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 Post subject: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:51 am 
Shotgun Expert
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OK guys, I'm finishing up an article for Clay Target Nation and a part of the conversation in the article will deal with how to handle a miss. I've got a pretty good handle on how to deal with it, but I thought I'd throw it out for conversation. Hypothetically you're running a station and all of a sudden you whiff a bird or a pair. This could happen while shooting the pairs on a station or it could be on the last pair of a station. What is your thought process going forward when that happens?



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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:03 am 
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I do all the correct things, of course... I curse and then throw my empties into the trash with excessive force, and then I adopt an intensely screwed up face, huff over to my cart, throw my gun forcefully into the back and speed off to the next station.

Seriously, I maybe used to be some of that guy. It's taken some effort to learn to self-evaluate my performance objectively and without emotion. Why did I miss that one and what am I going to change *in my process* for the next one. I then upload a revised preshot program based on that evaluation, and then execute it well. Hopefully it works. If it doesn't, I rinse and repeat -- or at least try to.

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:24 am 
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Marty, I’d say it depends.......

If I recognize immediately (almost always before triggering the shot) my mistake, I don’t do much that anyone watching would notice, reboot, move on.

If the miss is a mystery, I may take an additional second or two to think it over, then get back to it.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:34 am 
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I think it also is situationally dependent.

Would love to see a discussion on missing your last cupcake vs. hit one, miss one, vs. not hitting any.

On not hitting any, I believe there is a subset to this, not hitting either target, not hitting one, and if it is a true pair vs. report.

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:52 am 
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Thanks guys...keep 'em coming. Exactly what I was looking for and what the piece will talk about.

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:53 am 
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Location: Michigan
In my book there are 2 kind of misses and they're not dealt with the same. If I miss when starting the station it's because I miss judged the lead, let the target beat me, my break point is wrong. There's no time for hissy fits, only quick adjustments are needed. Once hits are established they are filed away in memory and the misses are canceled out. If I miss in the middle or end of the stations presentations its from lack of focus-concentration, scorekeeper marks down 0 and I move on.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:57 am 
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On a 3d or 4th pair a miss where I have been hitting is always a loss of concentration. I hate that when it happens.

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:10 pm 
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The same way I deal with a bad shot in golf using the same words. I noticed over the years that the exact same words are used for both sports and I don't need to mention them in polite company.
Seriously, I am getting old and just recently entered my first contest.I am lucky to be shooting and expect to miss one third of the time. I try not to let misses bother me that much except when I loose concentration on a easy shot. I enjoy shooting with other guys and that is enough.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:46 pm 
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Marty,

Lord knows that we all have done this. I understand that some people may get very frustrated but if you want to be a top shooter, you must quickly overcome this. If you dwell on this negative, it will cost you more targets and your score will go to hell. Over the years, I let my frustrations get the best of me. Not only on the Sporting course but also in life. It takes a lot of discipline but most of us can do this.

I remember that several years ago, I missed the first pair at a local tournament. I just shook my head and thought, well $hit! One of my squadmates said, well I guess you won't be winning today. Right there, I made a decision that has helped me many times during a tournament. I looked at this guy and said "don't worry about me because I won't miss any more to day." I then proceeded to shoot the rest of the targets for a 98 and win HOA buy eight birds. How did I do this? I simply focused on the target while making sure that I did the basic fundamentals (SetUp)right. This kept my mind busy so I didn't even think about those first two misses.

I have always been a target for a few people. I guess they resented that I was a good shot and nearly always beat them. These guys tried their best to break my concentration by making different negative comments or walking up to the stand and tried to get in my peripheral vision. Of course this is not allowed by our rules. I blocked them out of my mind and when I finished running the station. I told them "look, I am just shooting against myself. I am the target setter so I can't win anything but pride and satisfaction." Because I also ran this club, I told them that if I saw anyone trying to make someone miss, I would ban them from our tournaments.

These things never got to me very often. One shoot I was straight through the first eight stations when a group of guys from out of town started to give me a lot of BS. Every time I started to call for the birds, one of them would say something to try to break my concentration. Each time I stopped, I regrouped and did my pre shot routine again. One time I stopped, put my gun in the station rack and walked out and got a drink of water. I was trying to make them say something to me so I could say something. After about 8 or 10 times of trying to start the station, I simply walked out of the station and put my gun in the rack. I then told them to go ahead and shoot through, I wasn't in any hurry and I thought they were ready to go home. Well they bowed up and started to complain and told me to go a head and shoot. I ran that station and ended up with another 98. Ha Ha!!!!!

