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 Post subject: Focus
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:31 am
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So I've been shooting my whole life but I am trying to start shooting registered sporting clays. I have been reading a lot and trying to figure some routines and ideas out. With respect to focus, guys say focus on a quarter size piece on leading edge. Is this correct and does it come easier with practice? I have some luck on lazy targets but really fast or second on a true pair seems difficult to focus




Last edited by Edpersh79 on Sun May 21, 2017 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 9:33 pm 
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I think that comes with generally getting more comfortable by putting yourself under that stress as often as possible.

In short, learning to block out all but the necessary thoughts is a skill earned through experience.

The more experience and confidence you gain, the slower the targets will become. Have fun along the way, it's a fun process if you let it.


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Edpersh79 wrote:
So I've been shooting my whole life but I am trying to start shooting registered sporting clays. I have been reading a lot and trying to figure some routines and ideas out. With respect to focus, guys say focus on a quarter size piece on leading edge. Is this correct and does it come easier with practice? I have some luck on lazy targets but really fast or second on a true pair seems difficult


Focus is but one of many issues to deal with in breaking any target. There could be many other things that are causing you to miss the fast or second target of a true pair. If you are using the wrong technique, wrong hold point, wrong look point, bad stance, bad gun fit, cross eye dominance, or numerous other faults, then you can focus until your eyeballs pop out of your head and you still won't hit the target.

IMO, inadequate focus is a problem associated with a shooter who knows what to do and how to do it, but may just be getting a bit lazy or sloppy with his approach. In this case, increased focus might help him break more targets. But, telling a shooter who is doing several basic things wrong that if he will just focus harder he will break the target is like telling a skinny 6 year old girl that if she will just focus harder she will be able to bench press 250 pounds. Ain't gonna happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:52 am 
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There's a teflon myth --here--that "just looking at the bird HARDER" will allow you to break it.

Myth = made up = lie = fabrication. Sorry.

You have to 1st learn a shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 9:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:31 am
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I appreciate all the help. My question is not really about breaking targets, in fact some of the targets I do very well on. Like I said I am working on stance, hold point, focus point etc. It is just the question of being able to focus in on a small part of a super fast short window target or is it all over blown?


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 10:01 am 
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No, but as I said....in order to be able to do that, everything else about your game needs to be well established.

Until you learn to hit a 100 mph fastball, it's going to look like a comet. Once you learn to hit one, you can use your acquired skill and experience on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 1:38 pm 
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Rooster booster wrote:
No, but as I said....in order to be able to do that, everything else about your game needs to be well established.
This

I used to think this "hard focus till you see rings/dimples/whatever" was BS until most elements of my technique started improving to the point that they became subconscious.

Now my brain was able to really concentrate on seeing the target and two things happened: I started being able to see details on the clay I couldn't before AND the bird appeared to be slower than it really is.


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 2:15 pm 
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sera wrote:
There's a teflon myth --here--that "just looking at the bird HARDER" will allow you to break it.

Myth = made up = lie = fabrication. Sorry.

You have to 1st learn a shot.

Sera,

I'm in your camp.

For that matter I've never seen the writing, driving bands, dimples (delete as appropriate) on a clay either.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Edpersh79 wrote:
guys say focus on a quarter size piece on leading edge.
I don't know what sort of targets these 'guys' are used to but they'd have to be superhuman to see any detail on a 45yd screaming battue.

All you need to 'see' and evaluate is line, speed and distance; not my words BTW but those of one the top instructors in the UK.

There was a recent thread about the rotational speed of clays. I'd love to know how anyone sees the dimples on a clay doing 3,000 rpm or even 30rpm for that matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:53 pm 
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It is never easy to see detail per se however if and when you are looking for it you are paying attention when executing the shot and that leads to better scores. Targets all have an edge and a center so might be a good idea to get good at focusing and paying attention to that as the target presents itself in your selected break point. After all it is ostensibly a staring contest. Knowing where and when to direct it must be learned. A good point for sera to now chime in with practice!!! and more practice!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:22 pm
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Docterduck wrote:
It is never easy to see detail per se however if and when you are looking for it you are paying attention when executing the shot and that leads to better scores.


I think this is the key point. "Focus" really means paying attention. I think it's easy (at least for me) to just walk up to a station and forget to give the target the attention it needs--telling myself to "see" the target is a way to make sure i'm not just shooting at orange streaks in the air.


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:38 am 
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Your focus will evolve as your game rises in skill level and not before. The reason your focus will evolve with your skill is because the more skillful you become you think less about what you are doing freeing up more and more precious focus for the target. What you see when you shoot will evolve!


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:42 am 
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To expand on Gil's point : The more you shoot , the more you train your eye/brain interface to see better and to see quicker.

Seeing and learning what that seeing means becomes easier and easier as we shoot more and "teach" our eyes.

