Jan 8, 2021 | By: Daniel Schindler, Master Sporting Clays, Skeet, Trap and Wingshooting Instructor
Would you be interested in the "secret" to advance your shooting skills? Like, starting today? A simple answer, no double-talk. Before you roll your eyes and say, "Yeah, sure Dan," please take a moment to consider this.
"The only thing wrong with being self-taught is the teacher."
~ Author Unknown
For those of us with enquiring minds who have more questions than answers about our shooting, the road to real, actual, measurable improvement brings us to these 2 very specific steps. In my experienced opinion, it will be difficult indeed to advance your skills without going through each of these 2 steps, first one, then the other.
Assuming you’re not shooting perfect scores at the moment and are not making any headway with that stubborn plateau in your shooting – the 1st step requires that you stop – take a moment to honestly, objectively and diligently find what needs “changing” in your game. The requirement here is to learn – specifically – what is holding you back, what is causing your inconsistencies and has you stuck in your current plateau. Why? Well, until you learn what to change, all that’s left is continuing what you are doing – the same way you always have – hoping for (expecting?) better results from yourself. Sound right? No, you’re right, it doesn’t. Doing the same things over and over again in the shooting box – repeating and reinforcing your old habits / errors – and expecting a different result? Sorry, but that won’t happen. As Rick Smith, N.S.C.A. Level III used to say, “The truth is like medicine. It may taste bad but it’s good for you.”
Try as some might be, you can't begin the 2nd step until you complete the 1st. Once that is accomplished – armed with the new, very specific knowledge of what needs changing in your game – you arrive at the 2nd step. The requirement of the 2nd step is the commitment to now implement those changes in your game. While that sounds simple enough, there will be obstacles, not the least of which will be missing, frustration, setbacks, trial and error, etc. These hurdles, I promise you, won’t be enjoyable. Not one bit. And right on schedule, here comes the pitfall, the # 1 reason why all those good intentions to improve fail.
Because there’s no fun in XOXOOXOX, over and over again when the missing begins and the frustration builds, each of these difficulties will do its dead-level best to tempt you back to old, comfortable habits. Those frustrating misses – the swing that did not work like it was supposed to – will entice you, offering you a quick exit back to a few reassuring X’s here and there. Back to the old, “happy place” way of doing things. Oh, and by the way, by “back” I mean welcome back to the plateau, more missing, frustration, doubts and confusion you wanted to get away from in the beginning.
"Inconsistency isn’t the problem…
Finding and correcting the inconsistency is the problem."
The # 1 most important, guiding principle that leads to advancement and consistency is change. The secret. It won’t be the most determined shooter – the most intelligent, the most talented, or gifted who makes it to the top – but rather the one who finds and makes the “necessary” changes in his/her game. Passion, equipment, determination, dedication and practice all come 2nd to the secret – change – the shortest path to real, measurable progress, and higher scores. First learning what to change – and then making those changes – absolutely will create more improvement, putting more Xs on your score card.
There was a time long ago when our natural, eye-hand coordination would suffice, allowing us to post good scores. No longer. Today’s technical target presentations – outstanding in creativity – simply demand far more swing precision (critical gun management) than ever before. Skeet and Trap shooters, they already know, compromising your swing precision equals a missed target – guaranteed. The same applies in Sporting Clays and especially now when our targets are becoming increasingly demanding.
OK…so, what changes should you make? Good question. Can’t say until the shooting is watched carefully and competently evaluated. The good news is, set-up and swing errors can’t hide. There are very specific answers IF the eyes know what to look for – the “correct” changes are made – depending on the shooter’s strengths which should be kept intact. Because incorrect changes would be costly indeed.
"The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence,
regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Thanks for visiting with us 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!
"Recommended for shooters of all skill levels, Coaches, Instructors
and parents of youth shooters."
Schindler's books are written for shooters like you!
Take the mystery out of missing targets and feathers with Dan Schindler's simple, easy-to-understand books. They're your road map for consistently and dependably shooting higher scores.
Warning: Shooters from around the world tell us ...if you lend these 3 excellent books to your shooting buddies, you may never see the books again! Some say they'd give up their spouse before they give up these books.
Take Your Best Shot (Book I), 3rd Edition isTHE Gold Standard Primer It's 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's life's work as a teacher, competitor, published writer, and much more.
Here's what Shooters, Coaches and Clay Shooting USA saying...
"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."
Jacksonville University Sporting, Skeet & Trap Team
(Founding & Head Coach)
SCTP & ACUI Event and Divisional National Champions
Paragon Master Instructor
NSCA Instructor, Level III
NSSA Instructor, Level III
"Take Your Best Shot is the greatest publication ever written on how to increase X’s on a score card 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
“Few authors have tried to take the shooter on from the novice stage to serious competitor. “To The Target” does just that and it is one of the most innovative and important books yet published on the art of shooting clay targets.”
"This third volume in the Paragon school trilogy is the second best thing to booking a lesson with Schindler himself. Dan writes the way he coaches in person: respectfully, provocatively, humorously, and, most of all, effectively. His new book informs the Sporting Clays arts not only with a clear and proven blueprint for breaking (many) more targets, but with great heart as well."