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.