T & T
September 2008 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
Have you noticed how the really good ones make it look so easy? Gymnasts, skateboarders, cyclists, runners, shooters - the ones in the lead - all have an easy, rhythmic stride or stroke.
Too many shooters approach the shot anxiously, the swing is much too fast and the shot is launched, more with hope than confidence. Their tempo - the first T - is too fast, putting the gun out of control. Contrast that with the advanced, experienced shooter who has this almost "syrupy" swing, a slow, fluid, graceful swing that delivers the XX. Why is this slower tempo so effective? First, because the swing speed is beautifully matched to the bird speed. That synchronizing of the muzzle and target creates a swing with precision, putting the muzzle on the right line and at just the right speed. Tempo - matching gun speed to bird speed - is the purest form of gun control, putting the muzzle into the right place at just the right time.
The second T is timing. Too often a target is missed because the trigger is pulled too soon or too late, the shooter not knowing which. The experienced shooter has learned, really good tempo slows everything down so the eyes can get the visual confirmations of bird-barrel alignment. That visual confirmation shows you where your gun really is - as opposed to where you think it is, or hope it is. Why is that so important? If you don't know what the bird-barrel relationship is - precisely - how will you know when to pull the trigger? The right tempo gives you great visuals. This wonderful visual leads to great timing of the trigger pull. T&T = gun control = more consistency = higher scores.
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..............
I hear this frequently when my student first calls to inquire about taking lessons with me at his club or River Bend. My caller is (understandably?) disappointed over breaking fewer of his or her targets than the group's 70% or 80%, maybe a 90%.
When I ask how long he's been in sporting clays, the answer is usually less than a year or two. We can all relate, it's human nature to compare ourselves to those ahead of us, sometimes forgetting they've been shooting 4, 8, maybe 15 years or more..............