Secrets to Breaking More Clay Targets Consistently
Jun 2, 2018 | By: Daniel Schindler, Paragon Master Sporting Clays Instructor; Wingshooting Instructor; Mental Coach
Please be patient and bear with me as I lead into this story. I promise it will circle back around to why you stopped by here in the first place.
I used to be a serious golfer, self-taught from my first swing. There was never a lack of enthusiasm or determination on my part, just the thrill of my initial gear purchases after which I showed up, gripped it and ripped it. Though I had more fun than any one person might aught to have, the problem with being self-taught is usually the teacher.
A true, ”long ball hitter” in baseball, golf was definitely an adventure for me. And for those on the fairways bordering both sides of mine. My problem was never distance…it was direction. And I’ve been told by those who keep track of their handicap and such, that’s important in golf. Per golf etiquette in a long delay situation, the golfers already down the fairway in front of us would often turn around and wave, signaling us to “go ahead and hit.” At the urging of my laughing friends who couldn’t resist…who said I played a game called “gorilla golf” …I stepped up and attempted to put the ball deep into the left-field bleachers. When I struck the ball well, it would sail impressively over the heads of the group ahead of us and roll to a stop 75 yards beyond them. Sometimes. Other times it would launch out of sight, over the trees, coming to rest at the feet of another golfer preparing to tee off on the fairway next to ours. Or ricochet off a neighboring flagstick on a crowded green. Rarely appreciating the fact that I just hit a 320 yard laser…albeit a teensy bit off course…instead I always got that hard, disapproving scowl as their cart passed mine. Now, many years later, in retrospect I should have said, “Hey, gimme a break, I’m an instinctive golfer.”
20 some years ago, I vowed to take took a more studious approach. I decided to actually study my how-to books and take some golf instruction. Aha…so that’s why grip and foot position are important. OK, so I’m a little slow. Remember though, in all fairness, I previously didn’t need directions. I was an intelligent, capable man, not one to be slowed by hitting a motionless ball off the turf with a club. I mean really…how hard could that be?
What does all this have to do with Sporting Clays, Wing shooting or any of the clay target disciplines? Well, actually, quite a bit.
And now…I am blessed to have the privilege of sitting across from one of my students who wants more than my opinions. He seeks workable answers…Truths. His questions speak volumes. Basically, he says he’s tired of not knowing. He’s absolutely positive there’s more to this shooting game than he knows. He’s tried one shooting method after another and listened to endless opinions. Yet his frustration in the shooting box continues, confounded by this sense of mystery. The secrets of success beckon and then elude him. I’m told there’s this empty space between the shot and the result of the shot. Whatever happened…why did that happen? And, if the target did break, why can’t he do that 5 times in a row?
The Truth is…many years ago, a bunch of us stepped right out of the hunting fields onto a Trap or Skeet range, then finally Sporting Clays. What we had was our instinctive shooting. Yes, we could break targets just by using instincts. Predictably…inevitably…our shooting exceeded the capabilities of pure instinctive shooting. Why may have been a mystery, but 0X00X0 stood out on the scorecard. What’s absent is the how and why, or, said another way, what goes where. Specifically. Not just what happened…but more importantly…why did that happen? Specifically. 00. Where were the set-up and/or swing error(s)? Before the trigger pull…not after?
My student, up to now, (like so many) has been shooting in the dark. X or 0…has, pretty much, all been an unknown. This is completely understandable. But it’s not a mystery. Not with a golf club or a shotgun.
It’s amazing what a little knowledge can do. Just think where I’d personally be if I’d done my homework on the links and then the Pro tour. I could have taken gorilla golf to a whole new level. No doubt Tiger, Jack, Phil and Rory are all greatly relieved.
By inserting the A, B, C structure into a shooter’s set-up and swing createsa remarkable transformation in the shooting box. Assembling…then implementing the answers he knew were out there…there’s a renewed confidence, a resurgence of faith once lost in him, now found. For the first time, as the set-up and swing mechanics are applied, instinct is supplemented with a plan, a series of steps, a more precise and much (much) more dependable approach to the target. The process…the system…yields so much more than 1 broken bird. Now we have repeatability. Now we have dependability. This is no small revelation. Mystery ended…no longer does he have to wonder why he hit or missed the target. The entire shot process can be watched, seen, adjusted or duplicated. XXXXXXXX. These are not just broken targets. These are targets broken on purpose!
Are you content with your shooting? If so, be happy. We can shoot in the dark and break targets. But, for those who decide that breaking targets “sometimes” just isn’t enough…there is more out here. Clear, logical, step-by-step structure ends the mystery. Learning the structure empowers the individual, regardless of the sport or endeavor. Hope is no longer the plan. This very specific knowledge creates a set-up on the target that starts…and ends a swing correctly. XX. Most importantly…with the structure…how to correct the swing mistake…how to repeat the successful shot…is no longer left to chance.
Be assured, there are answers on how to take your entire game to the next level. Logical, sensible, common sense answers that open up a whole new world of more dependable, more gratifying experiences in the shooting box.
Shoot safely…and I look forward to seeing you out on the course!
Dan Schindler has been a full-time, professional Sporting Clays and Wingshooting Instructor since 1990, and is a master instructor, competitor, and Coach. Dan has continuously refined his shooting program to competently help shooters of all levels - regardless of their shooting issues - accelerating their skill advancement. Steadily, by building solid fundamentals and properly executing the process, shooters learn how to implement the best shooting methods for each of the various target presentations. Then learn how to correct their own misses and how to repeat the successful swing. In simple, logical steps, Dan takes the mystery out of your shooting, thus, predictably raising your X count.
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.