Many years ago I wrote about match preparation in what turns out to be a vague and general manner. That’s because 20 years ago I hadn’t read much about that aspect of competition preparation in any sport. Now we have much more information, and the science for this comes from a number of fields including sports, business and music. While the sources are diverse, the principles are pretty much the same and seem to apply across the board.
I am sure if you ask ten people what the difference is between “training” and “practice” in sport, over half will probably tell you they are the same, and the remainder will all provide different definitions. However, training and practice are different. To become extremely proficient in any sport, an athlete needs to do both.
Recently I had a friend, a musician, who asked me how he could reach “The Zone” on a regular basis. If you have ever had this experience, you know The Zone is a real thing, an altered state in which everything seems to go on automatic. You are more or less an observer of the action, and there is a feeling of calm not normally felt. You are totally focused on the task, and things seem perfect.
The .410 bore, commonly referred to as the little gun, has been a source of much discussion relative to how much practice one should do with it and one’s attitudes towards shooting it in competition. Let’s put it this way: some people like to shoot it and some people don’t for an assortment of reasons.
The question I am going to try to answer in this article is what the attitude towards the little gun really is; and if some of the more prominent names in skeet practice with it as much as they do other guns, and if so, why?
“I’ve failed over and over again and that’s why I succeed.”
These days I go to the YMCA on a regular basis — I’m not getting any younger — and I notice there seems to be a perpetual basketball game which involves the same 30-something-year-old participants who clearly are either college-level players or high school stars. I mention these players because I noticed one thing about them: they seemed to be stuck at their ability levels, and the games were very predictable, at least as far as each player goes.
Have you ever thought about angle, distance and speed and how they affect lead? Do they play an important part in a shooter's success and score? I saw a post on the internet a while back that asked these same questions. I was really surprised at some of the replies. Many were good, some even great, but some were confusing. The poster of one of these replies asked another question that made me think long and hard about this subject.
As people become experts at anything, a number of changes occur. These changes are both physical and mental, resulting in the automation of skills and changes in the way we view our area of interest or domain. This process occurs in every field of expertise, including learning how to be a good shotgun competitor.
I’ve often been asked how I deal with pressure when shooting a good score. There is no easy answer to this question, and I can tell you my experience has been that handling the pressure of a good score is one of the toughest things to do. The reward, though, is a great feeling of accomplishment when you are able to put a good score to bed, despite the pressure. What follows are some of my thoughts on dealing with pressure situations and some techniques I have found successful in overcoming the negative effects pressure can have on your score.
But first, this opening tirade. I am writing this as the nation is recovering from the horrific mass murders in Las Vegas. While we might know what prompted Stephen Paddock to shoot all those people by the time you read this issue, we can hope learning that might help prevent another such massacre. Meanwhile, we can only express condolences for the victims and their families. Of course, the print and television media are clamoring for gun control (again) and while it might seem logical to assume readers of this magazine are not in favor of such legislation, the impact of Mr.
To say the 2017 NSCA National Sporting Clays Championships was a success would be a grand understatement. Even though Mother Nature threw some nasty winds in the faces of the hardened competitors on one of the days, this did not deter their spirit one iota. They kept right on breaking some target presentations that were pushing the inside of the ballistics envelope even before the wind. These same targets were beyond ridiculous when the wind came up.