Mental Training > Prospective Hindsight

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

—Robert Burns

While doing research for a book I am writing, I came across a number of papers that studied how people prepare for projects or develop business plans. There were a lot of good ideas offered, but one of the most interesting things I found out is a lot of businesses are failures in spite of good plans and good execution of those plans.

Skeet Hoopla

Clay target shooting has many disciplines. Among them are American Skeet, International Skeet, ATA, PITA and Olympic Trap, Helice, Sporting Clays, Crazy Quail, Powder Pigeon and others. People who shoot these various disciplines do so because they like the way the various games are played. I believe their preferences stem from the unpredictability of the target presentations while others emulate hunting situations.

Controlling Your Vision

The most important fundamental in shooting or any hand-eye coordination sport, for that matter, is the focusing of the eyes on the object, in our case the target. Even though it is the most important, it is the least understood and perfected of all components of shooting.

Fabarm L4S Sporting

Like a lot of shooters who participate in the clay target games, I will often shoot with over/unders some days and semi-auto shotguns other days. I thoroughly enjoy shooting my over/unders. They fit me well, are comfortable to shoot (primarily because they do fit me), are attractive and, admittedly, there is a level of pride I feel when shooting an over/under. But, if I had to be brutally honest, and someone asked me which design I shoot better, I would have to say the semi-autos. Why is that?

Herb Orre and the Super Choke

I am sure many of our present-day shooters have never heard of Herb Orre or for that matter, his Super Choke, but in the history of trapshooting he was a very influential and important person. In his years of choking barrels, it was often said he had broken more clay targets than any other man who had lived. Not that he had, but his Super Choke had broken the targets. He choked all models and makes, but if you had a Model 12 you shot trap with, you just had to have a Herb Orre Super Choke in it.

American Trap: Setting Up For Success

Trap guns have evolved rapidly over the past few decades. When I started competitive shooting almost 50 years ago, an adjustable stock was dependent on how much moleskin you could affix to the comb. Adjusting the impact of the barrel usually involved a fork in a large tree or giving the barrel a few strong “whacks” over several bags of shot on the tailgate of a pickup truck. Fortunately, most trap guns today come with an adjustable comb and some come with adjustable ribs to change the point of impact (without bending the barrel!).

Mental Training - Deliberate Practice, Deliberate Play

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Karl Marx (among a whole host of others)

Recently I spoke to a high school shotgun team and their parents about the value of mental training. During that speech I mentioned practice should not be fun because it is supposed to be hard work. I used the example I mention a lot in this column, that shooting a round of skeet is not practice unless you are trying to learn how to shoot a round of skeet.

SAAMI Setting the Standards

It is a typical Saturday morning at your local gun club, and along with the large gathering of shooters, are shotguns and ammunition from just about every conceivable manufacturer. Today the shooters will give little, if any, thought as to whether the ammunition they have purchased will fit and fire safely in their favorite shotgun. For that, they can thank the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, the industry-sponsored institute commonly known as SAAMI.

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