As an Instructor, Coach and published writer, I’ve personally written maybe half a billion words on how I believe we can improve our shooting. I am deeply appreciative of the positive feedback I have received from my students and my readers over the last 3 decades. Rather than selecting another shooting method or gun management topic, I thought today we might turn all this around and look – not from the Instructor’s standpoint – but at ourselves in the mirror as a student. Before we pick up the phone to discuss lessons, what can we do to help ourselves before signing up for instruction?
Taking an honest and purposeful look at improving our shooting, one word stands out: preparation. Having decided to seek instruction, our Instructor will be obligated to prepare us to succeed not only during our lesson but AFTER. As students, if not obliged, it is recommended that we too prepare for that lesson.
As students, we must be aware that changes in our game are coming. Here’s a very beneficial step in preparing for those changes. First, a little background to help us understand why we are accustomed to doing what we do.
I think most of us can thank our grandfather, father, brothers and well-meaning strangers for teaching us what we know about shooting. And we ourselves learned by using the trial and error method. Please understand, there’s no criticism here. I’m just stating the way it was for many of us folks. Along the way, what we learned created our belief system, what we thought was right, wrong, best. Some of what we learned worked, some of it didn’t. What did work, XXX, reassured us and reinforced our belief that what we just did must have been right. Right? So, naturally, we did that some more. And then, X0XX00X0X. As soon as missing began and doubts crept in, another X reassured us and all was well. See – there they are – XX. And then, 0X00XX00X. There it is again, this X0 cycle repeating itself every time we go to the range. What’s up with that?
“It ain’t what we don’t know that gets us in trouble.
It’s what we believe is true and isn’t.”
When the truth finally surfaces that our shooting is a “sometimes” thing – with consistency conspicuously absent – we each have a choice. We can continue the trial and error method of repeating and reinforcing our personal shooting mistakes – or we can decide to seek answers that will lead us to better results. Today, we are assuming we chose the latter and have decided to retain some assistance.
Personally, more times than I can count, I’ve been both the student taking a lesson and an Instructor. I remember what it was like to walk in and shake hands with my Instructor. I signed up because I knew there was room for improvement, I just didn’t know where it was. BUT – I also knew what was working. It worked and I had the X’s to prove it!! Those beliefs, those methods and X’s, they were set in stone. I was “only” there to learn what I didn’t know.
Instead, I learned that what I already knew was true – wasn’t. As students, after years and maybe decades of putting all our faith in what we knew was true – and wasn’t – what typically follows is an uphill climb to overcome old habits (beliefs), make the changes and rebuild a new belief system. It is a worthwhile climb because the methods are not only proven, logical and make perfect sense, but are consistent, uber-dependable and repeatable. Each trigger-pull success is a revelation – the slow rising dawn of a trustworthy belief system.
Point being, how can we expedite this learning process? We do that – and have so much to gain – by surrendering our opinion that what we already know is correct. It may be – or it may not. We do ourselves a huge favor by voluntarily opening the door to objectively examining what IS working (sometimes) in our game along with what is not. And this we can believe; our advancement will definitely occur a lot faster through an open valve than a clogged filter.
Thanks for visiting with us today. Be safe and I look forward to seeing you out on the course.
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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.
"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
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.
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!