The secret, is to work on mind control. Be prepared for things like this or any misses. For me, I can turn around and keep my focus. I guess I shouldn't say this but for all of the jerks out there, I can play this game too. I simply give them a negative thought as I walk out of the stand. Now I understand that two wrongs don't make a right but I finally got tired of the harassment. I hardly ever confronted them and let the negative thought be my revenge.

Mike McAlpine
The Clay Target Academy


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:54 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Marty,

I for got to say that this is a great question and I really appreciate you asking it.

Good luck with the article.

Mike McAlpine
"Inside the Mind of a Target Setter" A book for target setters as well as shooters

I hope you don't mind that I mentioned my book.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:55 pm 
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Location: The wilds of rural central California
Think about it for a few short seconds while rolling my eyes or shaking my head, shrug and call "pull".

What else ya gonna do without being an a$$?

tp

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:45 pm 
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Take a moment to trouble shoot what happened and how can it be fixed. Then, forget about the miss, take the two shells out of the gun and put them in the barrel just like I smoked both targets. Drop two fresh shells in and prepare for the next target(s) by visualizing everything from the call, the release of the target, inserting the gun, matching the speed and executing the shot. Relax, take a breath and exhale, call for the target, execute.

One of the best things I ever learned when I played golf competitively was to focus on everything within your control before you hit the shot. Relax, take a breath, visualize the shot, step in and execute. Once the ball has left the clubface, you no longer have control over the outcome of the shot. In this case, once you have pulled the trigger you no longer have control over the outcome of the shot.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:38 pm 
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Go through the “3 Rs”...Result, Reason, Remedy.

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:26 pm
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At this point, I "usually" know why I missed (behind, no follow through, etc) so I chalk it up as a learning experience and move on. The odd ones that give me pause are when I put it exactly where I want it, do everything right (in my mind), pull the trigger - expect an explosion of clay - and it just keeps sailing away. That is when I would love to have a photo of my expression because I am sure I look like I just saw a card trick that I don't understand...


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:32 pm 
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I've never shot competitively, and since I transitioned from recreational skeet to recreational 5 stand/sporting I no longer get angry or swear, or carry on like an a**. On nearly every miss, I stay in the gun after the shot, try to mentally visualize what just happened, and make my best effort to discern a proper correction for when I next see a similar presentation.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:51 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Mike McAlpine wrote:
Marty,

I for got to say that this is a great question and I really appreciate you asking it.

Good luck with the article.

Mike McAlpine
"Inside the Mind of a Target Setter" A book for target setters as well as shooters

I hope you don't mind that I mentioned my book.


Of course I don't mind Mike. Looking forward to seeing the book. Might even see a photo or two from some of my course designs.

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:00 pm 
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I was shooting behind Digweed at the Worlds once. There was an insanely hard pair where he missed a bird.

I came up and ran the 1st 3 pairs and thought "I can outshoot Digweed on this station. And missed the whole last pair.

At a big Fitasc shoot , I shot my 1st 25/25 and was 1st up on the next parcours. I shot the 1st 3 singles w/ one shot each and thought "how many will I go straight from here?" Zero was the answer.

I think "thinking" is my downfall.

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Nsca # 540300. Been loving this game since 01.

Our prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel master's shoes
For now he's free to sing and play
O'er the hills and far away.


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:02 am
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Quote:
I think "thinking" is my downfall.


Isn't that the truth. My shooting buddies say that to me all the time when I pull off a shot that I didn't see the bird until the last second or something like that. "You know if you never thought you would never miss."


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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:55 pm 
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sera wrote:
I was shooting behind Digweed at the Worlds once. There was an insanely hard pair where he missed a bird.

I came up and ran the 1st 3 pairs and thought "I can outshoot Digweed on this station. And missed the whole last pair.

At a big Fitasc shoot , I shot my 1st 25/25 and was 1st up on the next parcours. I shot the 1st 3 singles w/ one shot each and thought "how many will I go straight from here?" Zero was the answer.

I think "thinking" is my downfall.


I agree! Over confidence can be as bad as no confidence. If I miss the first targets, then my plan was bad; if I am running the station and drop 1 or both of the last pair, then it was a case of thinking "I got this one run" - until I don't

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 Post subject: Re: How do You Deal with a Miss?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:24 pm 
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JacksBack wrote:
I do all the correct things, of course... I curse and then throw my empties into the trash with excessive force, and then I adopt an intensely screwed up face, huff over to my cart, throw my gun forcefully into the back and speed off to the next station.

You left out the part about transferring blame - to the trapper for a slow pull, to a squad mate who coughed, to a loud cart nearby, etc. :wink:



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