BUT , the two must be intertwined.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:14 am 
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It's true that until you have mastered the mechanics, staring harder at the target isn't going to cause any dramatic improvement in your shooting. But wherever you are in your progress, you need to be focused on the target and not on other stuff like your gun. You can't shoot well otherwise no matter how good you are with the mechanics. How you can best learn to focus is something you'll figure out as you go along, and the "quarter size spot", leading edge, target rings or whatever may or may not work for you. What works for me is to pick a specific place where I will first start to focus on the target, to take my eyes to that place before I call for the target(1st shot) or move my gun(2nd shot) and to look for something about that target that I've identified while watching the show pair or other shooters (eg a shiny spot, a shadow or whatever. I don't go to hard focus until the target is almost at the break point, but I keep the target in soft focus the whole time before then and for a spli second after the shot. That's one way of doing it, certainly not the only way but it works well for me most of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Edpersch79--There is a two part answer to your question--First, the area that your eye can focus on is very small. This leads my to be comfortable with the posters who have said that focus/attention on the front of the target is necessary but do not expect to see the rings, et c.

The second part of the answer is that as we age our ability to focus, or even to discern. a small fast moving object degrades. So "shooting all my life" becomes a critical element of your question. Difficulties seeing the second target of a fast pair can be remedied by carefully choosing the break point for the first target and then knowing where to look for the second target.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 3:48 pm 
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The smaller you focus, the closer your shot cloud will be to the target. I like to see some detail on the target; ribs on the dome, a shadow on the poker chip, a reflective glare off the rear edge -- doesn't matter where on the clay it is as long as I can lock onto it. In the case where all you see is belly in it's own shadow, I lock onto at the leading edge.

All that said, there are about a dozen other things a newer shooter needs to learn to get better faster.

I would say the first 5 are: 1) picking a good break point, 2) picking a good hold point, 3) picking a good look point, and then 4) having a good stance that accommodates those, and finally 5) how to make the best move to intercept the target. Once you get those down for singles, you can then add in how to best 6) transition to target #2 of a pair, which in turn requires it's own set of 1 through 5 above -- of course all while focusing well on a small part of each target :D

Others: Gun fit matters, and can matter a lot depending on your build. Gun weight and swing dynamics matter, heavy enough to soak up repeated recoil and swing smoothly, but not so heavy you can't move it well. And shooting glass quality and lens color can make a big difference in how well you see a target. Using enough choke (I know guys, I went there) is important too, so you get good feedback when you do things right. OR wrong. (DO NOT listen to the expert at your club that says all new shooters should use their skeet chokes -- stick your mod in and learn to center. Sooner.) Finally, one of the best things you can do to get better faster is to shoot a LOT of practice targets. And one of the best ways to shoot more targets is to buy a lot of ammo. And you'll buy a lot more ammo if you stay away from the premium stuff and stick to promo-priced target loads -- at least until you get good enough to be able to tell the difference, which won't be for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:09 pm 
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JacksBack wrote:
The smaller you focus, the closer your shot cloud will be to the target. I like to see some detail on the target; ribs on the dome, a shadow on the poker chip, a reflective glare off the rear edge -- doesn't matter where on the clay it is as long as I can lock onto it. In the case where all you see is belly in it's own shadow, I lock onto at the leading edge.

All that said, there are about a dozen other things a newer shooter needs to learn to get better faster.

I would say the first 5 are: 1) picking a good break point, 2) picking a good hold point, 3) picking a good look point, and then 4) having a good stance that accommodates those, and finally 5) how to make the best move to intercept the target. Once you get those down for singles, you can then add in how to best 6) transition to target #2 of a pair, which in turn requires it's own set of 1 through 5 above -- of course all while focusing well on a small part of each target :D

Others: Gun fit matters, and can matter a lot depending on your build. Gun weight and swing dynamics matter, heavy enough to soak up repeated recoil and swing smoothly, but not so heavy you can't move it well. And shooting glass quality and lens color can make a big difference in how well you see a target. Using enough choke (I know guys, I went there) is important too, so you get good feedback when you do things right. OR wrong. (DO NOT listen to the expert at your club that says all new shooters should use their skeet chokes -- stick your mod in and learn to center. Sooner.) Finally, one of the best things you can do to get better faster is to shoot a LOT of practice targets. And one of the best ways to shoot more targets is to buy a lot of ammo. And you'll buy a lot more ammo if you stay away from the premium stuff and stick to promo-priced target loads -- at least until you get good enough to be able to tell the difference, which won't be for a while.

Exactly. Well summarized, Jack! This should be a sticky titled "How to learn to shoot sporting clays."

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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:24 pm
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Great post Jack.

Also, if you look at some of the work that Gil and Vicki Ash have done as well as other choke "gurus" - you will see that MOD is probably the most useful choke of all at almost all SC target distances.


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Awesome guys truly appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: Focus
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:43 pm
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One thing I have never seen addressed about Gil's test is this. Was the mod choke (used in the test) a choke marked mod because it patterned as a Mod. Or was it a choke that measured .020 which could pattern much tighter. When this test was done it was very common that chokes were sold and marked as however they patterned and not necessarily as they measure. Which is quite a bit different than the way we are accustomed to buying chokes today. Depending on the answer to this question could lead you to using a completely different choke than the nominal (Mod) choke.




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