How Do You Say "YOU MISSED THE TARGETS SIR" In Latin?
October 2010 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
000000. As the empty shells pile up in the trashcan beside the shooting box, do you ever feel "lost?" Can’t find the problem? Why isn’t that target breaking? Here’s what I believe is the # 1 most common problem and cause of missing. Chances are very good this particular detail could well be the starting point, the primary reason why your scores and performances may be sputtering. In Latin, it’s called "anxious-erratica." I’m pretty sure that means "lost birds senor."
"Anxious" describes the approach to the shot - "erratic" is the swing result. When the trap fires, overcome by the feeling "the target is getting away," the shot is rushed unnecessarily, causing even more unwanted barrel movement during the swing. Just a thought,..... the shell speed is about 750 mph. Target speed is about 55 mph. You win. Why the rush?
In our efforts to break the target consistently, motivated by determination and high expectations, we underestimate the critical importance of swing precision. It’s the "excessive" gun speed that quickly puts the muzzle out of control - instantly compromising this precision. 00. To help with this, the swing word I’m looking for is PACE. A much slower pace allows us to be precise with our swing.
We don’t often associate the term "accurate shooting" to the shotgun sports. Wholeheartedly, I believe we should. I also think you would be pleasantly surprised at just how much slower you can actually move to,..... with,..... and past a target - with precision - and get the X! This turtle pace and smoother swing will quickly help you put your gun in the right place,..... at the right time,..... creating more X’s and more consistent results. Guaranteed!
Learning a new skill can be fun. And it should be. And once all the equipment has been purchased - ready or not - it's finally time to step into the box and meet the clay target. While no doubt exciting - it may be a bit humbling as well. Not only do the targets provide all the challenge we want and more, we quickly learn the target doesn't always break just because we want it to
Don't get me wrong - I applaud determination. But I also know that repetition in the box without the basics - without proper technique - is practice built more on hope than a well thought out plan............
Once we decide to get serious about building a complete shooting game, we quickly begin to learn just how many different ways there are to present targets.
Once a target leaves the machine, there are usually multiple breakpoints available to us. Which one is best? That depends on many, many different factors. Shooting style is one example, an important consideration when choosing a breakpoint that favors that style. A fast shooter might pick an earlier breakpoint - a more methodical shooter would likely shoot this same target a bit later............