(Click for Video) Dan Schindler working with Makayla Scott
On Day 2 of Makayla Scott's lessons with Daniel Schindler at River Bend Sportsmans Resort. Makayla learned how to identify the various target presentations; the Paragon step-by-step system/process that works to break targets; the shooting methods that work best for her on the various target presentations; to call and correct her own misses so the targets break; and how her beautiful, slow, controlled swing allows her to shoot far more consistently and break more targets.
Too much thinking in the shooting box is like running on a treadmill; it gives you something to do but never takes you where you want to go. To add X’s, subtract thoughts.
The woman appeared in the office door of the golf Coach. She was here for a lesson. Introductions finished, she was politely asked, “So, how can I help you?” Out came a rather lengthy list, starting with her frustration and disappointment with herself on the putting green. Putt after putt, herculean efforts to make the ball disappear were repeatedly unsuccessful, adding painful strokes to her score. The Coach could hear her sense of desperation.
Encouraged by the Coach’s confidence and reassurance, they set out for the practice green behind the clubhouse. As the Coach walked around the green dropping balls randomly here and there, the student glared at her “useless” putter, anticipating the worst. The Coach invited her to choose any ball so he could observe.
Summoning her courage, she took her time examining the ball, the distance and the line to the hole. Satisfied she was ready, she walked over and stood above the ball. Feet and clubface square, stance right, head down, she became motionless. 10 seconds passed. Then 20. Then 30. Still no movement. Her Coach asked, “Everything OK?”
Discouraged, she looked up and sighed, “Yes, but sometimes I get lost in my pre-shot routine.” The Coach asked her to please explain.
“Well,” she said, “sometimes I get lost. I forget whether I’m on step 14 or 15 and then nothing works after that.”
Step 14 or 15??? Well, the problem was no longer a mystery. And the Coach knew – any one of a number of things in her game might have to be adjusted – but not one of those corrections would work until her attention was given fewer assignments.
As shooters, we don’t intentionally overcomplicate, but things can, mentally, get busy in the shooting box – every distraction moving our attention further and further away from the most important tasks in front of us.
Very understandably, students arrive at their lesson with an assortment of beliefs, wondering why their beliefs do work sometimes, and then sometimes don’t. Trip after trip to the course exposes the absence of consistency. Why is that? They’re thinking, surely there is a lot more to all this than I know.
"Folks, the Truth - the whole Truth -
and nothing but the Truth is, this is a simple game."
I’m not saying it’s easy, mind you, but it is indeed simple. The fundamentals – the required basics – make it a simple game. Learning and applying those basics is NOT complicated. Free of random movement, an efficient, precise swing that a) uses the basics properly and b) is consistent, will break targets dependably and repeatedly. That’s an absolute fact, proven countless times.
The saying is, Less is More. That is incredibly true in our game. It’s when we begin subtracting all the mental minutia and clutter that we can finally begin to focus on what really matters behind the trigger. Consider stopping for a moment to examine what is and is not working in your shooting – and WHY – specifically. Once that truthful analysis gets underway, you’ll discover what isn’t working. Now you really can and should discard everything that’s restricting your progress and move your game up to the next level.
More complicates; more is cumbersome; more opens the door to errors. By learning and using the basics results in a simpler, economic effort that puts more X’s on a scorecard. Always has – always will.
Hang in there, Spring is coming! Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
Dan Schindler is one of only 60 worldwide members of theGuild of Shooting Instructors (UK) and is one of the most highly respected Sporting Clays and Wingshooting Instructors in the US. Dan is an NSCA Level III Instructor (since 1995) and founded the Paragon School of Sporting with one goal in mind. Whether it be for the advanced competitor or providing the basics to the entry-level shooter, Paragon provides the simplest, most practical and most effective Instruction, Coaching and Mental Training for the Sporting Clays & Wingshooting enthusiast. Dan Schindler helps shooters alleviate a lot of their frustration by taking the mystery out of breaking targets, calling their own misses and make their own corrections. Lessons are fun, enlightening and our clients learn to shoot better in minutes!
Take Your Best Shot is THE Gold Standard Primer and is all about the fundamentals, a requirement for good shooting. This book is used by high school and college shooting teams, recreational and competitive shooters from around the world. Solid, valuable, concise information that has helped thousands of shooters shoot more consistently with higher scores.
To The Target (Book II) Builds on the steps outlined in Book I. Emphasises Gun Management skills when the trap fires, creating a consistent, reliable, trustworthy swing.
Beyond the Target (Book III) is for shooters of all levels, filled with valuable information, clay target truths. Entertaining and a culmination of 3 decades of Dan' life's work as a teacher, competitor, published writer and much more.
"Take Your Best Shot is the best clay and wingshooting shooting primer on the market that I have ever seen. The brilliance of its simplicity aids in getting across the correct messages for successful shooting for ANY clay/wingshooting shooter, let alone a new shooter. As a master instructor, founder/Head Coach of the Jacksonville University Shooting Team (a national championship program), and JU faculty member, Take Your Best Shot is standard reading for ALL of our varsity shooters. Dan has managed to capture the basics beautifully, and he has placed them in an easy, simple-to-follow, witty presentation. My students love the book and read it time and again. Highly recommend, no matter what your level of shooting experience and expertise."
David T. Dobson, M.B.A.
Paragon Master Instructor
NSCA Instructor, Level III
NSSA Instructor, Level III
"As a successful youth clay target Coach and competitor, I assure you, the shooting fundamentals are vital, the absolutely necessary foundation under developing consistency and improving performances every time the trigger is pulled. Take Your Best Shot is the greatest publication ever written on how to increase X’s on a scorecard and put more game birds in a hunting vest. In plain language, Take Your Best Shot teaches the essential, non-negotiable basics for building shooting excellence. It should be a required text for every clay target shooter, Wingshooter, Coach, Instructor and parent of a youth shooter who is looking for a step-by-step shooting “system” that is easy to understand, repeatable and utterly dependable. Take Your Best Shot is not only the best but the only book that provides this knowledge. Seriously – Take Your Best Shot is a must have for every shotgunner."
Jeff Allen, Head Coach Carolina Clays Paragon School of Sporting Professional Instructor NSCA Level II Instructor NSSA Skeet Instructor NC State Scholastic Clay Target Program Advisor & Coach NC State Scholastic Clay Target Program Trap Director