Consistency – For the New Shooter
As with any other sport, it is critical to maintain consistency in trapshooting. Just like a golfer needs to swing in exactly the same motion each time he hits the ball, a trapshooter should maintain the same mechanics. While there are many technical “mechanics” of trapshooting that we could discuss, new shooters shouldn’t be overwhelmed with loads of information. Too much information to a newbie will confuse and could cause them to eventually lose interest. That is counter-productive! Instead, I want to touch on consistency surrounding everything except actually breaking the target. We’ll talk about consistent mechanics next week.
While it is ideal to shoot your own gun with your own vest and glasses, sometimes this isn’t possible. But what you can do however, is to shoot the same gun (owned or borrowed) each time. If there are 6 guns available from the club, know which one you like the best and ask a coach/instructor to make sure it fits. Then use it exclusively. Switching back and forth does nothing for your growth and hinders development. As I said last time, it takes thousands of targets to become comfortable with a gun. Each time you switch, you’re just resetting that clock!
If you normally shoot with a vest, always wear it unless weather doesn’t permit. If you use a pouch instead, the same applies. There is no right or wrong, just do what is comfortable and do it every time.
While you may not think so, food and caffeine can have a significant impact on your scores. What happens after you eat a big meal…say at Thanksgiving? You look into the living room and everybody is asleep. You probably don’t have a Thanksgiving feast every week, but understand the concept. Big meals tend to relax you and make you tired. Eating a lot before you shoot will have the same effect.
Caffeine has the opposite effect. “Energy” drinks such as Red Bull and Rockstar may be cool, but not before you try to shoot a perfect round of trap. These drinks have an impact not only on your heart rate, but also on your vision. The last thing you need is to be jumpy when swinging the gun. Save it for later!
As always, keep these things in mind as you practice. Speaking of practice, ask yourself how many rounds you shot this week. This falls in line with consistency as well. Make sure you’re shooting a few rounds every week. The longer the layoff between sessions, the more rust you have to shake off!