Jun 16, 2018 | By: Daniel Schindler, Paragon Master Sporting Clays Instructor and Wingshooting Teacher
You shot well today. Even your swing mistakes managed to catch a piece, XX. Everything just felt right, the targets looked slower than usual. Every X reinforced the momentum…your confidence a force driving the gun. Planned and rehearsed, sight picture after sight picture appeared right on time, again and again. XXXXXX. This momentum carried you through the final 3 stations to your best tournament score ever.
It’s 2:15 in the clubhouse and you’re reminiscing so many good shots today. A friend strolls by and says you’ve tied the club “protester” and there’ll be a shoot-off at 2:45.
The protester has a reputation for disruptive behavior in the shooting box, too often claiming hits that weren’t. You’re not alone in having seen this first-hand, finding his distasteful, unsettling conduct a rash on our good sport. Your good mood was all too fleeting, exchanged for thoughts of dealing with this unpleasant individual in the shoot-off. Gear arranged, you walk to the 5-Stand, ever more anxious over having a contest with this man. Gone is the confidence you had earlier…intensifying your frustration. How long will it be before he starts berating the scorekeeper? Which one of us will be first to shoot? If he starts trouble today, I’ll have something to say about that!
OK…time out, let’s you (the reader) and I watch the shoot-off. I predict the protestor will win. Not because he’s a better shot…because he isn’t…but because our gentleman above is no longer focusing on his shooting…his game. The protester holds his full attention. If you read the paragraph above, it’s obvious our shooter is seriously distracted and has little attention left for the target presentations he will face. The reality now is, our shooter has regrettably “given his game away” …by moving his attention to the protester. Preoccupied with his own self-created distractions and resulting pressure…and not his own game…the shoot-off outcome is predictable and likely inevitable.
The point here is this. Our attention is very much like a flashlight. It can only be pointed in one direction, so where we point it makes all the difference. Pointing our attention at anything but our shooting process…our gun management…instantly puts our best swing in jeopardy. Which is why it’s imperative we put…and keep…all our attention on the target in front of us…not who’s standing beside or behind us.
Be safe and thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you out on the course.
Dan Schindler is one of only 60 worldwide members of the Guild of Shooting Instructors, U.K. 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 you'll learn to shoot better in minutes!
Take Your Best Shot (Book I) is all about the fundamentals, a requirement for good shooting.
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.