Last week I was out on the range training with a friend. After he shot a stage we debriefed and talked about a target he had missed. It was the closest target to him and he said something like “I should have got the easy one”.
This started a conversation about hard and easy targets and why I believe there is no such thing.
Whether we shoot shotgun, rifle or pistol we are trying to hit targets. Some will be close, others far away and a few sneakily hidden by no shoots or even moving. Its natural when you look at a stage to start to plan it out and think Hmmm…. that plate at 15m with a no shoot next to it looks really hard. If we give it that category “HARD” it can have a strange effect on the brain.
So what happens? We run the stage and we are thinking about the hard target and then we miss the one before or after it. Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever heard anyone come off a stage and say “I got the hard one but missed the easy one before/after it”.
So is it any better when we think of EASY targets. I have another friend that I shoot with. He is a good shot and fast and I know that if he is going to miss a target it will be at 5 meters. Why? Because he disrespects the target. After the swearing and cursing has died down, his language will give him away. He wonders why he missed the EASY target.
By calling it EASY he disregarded it. Pulled the trigger too quick, without any real sight picture and missed completely.
So what is a better way?
They are all targets but they require different types of sight picture. We just think about them as targets. To knock one down you need to have the sights on the target and then pull the trigger without disrupting that sight picture. If a target is close to us, it will require a less accurate sight picture and we maybe able to shoot it faster. If the target is half covered by a no shoot it may require a slightly better sight picture and you may be aiming at an edge rather than the centre. A target at distance will appear smaller and require again more attention.
So we don’t think about hard or easy targets. They are all targets just some require more or less of a sight picture before we release the shot.
What I have noticed in my own shooting is that when I stopped categorising them and just treated them as individual targets it made the stage less stressful and as a result my accuracy and times have improved.
These are the books that have helped with my shooting in Practical Shotgun/Rifle and Rifle Steel Challenge.
I would recommend getting the kindle versions as they are much cheaper and available instantly. You don’t need a kindle to view them. There are free apps to use them on any smart phone, tablet or PC.
The Mental Game
With Winning in Mind - (also available in audiobook) Compulsory reading recommended by Steve Anderson, Bob Vogel and countless others.
The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle. This explains how we learn and how exceptional performance comes about with the body’s production of myelin.
Bounce - Matthew Syed. A further explanation of Myelin from a champions own perspective and a look at other influences on high level performance. He is also English and a lot of his examples are British.
Practice Perfect - by Doug Lemov. My current favourite for learning how to implement training in the most effective way. It uses all the latest discoveries and is the next step on from books like the Talent code and Bounce.
Attainment -Troy Bassham – (audiobook). Another good Bassham title. I have the aduiobook. Troys narration is not the best but the information is very good
The Dip Seth Godin – Not a shooting related title but helped me realise why you have to keep pushing in training to get through the dip.
Freedom Flight - Lanny Bassham. An inspirational story from Lanny. No real training benefit but if you liked his first book then look this one up later.
The Chimp Paradox - Dr Steve Peters. This is the guy that advises the Sky cycling team. Lots of people rave about it but I found it very hard to get into. Bit of a marmite one. It has helped lots of people, just not my cup of tea.
Practical Shooting - Brian Enos. Probably the hardest book to make sense of. I don’t recommend it for any beginner.
Your competition Handgun Training Program - Mike Seeklander – Fantastic guide to setting out a training regime for top performance. I have used this for my shotgun training.
Champion Shooting - Ben Stoeger – A good guide to practical pistol.
Other Gun related
Draw, The Greatest gun fights of the American West - James Reasoner – An interesting read on what probably happened in the Wild West rather than what is portrayed in the movies.
The Art of the Rifle - Jeff Cooper – A bit dated and not really relevant to practical disciplines but interesting in a kind of historical way.
In my opinion Steve has had the greatest impact on my shooting, mainly from his podcasts. His first two books were good for training dry fire and classics. His latest title Get to Work is fantastic and a must read. Unfortunately they are only available in hard copy direct from America so it makes them slow to get and expensive. I would suggest you get Get to Work rather than the other two if you are on a budget.
Steve also does free podcasts where you will get 80% of what he teaches for free. There are about 120 and I started at the beginning and have listened to them all. Be warned he is a bit mad and breaks them up with Van Halen, barking dogs and lots of laughing.
If you have never used podcasts find a teenager to set up your phone for you. If you have a newish car you can play them when you drive. My commute takes two hours a day and I find it better than the radio.
Ben Stoeger also does podcasts. I don’t find them that interesting but he has a large following in the USA and as they are free they are worth trying out.
The results from this weekend’s match are here: http://freepdfhosting.com/69cefc909d.pdf
Glad everyone enjoyed themselves we will look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Shoot.
The results from the Steel Challenge match are here: http://freepdfhosting.com/46526f3054.pdf
Thank you to everyone who attended and all who helped to run the match. Congratulations to all our winners.
A brilliant day with brilliant weather!
Our next match is the Action Shotgun Match on the 16th of November, I hope to see you there.
The results from this weekend’s charity match are here:
We would like to thank everyone who sponsored the match, all those that attended, everyone who helped build and run the match and to everyone who took part in the raffle.
If you wish to purchase raffle tickets online:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please tell me how many raffle tickets you would like to purchase and make payment by bank transfer to:
Shield Shooting Centre
SORT CODE: 401921
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 11462997
When payment has been received I will register the appropriate number of raffle tickets to your name and send you a confirmation email.
Thank you for all of your support and raffle tickets will also be available for purchase at the match.
The Shield Solid Slug Challenge results are here: Results
Thanks to all who attended and especially to those that helped run the match.
The results to the Action match held on the 29th June 2014 are here: Results
Thank you to everyone who attended and especially to those that helped run the match.
The results of the Steel Challenge are here: Results
Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to build and run the match.
The results to the Shield Action Match held on the 13/04/14 are here: Results
Thanks to everyone who attended, helped to build and run the match.