Dec 29, 2018 | By: Daniel Schindler, Paragon Master Sporting Clays and Wingshooting Instructor
If I may, here are a few words about my last post on where to put our attention when the trap machine fires.
History has shown us that skill advancement is not an event. It is a time-consumingprocess, like learning how to assemble and execute a successful swing – consistently. The question is, where do we put our attention during this process? Out there at the target, or back here where swing control and precision are taking place?
Our very first time behind the wheel with a driving Instructor beside us, naturally, we had our attention on what was taking place in front of the car. We also had to learn how much foot pressure to put on the accelerator; how to steer; how to brake smoothly and when to use turn signals. To control everything safely, we had to keep track of what we were doing INSIDE THE CAR. That’s where a large part of our attention had to be.
Thankfully, day by day it became safer and easier, to move more and more of our attention to what was happening outside of our car, a natural “2 step” process which led all of us to where we are today.
Learning to shoot a shotgun successfully follows a similar process, one that begins with putting our attention on the step-by-step procedure of how to control the swing correctly and make it the same each time. This comes first which requires putting our attention on the basics.
True, we have to visually focus “out there” on the target – a non-negotiable basic. Some say that ALL ourattentionmust also be out there at the target. If that’s true, where is the attention on guiding the gun? Where is the focus on controlling the gun movement, the precision so necessary to break the target not once but multiple times, one after the other?
If all the attention is put out there on the targettoo soon– before the set-up and swing basics are learned and applied – what we have now are swing errors and inconsistent results. Guaranteed. If skill advancement truly is the goal – every shell, every swing, and every target – placing our attention on the basics – that process has to come firstbeforewe can safely move our attention forward. Learning and applying those steps in the proper order must come before skill advancement. Determination won’t compensate for swing errors.
Unfortunately, those who skip this learning and putting their attention on the basics are destined not only to make swing errors but then have no choice but to repeat them. Feathered or clay, our targets won’t forgive those errors. At this stage of skill development, to put ALL our attention on trying to break the target – instead of attending to gun control – is a formula for mediocrity and inconsistent results.
There is a learning curve and it applies to anyone and everyone who throws a leg over their first bike or picks up a racket, golf club, handgun, rifle, shotgun, musical instrument or textbook. It is when we shooters put our attention on the required basics first – and then relentlessly hone those basics into a dependable swing process – that we can safely move all or almost all of our attention “out there” where we can trust (not hope) that our swing will break the target.
With our eyes on the target and our attention on the basics, success is not only predictable but repeatable. Why? Because putting our attention on those basics greatly helps us create the NECESSARY swing control, the precision required to break the target. There’s a Truth we can all trust.
Sincerest congratulations to all who, after successfully climbing the learning curve, have raised their consistency and their scores. This is why they can now move their attention forward and trust their swing to work – because it will.
Happy New Year everyone. Cheryl, myself and all Paragon Instructors wish you the very best. 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!
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Take Your Best Shot (Book I) 3rd Edition Pre-Order NOW! Ships ~ January 25, 2019. Is still working and as reliable as ever, thoroughly updated with essential lessons learned over the decades. If you are serious about putting more X’s on your scorecard and more birds in your hunting vest, this beautifully written Primer is where you start. Step by simple step, in plain language and easily understood illustrations, Book I shows you how to build a set-up and swing that is not only rock solid dependable but repeatable. That’s not just an opinion, it’s a promise you can count on.
To The Target (Book II) speaks directly to gun (swing) management—why it is so critically important— how to do it correctly. For the benefit of both Wingshooters in the field and Sporting Clays shooters, Book II was written in plain language that simplifies the correct gun mount and swing process. It very logically explains what typically happens when the gun starts moving and how to correct those unintentional inconsistencies. As pointed out in all 3 books, repeating and reinforcing random gun movements simply can’t lead to skill improvements and better shooting performances. Book II builds on the foundation outlined in Book I.
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