Learn From The Best by Robert R. Comal

hese two new products arrived just in time for Christmas shopping, and they are real treats for any competitive shotgunner or those who would like to be competitive. They make great gifts and are available in our online store. Be sure to get one of each for yourself, too!


With Winning In Mind

“With Winning In Mind”

by Lanny Bassham

Have you ever missed a target and asked yourself: “Why do I keep missing that target?” Or maybe you say something like, “I always have trouble with that bird. I’ll never get the hang of that one.” Normal reactions, it would seem, to missing a target, right? Perhaps, but more important, those words are harmful to your chances of future success on those birds.

With Winning In Mind, authored by Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion Lanny Bassham, teaches readers about the immense power of words — spoken, written and thought words.

We all have been told throughout our lives that words are powerful things. Bassham, the founder and director of Mental Management Systems, believes words can not only convey thoughts and emotions but can directly affect performance in many areas of our lives.

Lanny has for more than 30 years been teaching his Mental Management System techniques to Olympians, business owners and Fortune 500 corporations as well as elite players in both sports and the business community. His list of clients include PGA tour players, Miss America finalists, Miss USA winners, the FBI, the Navy SEALS and many more elite performers. His training has helped many achieve lifelong goals they once thought unattainable.

Bound in hardback, this is the third edition of Lanny’s popular book. In it, you will find eighteen chapters in four sections that describe detailed techniques that can change your performance in sports, life and business. All with the fundamental power of positive words and thoughts.

Lanny bases his Mental Management System on the premise of balance in three mental components: the Conscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind and the Self–Image. The conscious mind controls all the senses — vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell. The subconscious mind is the source of skills and power to perform. The self–image is what makes you “act like you.” It is the total of your habits and attitudes.

Lanny developed his proven techniques for improved mental consistency based upon his personal experiences in the arena of Olympic competition, the most strenuous mental and physical sports challenges in the world.

As shooters, we are naturally attracted to anything that even hints at helping us gain a target or two. I can’t tell you how many times one or two more targets on the scoresheet would have meant a little prize money in my pocket or a trophy. With Winning In Mind can help you gain those precious extra targets and teach you how to elevate the overall level of your game and confidence, permanently!

Pressure! Don’t you wish you were immune to its effects on your performance? Lanny describes pressure in an interesting analogy: “Pressure is like air; too much and you have a hurricane. Too little and you suffocate. But in the correct amount, it is the breath of life.” He teaches you need pressure, and half the fun of competing would be gone without it. Lanny tells you how to make pressure an ally and how you can actually get better at whatever you do with the help of the right amount of pressure.

Lanny says, “Mental management is the process of improving the probability of having a consistent mental performance, under pressure, on demand.” I know I’ve always desired to be the kind of shooter who is able to “turn it on” seemingly at will; you know, like the champions seem to do all the time. Under the Principles of Mental Management in this book, there is one called The Principle of Reinforcement. See if this doesn’t make some real sense to you (it certainly did to me): “The Principle of Reinforcement: The more we think about, talk about and write about something happening, we improve the probability of that thing happening.” That made sense to me. I’ve tried, like most shooters, to improve by going to the range and firing a lot of shells at targets. What started out on most of those days as a problem target I might have improved on by the end of the day. A week or two later in a tournament it raised its head once again and was just as annoying a miss as ever before. With Winning In Mind lays out a very detailed process to help you overcome problem targets and turn them into confidence shots.

Want to stop smoking? With Winning In Mind can help you change your self–image and, combined with Lanny’s goal–setting skills, become a person no longer addicted to smoking. Here’s an excerpt from that section: “Many smokers find it difficult to stop smoking and not return to their old self–image of being a smoker. …the difficulty is due to setting the wrong goal. The goal should not be to stop smoking; the goal should be to become a non–smoker.”

With Winning In Mind is full of true–life examples of the successes people in all walks of life have achieved with Lanny’s mental training methods. Many are used as specific examples of the Principles of Mental Management. Goal setting is stressed in With Winning In Mind, and this is something I have had significant problems with. Lanny explains some of the reasons people fail to set goals or set the wrong goals. After reading this book, I have a much better appreciation of goals and how to set them.

Lanny’s book is a mental training guide that can lead to better performance in sports and other areas of your personal and professional life. The processes, guidelines and training recommendations are worth far more than the few dollars you will spend on the book. With Winning In Mind can have you succeeding with a positive mind in any endeavor you have before you, and you will read this book over and over many times. Get it today and perform better next season!

Timed To Win

“Timed To Win”

With Anthony Matarese, Jr.

If you enjoy the exciting sport of sporting clays and need a bit of help in your clay–breaking techniques (who among us doesn’t), it’s time to watch an exciting instructional DVD from 15–time NSCA All–American and 2008 Nationals Champion Anthony Matarese, Jr. Anthony is considered by many to be one of the leaders of the new generation of sporting clays shooters in the world. He began his rise to the highest ranks of sporting clays when he was a Junior shooter in 1995. Now Anthony has teamed with Champion Video Productions to provide a DVD that teaches viewers his unique methods for scoring on sporting clays birds.

Originally coached when only a youngster by the great Dan Carlisle, Anthony has developed what he terms his “Dynamic Approach” to breaking targets. Anthony believes there is more than one method that will allow the shooter to break the bird, and in this two–DVD set he coaches you both in the classroom and on the range on his successful techniques.

Disc One begins with Anthony being introduced by Dan Carlisle. Anthony explains briefly how he feels the game of sporting clays has changed over the years and how his Dynamic Approach will give viewers several ways to break the target based on strong fundamentals and core principles. These techniques allow the shooter to step into the stand, analyze the presentation and determine which approach to use to break that specific bird.

