What You Don't See Is What You Get
July 2008 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
Sporting clays is the ultimate test, pitting ourselves against targets down gullies and through trees at countless unknown speeds, angles and distances. We spend thousands of dollars on equipment, books, videos and training all to master basic, rudimentary skills. Some shooters do, and they have the skills to show for it. But why is it that skills don't always match scores?
Hmmmm. The answer is simple. Competition.
Breaking targets on a quiet practice field conveniently bypasses consequences. Other than a brief moment of disappointment or consideration, the missed target is quickly forgotten. But not when the 0 is put on a score sheet. That's a whole lot more than just a consequence, it leads to expectations, what ifs and a host of other distractions and disturbances.
Gun skills are not the same as "scoring" skills. To score well in competition takes much more than just gun skills. Engage the mind, divert the attention, and the shooting performance will suffer. Why? Not because the gun skills aren't present but because the performance is managed by the mind, which first must be focused and still.
If higher scores and consistency are the goals, sooner or later a shooter must attend to mental distractions and scoring skills. It's the part of the game we don't see, hiding in plain sight, robbing us of targets, needing our attention.
At Paragon, The Workshop takes a close look at these questions and delivers straight answers.
In late 2007 I made some important changes to my shooting. That meant I was putting my attention on those changes during practice. Early this year I was still working diligently on those changes, even during my tournaments. As a result of that, my attention riveted on specific parts of my shooting, I slipped and made errors I don't usually make.
One match station in particular had a long, fast, right-to-left crosser through the trees that was causing everyone problems. Hiding in plain sight was a breakpoint on our far left where the target coasted gently into the grass at about 40 yards..............
What if I told you I had the "secret" to advanced shooting skills-an irrefutable truth. Before you say, "Yeah, sure you do Dan," take a minute to consider this.
The road to advancement has to 2 toll booths. No one advances without paying the 2 tolls.
The 1st toll is that we search and find what needs changing in our game. We must first learn-specifically-what is holding us back, causing our inconsistencies and current plateau. Until we learn what to change, we have no choice but to continue what we are doing-the same way we always do it-hoping for better results from ourselves..............