THE LEARNING CURVE - LONG OR SHORT?
November 2009 Sporting Clays Tip
Where do our shooting skills come from? How are they developed and acquired?
With each trip to the course, each of us is building an inventory, or database, of muscle movements and sight pictures necessary to successfully complete a particular shot. At Paragon we call that,.....Familiarity. It is a mental inventory or database of sight pictures and swing movements - based on the target presentation in front of us. A presentation we will see again. And again.
Building this critically important Familiarity requires training and repetition. Have you considered how you approach building this Familiarity, i.e., target inventory?
Some do this by trial and error rather than deliberation and purpose. Through hunting, wing shooting, and trial and error on the Sporting course, this hit and miss process can develop some skill over the years. Yet improvements can be slow in coming, difficult and sporadic. Unguided practice tends to reinforce habits - good or otherwise - and progress on unfamiliar targets doesn’t always come. Sometimes, after a target presentation is attempted many, many times, Familiarity does develop. This is the longer, time consuming, random approach to skill development and Familiarity.
In contrast we have the shooter with a more structured approach. Skills are acquired and Familiarity develops as a result of practice sessions dedicated to something very specific in the set up and/or shot. This learning process incorporates shooting more deliberately. With each shot, X or O, this shooter focuses attention on the process of the shot, (gun movement, sight pictures, etc.) not the result (X or O). When a mistake is encountered, corrections are made, moving one step closer to the successful and repeatable shot. Similarly, the successful shot is noted and logged. Every shot has a purpose.
Each and every shot we make, X or 0, provides an opportunity to improve and develop Familiarity. Changing our approach can and will reduce the time necessary to develop the skills we desire. Incorporating more, better defined structure into our practice and training will move us away from Random and closer to Deliberate skill development - a much faster process.
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