The very first topic Anthony discusses is what he considers to be the most important in any type of clay shooting: Focus. He explains it’s not the type of mental focus most would think. What he means by Focus is on every target you ever see you should be working hard visually to see the target clearly, actually look at a specific part of the bird. He suggests you try to see something on the bird — a step, a shiny spot, anything that will ensure you really see the bird and are not just looking in the direction of the bird or between the bird and the barrel.

Anthony demonstrates what he’s talking about by showing viewers different types of clay targets — Rabbits, orange–domed standards, Battues and others. Whether you are a rank beginner or seasoned competitor who’s shooting for a world championship, Anthony says focus is the most important thing you have to do to take more birds.

Next, Anthony discusses and demonstrates gun mount. He shows viewers different forms of the mount — low, premounted and what he calls a “cheat” mount (not fully up to the face but still off the shoulder). Anthony says the speed of your mount will not always be the same but should always be timed according to the speed of the target and the position of your hold point in relation to the trap. An example would be if your target is a fast bird or your hold point is close to the trap, you would have to mount faster in order to meet the bird with the proper relationship to your barrel. In contrast, your mount would be much slower on a target that comes to you very slowly or just seems to hang out in the air with little speed. Anthony emphasizes the timing aspect of the gun mount is a changing thing; you will mount to your face at differing speeds depending on what you want to do with the bird.

“When and Where” is the title of Chapter 4, which deals with which presentations of targets allow you to use a low gun mount, a premounted gun or a “cheat” mount. Anthony holds that a “trap type” presentation is one where he recommends a premounted gun. In the classroom, Anthony uses a diagram on the dry–erase board to illustrate the different shot types. The shooter is located near the 6 o’clock position, and trap–type shots would have the shooter utilizing a premounted gun when the traps are situated in front of the shooting stand firing the bird straightaway. Or, as optional positions, the traps may be located near the 7 or 5 o’clock positions and throwing going–away views of the bird.

Anthony shows other gun mount options, as well, such as the “cheat” mount. The traps for this mount could also be at 5 or 7 o’clock but throwing a slightly more angled target, the beginnings of a crossing presentation. A flight path originating near the 8 or 4 o’clock areas would be a “cheat” to low–gun mount approach.

Anthony’s main thrust in that chapter is the mount will be premounted, “cheat” or low–gun depending on the angle of the line of flight relative to the shooter.

Champter 5 of Disc One deals with a target presentation that has given me problems off and on: the shallow quartering target. After a few minutes in the classroom, Anthony takes viewers to the range and demonstrates his suggested technique for this shot. He recommends the insertion point of the barrel be on or just behind the target, utilizing a fairly fast low–gun or “cheat” mount due to the near placement of the trap and the speed of the target.

At first I was a bit puzzled when Anthony suggested the insertion point could be behind the bird, but as he explained the possible problems a shooter could encounter when attempting to mount in front of this bird every time, it made much more sense to me. Anthony returns to the classroom and details on the dry–erase board his specific technique on this presentation. After some shots at the range using Anthony’s techniques, this chapter helped me a lot.

Chapter 6 is on the deep quartering target. This target presentation is similar to the shallow version only it originates from farther away. This bird bothers the daylights out of me.

Anthony tells viewers many of the same concepts as with the shallow quartering target can be used: look point, hold point and where you determine the break point should be. With the shallow quartering bird, Anthony suggested inserting the bead of the gun just at the back of the target. On the deep quartering target, he suggests the mount bring the gun up to meet the bird at the front of the target or even a little in front of the bird.

Anthony believes the low–gun or “cheat” mount techniques work best on the deep quartering target. He demonstrates his method on several shots with the camera showing an over–the–shoulder view of the overall process. I watched this section many times and tried it out on the course. The technique works, but I’m definitely a work in progress on this bird!

Chapter 7 covers The Crosser. This target is probably the one that gives more shooters trouble than any other on a sporting clays course. Anthony stresses where you place the gun and how you get it there (the timing of the mount) is very important to consistent breaks on this bird.

One of the first things Anthony emphasizes here is to pay attention to the speed of the bird from the trap to your hold point. He says this is critical for you to be able to time your mount properly. Additionally, Anthony suggests on any full crosser you mount at least on the front edge of the bird, never behind it. He demonstrates on the dry–erase board the first move is the mount, timed to meet the front side of the target at the hold point. With a properly timed mount, hard focus on the target and a gun moving a bit faster than the target, you will be much more successful on crossing shots. More over–the–shoulder and down–the–barrel views show you just what Anthony sees on this bird. He demonstrates breaking crossing birds at 20, 30, 40 and even 50 yards with his technique. Be sure to watch this chapter several times!

Anthony rounds up Disc One with five critical points to cover every time you step into the shooting cage: Find your break point on the path of the bird; find the optimum hold point; time the mount; correct placement of the gun in relation to the bird’s angle and speed; and, finally, focus on the bird. Disc Two has Anthony teaching his techniques on early birds — timing the gun to face and shoulder with the required lead achieved at the moment the mount is completed. These are Chandelles, Teal targets, trap–type shots, trap/Teal–type shots, incomers, overhead shots, Rabbits (I paid extra attention to this part) and edge–type rising targets.

This disc culminates in a “Meeting of the Minds” — a casual conversation between Dan Carlisle and Anthony. They discuss the importance of the shooter believing in himself, a good work ethic, strong fundamentals, “feeling” the shot, the mental aspect of the game, routines and much more. It is invaluable insight from two pros. Timed To Win is an instructional sporting clays 2–DVD set put together by one of the country’s premier shooters and instructors — Anthony Matarese, Jr. — that definitely belongs in your video library!