enjoyment but adds something else. Once a shooter exits the social shooters path, one is asked to accept certain tasks. One task in particular, the significance and the importance of the X are greatly elevated. This new priority introduces a whole new dimension to the experience in the shooting box, creating a different set of expectations. And right on schedule, here is where a basic, indisputable truth surfaces. For the X count to rise consistently, requires a certain accountability to improve one's skills. Having worked successfully with thousands of sporting clays shooters fresh from the hunting fields, I can assure you, shrugging off that accountability and leaving your performance in the hands of whatever instincts have been built over the years, automatically bolts a shackle on your progress. Performance plateau, here we come.
How much or little you desire, or need to break a target, is entirely a choice. 1 shell, 1 target, what you take away from this experience will always be what matters to you, not someone else. How you look at the outcome of the shot or match depends upon whether you are inclined to be a social shooter or a competitor. The competitor, however, shoulders the truth that breaking the target multiple times in a row will depend on a lot more than expectations and determination. Both your set-up on the target, and precisely how you build your swing, start to finish, matters greatly.
Very soon, in the coming months, I would like to offer a series of lessons that will focus on set-up and swing "structure," the pros and cons of common shooting methods on various target presentations, gun fit, successful shooting strategies in the box, how to become more consistent and more. Each SERIES will be dedicated to one topic. There will be Part I, II, etc. in the series, each being more comprehensive than a TIP. I hope you will join me here.
As always, I genuinely appreciate your stopping by. Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
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."............
Possibly you're familiar with my articles, TIPS and recommendations to build precision into our sporting clays game. Compromise that precision in our set-up and/or swing and the target simply cannot be hit consistently. Let's examine this more closely.
Over the Father's Day week-end I watched the heart-breaking US Open golf match. The course was brutally difficult and golfers hung by their fingernails to stay in the hunt............