I have been batting around different topics for my initial blog post here on Trapshooting Online. Do I introduce myself? Do I provide detailed instructions on how to use the site? Should I go straight into shooting advice and tips? I finally solved my problem.
Since I have an About page that provides some background information on who I am (or at least enough that you can Google my name and “trapshooting” to find out more), I crossed that off my list.
The best way to learn something is to dive right in, use it for a while, then ask questions. It is too easy to reach “paralysis by analysis” before you DO something. So scratch the site tutorials.
How about advice and tips? Those are nice ideas, but the best shooters in the world can talk for days without getting their point across. Why? Most people are resistant to change and new techniques. ahh HA! I know what I’ll do……I’ll offer some advice about….advice! So here it goes….please let me know what you think by posting a comment.
As you probably already know, most trapshooters LOVE to welcome new shooters to the sport. In addition to a few free rounds, ammo, clothing, etc, they also will give you advice until they are blue in the face. The question you should ask yourself is, “how do I know which advice gives me a better chance to break a perfect round (because that is always the goal)?” The short answer is that an inexperienced, new shooter won’t know what is best. If you did know, you would be consistently breaking 23, 24, or maybe 25 each round! So here is what I suggest you do to filter through everything:
1.) Be polite and respectful. If someone is taking the time to offer you advice, you at least owe it to them to be respectful. This means listening attentively, asking questions, and ALWAYS thanking them for the help.
2.) Opinions and advice are like belly buttons, everybody has them but they aren’t always useful. You need to determine who has had success in the game, who means well, and who should be looking for, rather than giving advice. This doesn’t mean you only listen to AAA class All-American Team members. There are only a couple dozen of those in the country. Much like you would want an experienced dentist to drill your cavity instead of a dental school student, you should seek advice from someone who has been there before and knows the process.
For example, you may be holding your gun 12-18 inches above the top of the trap house before you call for the target. You may also be breaking a 12-15 each round (hardly your goal of 25). Someone may then come along and tell you to lower your gun to the top of the traphouse because “the higher hold point isn’t working for you”. If that person can’t explain how this will benefit you and why the alternative is wrong, should you change? Maybe it isn’t the higher hold point that is holding you back – it could simply be the fact that you have only shot maybe 500 birds in your lifetime and just need experience! But maybe you’re a one-eyed shooter. In that case, this advice makes perfect sense and is the correct thing to do. See why it is important to ask questions and understand the cause and effect?
4.) Even a few thousand targets doesn’t make a shooter. Tens of thousands are necessary before you build solid habits and the game becomes second nature to you. Just know that unless you have had wild success, you shouldn’t immediately disregard advice. There is certainly more than one way to skin a cat, but some ways give you a better chance of success than others!
The quickest way to improve is by practicing….a lot. What do you think?