Optimum Shotgun Performance Shooting School: Good to Know

 




























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Staying Focused

Staying in the present is tough to do. When you begin your sequence your goal is to hit the first couple of targets, then hurry up and get out of the stand before you loose it. Normally what happens is you start out the stand in a rhythm and as you go through the pairs you will shoot faster and faster and squirt a few of the last targets. You need to have a preshot routine that you are comfortable with and that you use before each shot. The routine will make you consistent in your approach to each shot therefore, your results will be consistent. Everyone's routine is different and should be tailored to you. It must keep you in a steady consistent rhythm. If we were to time you in between shots we would like you to have the same amount of time from the first shot to the last.

The last thing that you tell yourself before calling pull is also important. The last thing that is said is the first thing that happens. So you want to tell yourself to see the bird or to move to the front, not I always miss this bird. A positive thought of the front edge or I will see the target before each call of Pull, will help you stay focused on just hitting the target. This is irrelevant because it didn't work, so be concerned on how to hit the target. Your focus must be 100% on seeing and hitting the target. Spend more time on making the right approach to the target and having a positive attitude and you will be surprised at how easy hitting becomes. You don't dread the targets and you don't spend any of your time thinking of a miss--only of hitting. More importantly, you are able to stay focused for the entire sequence of targets because all you are thinking of is hitting the target. Your routine will make you stay focused for the entire time. You should be so focused that you don't know which pair you are shooting until the scorekeeper tells you to get out with your score of 10

Remember, this is something you must practice. It doesn't just come. Practice staying in your routine and shooting 10 targets in a row. That way if you go to a tournament that only has 6 to shoot, you are ahead of the game.

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Avoiding the Death Grip on the Gun

We see so many students in our classes, that are so tense they must need aspirin after shooting to relax their muscles. For the right handed person, the left hand is placed on the forend of the gun. Point your index finger down the side of the barrel. Don't point your finger underneath the barrel of the gun, as that is not the way you normally point at something. Your normal pointing position is that the finger is extended out from the other fingers. Lay the gun in the palm and rest the gun in the remaining 3 fingers. The left arm doesn't have to be tensed, it can be relaxed and to your side. The back arm or right arm for the right handers, should also be relaxed and the index finger ready to pull the trigger. The back hands only job is to pull the trigger. If along the mount the back arm gets into the swing, a seesaw of the barrels will be noticed, and even more important, a miss might occur as the gun would come to the shoulder first then the cheek. If the gun gets to the shoulder and then to the face, the face must move to the gun. If your face is moving down to the gun, the focus goes off the target. The next thing to remember is to relax. If you are tense you are more apt to have a bad gun mount. If a muscle is tense, it must first relax, before it can move. If you will start out relaxed you wont lose that valuable time to get to the target. Your move will be smoother, you will get to the bird faster and a good gun mount will occur and your chances for a hit are better. Another tidbit of information, if you are tense, your eyes tense up also. What is the one thing that is required of a shotgun shooter, they must SEE the bird. If your eyes are tense and you cant see the bird as well, you will have a harder time hitting it.

Try squinting your eyes and focusing on something, it becomes harder to see. Unless, you are over 40 and refuse to go and get those glasses you really need.

Remember to relax that death grip you have on the gun. Make sure all the muscles in both arms are in a neutral state so that you can respond to the motion of the bird as it comes into your view. Keep up the good shooting.

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Practice Routine

We have begun asking people how they go about practicing with their shotguns. Most people practice by going out and shooting their home course. They don't try to isolate their problems, they will instead just shoot each stand and gauge their success on how well they shot by their score. Practice is an important part of your game plan. Each time you go to practice, have a specific goal. Such as, today I will practice only left to right quartering targets. Go to the stands with those presentations and shoot singles. You can shoot the target where it is sweet, then choose a different break point and shoot it in different spots. In your practice, be real picky about the move. Did it feel right, was the mount perfect? Was the focus the best it could be? Then make it perfect. In your practice, you are making your mechanics perfect. Once they are perfect, you have to do them over and over again to make them become subconscious. Your move to the target must become subconscious, so that you don't have to think about it again. If your mind is thinking of the move, it is not 100% focused on the target. How many times have you heard people say, If I don't think about the shot, I do better. Make the move subconscious and instinctive and it will be correct.

We are not telling you not to go and shoo front edge or I will see the target before each call of Pull, will help you stay focused on just hitting the target. Too many people concern themselves with where they missed the target. That is irrelevant because it didn't work, so be concerned on how to hit the target. Your focus must be 100% on seeing and hitting the target. Spend more time on making the right approach to the target and having a positive attitude and you will be surprised at how easy hitting becomes. You don't dread the targets and you don't spend any of your time thinking of a miss only of hitting. More importantly you are able to stay focused for the entire sequence of targets because all you are thinking of is hitting the target. Your routine will make you stay focused for the entire time. You should be so focused that you don't know which pair you are shooting until the scorekeeper tells you to get out with your score of 10.

Remember, this is something you must practice, it doesn't just come. Practice staying in your routine and shooting 10 targets in a row. That way if you go to a tournament that only has 6 to shoot, you are ahead of the game.

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