Is There A Map To The X?
September 2013 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
I've just completed a long series of lessons this month, confirming and re-confirming the value of what we teach at Paragon - and why we teach it. There's a good possibility you may have seen some of this in an earlier Tip. I respectfully hope so. This is so important, so essential to your shooting, I humbly present it again for your consideration.
There are many clay target shooters and instructors in the U.S. who still cling to shooting instinctively. While we at Paragon are not of that mind-set, up to a point, we agree there is justification for this. But we also firmly believe, a set-up and swing without structure – specific set-up and swing steps – simply cannot be trusted to be right every time you need it to be. On the very same target, when the set-up and/or swing changes from shot to shot – intentionally or unintentionally – the results cannot be consistent. With instinct alone, targets can be broken and good scores can be posted. But consistently good scores, and skill advancement, will be eternally elusive. Knowing what should happen on this pair, and what did just happen during each swing (before each trigger pull), are both paramount to consistently good shooting and skill advancement.
I've frequently suggested here and in my Sporting Clays magazine articles, advancing shooters do see what takes place during their set up and during their swing. They are very much aware of 2 things, both before the trigger pull: a) where the target is, and b) where their muzzle is (peripheral vision). This allows them to see what occurs during the swing. If a mistake is made, this shooter will see it, because he has to see it. He knows, if he doesn't see it, shell in the chamber, he won't know what has to change in order to get the X? If the swing was planned correctly – and occurs as planned – X – the swing must again be visually recorded. That recording is now a precise visual blueprint, the exact set of movements that will reliably lead to another X, and another, and another. There is no mystery, no guessing in this process. Follow the map to another X.
Good shooters are not blind, nor do they swing in the dark hoping to hit the target. Again, there is no mystery here. The better shooters do in fact set up on the target correctly so they will be able to see their bird/barrel relationships – thus they will know what they are doing – from the start of each swing to the end of each swing. Therein lies the magic of consistently good shooting performances.
Thanks for stopping by. Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
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