A coach can help you accelerate your progress. How? By providing information. Useful information. Your processing this information into advanced skills, however, takes more than a little time and effort.
As you look ahead to 2006, consider creating a practice to-do list. Practice without a specific agenda accomplishes little in the way of improvement. I routinely ask my students not to charge out onto the range with little if any idea of what they are practicing. Here's why.
Today, I observed a competitor struggling his way through a tournament. I frequently see this individual making the rounds on this course and that. Going through an entire flat of shells or more on any given day, I often wonder, "What is he accomplishing?"
The answer was obvious in his tournament performance. Frustrated on the most basic targets, his shooting reflected how he had practiced. Gun management was erratic and the XOOXOXXO results predictable. Disgruntled, he left wondering why he didn't shoot better. The answer is simple. Undisciplined practice left him with unreliable skills to take to the tournament. How could he be confident in a tournament when he never took the time to build that confidence during previous practice sessions?
Now is the time to work on crossing shots—from slow to very fast. If quartering shots, teal or battues are your nemesis, why not get some professional help now—not 1 week before that important tournament.
Unless this is a shoot-for-fun day with your friends, I suggest you never step onto the range without focus and a purpose. We all know the story of the grasshopper and the ant. The 2006 season is coming fast. Are you preparing, or just shooting?