Maybe you are seeking a proven method that can help you elevate your game? Something specific you can work into your practice? Trust me, I get that. Let me say again how much I respect your being here.
Today and in the Newsletters ahead, I thought we could look at what I always refer to as the Basics. Some are non-negotiable. Some have a little latitude where the others have less or none at all. We’ll list each one and why they are important. Yes, they are included in my 3 books in greater detail if you wish to gain a better understanding of the applications of each Basic.
If you’ve been following my writing, some of this will be a bit redundant. Thanks for the latitude.
If your performances and scores are a bit below expectations, know that we were all in the same place not that long ago. Keep going. We’re all glad you are here with us.
Shooting equipment – guns and all your gear – are important. They are an inspiring source of confidence and rightfully so. Celebrate the rewards they bring you. However, when it’s all said and done – XXXX or OXOO – the level of performance in the shooting box will be decided by whoever’s finger is on the trigger.
“A true measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
You already have all the talent you will ever need to improve your shooting. That’s a Truth. To build a “skill,” however, requires adding knowledge (the Basics), work and a willingness to change what you are doing. What’s currently missing is the information – the shooting system – the “steps” you must add to your set-up and swing process to create higher scores and consistency.
When the trap fires, a target’s flight time is finite. What our gun is doing during that time is largely decided by our set-up on the target before the trap fires. Errors early in the swing are commonly caused by set-up mistakes, i.e., compromised Basics. Understandably and very predictably, a set-up that starts incorrectly, predictably leads to a swing that ends incorrectly. OOOO. Good shooters are not lucky. Before and during each swing – step-by-step precision is planned and intentional. Yes, an inconsistent set-up and swing can and will break targets – sometimes. But never consistently.
Once the target is in the air, trust your MA (muzzle awareness). Eyes on the target – always. Muzzle awareness in your “peripheral” vision –always. Staring at the target harder and harder with no MA can only leave you assuming where (you hope) your muzzle really is. What’s not commonly asked and should be is this: how long can you keep trusting what you can’t see and isn’t working? MA allows you to see the essential (correct) sight “pictures” – target / barrel “relationships.” Only then will you know – exactly – what went right or wrong in your swing so you can a) correct the error, or b) repeat the successful swing. This we must know to put more X’s on a scorecard.
To borrow from our last Newsletter, “The higher scores ladder is made up of time, education, shells and targets. Instruction puts the rungs in the right order.”
Next time we’ll take a focused look at how to set up correctly, where to put our attention, how to practice and more.
We hope to see you then. Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
Dan Schindler is one of only 60 worldwide members of the Guild 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!
Here's what Michael Bane (Outdoor Channel Shooting Gallery) had to say about Dan Schindler:
We were filming a sporting clays episode of SHOOTING GALLERY, something you guys have been asking me about for years. The big delay was finding an instructor I was comfortable with and felt would fit into the SG model, such as it is. I found Dan Schindler through his book, TO THE TARGET, and his work on mental training and was impressed with his holistic view of the shooting sports. He proved to be every bit as good — and better — than we expected. As always, my goal is take-home value, which I think you guys have come to expect. He is truly a world-class instructor capable of taking complex actions and breaking them down into simple, repeatable pieces...and good heavens, doesn't sport shooting need more of that!
Take the MYSTERY out of missing targets and help you quickly learn steps to shoot more CONSISTENTLY! Order Dan's 3 books NOW!
Newest Release...Take Your Best Shot (Book I), 3rd Edition isTHE 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
Mark EngenThese three books are a must-read for all clay target shooters. They are clear, concise, logical instructions on how to shoot clay targets and how to improve your scores. Taking a lesson from Dan would be very advantageous & help hasten the learning process. He has been my instructor for 15 years. With each lesson, I always come away amazed how much I have learned & how my scores improve. He also emphasizes how important it is to practice regularly & stay with his advice & recommendations to really learn new skills to improve your scores. He has helped me tremendously & I highly recommend him.
Don N Lisha SanteGot my three-book set. Read Take Your Best Shot (Book I) and can’t put book II down. Can’t wait to apply all I’ve learned tomorrow now that the rains gone.
Steve PowersI got my copy about a month ago. I’ve read it twice, cover to cover & reviewed the sequence of steps multiple times. Good Book.
Jim ButlerI've read my copies twice now and it has absolutely picked up my game. Joined a sporting clays league this spring. Increased my top score by 7. Thought them to be expensive at first, but now find them extremely valuable now. Thank You !!!
David ParksReceived mine yesterday and have one chapter left to read. Can’t wait to get to the range and practice the new techniques I have learned. Now I feel like I have a system to work with instead of shoot and hope.
Bill FibelkornCalled the number on their website, ( leary of ordering through Facebook posts) and Mr. Schlinder himself answered the phone. One of the most pleasant people I have ever talked to about anything. Whenever I get a chance to get down his way, I am going to get in touch with him to shoot. Got my books this weekend, read the first one and it reminded me of the basics. Just started on the second one, going to keep reading them over and over. The best reading you have for shooting clays.