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 Post subject: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:19 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:53 pm
Posts: 1050
Have you taken time to figure out where you can truly close the gap in your game. So often I believe we are afraid to use the word perfect in sports. However, I can tell you there is a difference between being competitive and winning.

For example in football winning teams know if the count is 2&1 and you play for Saben, Carrol, Noll, Lombardi, etc....you better be able to run behind your offensive line and get that first down seamlessly every single time, NO MATTER WHAT!

No different than a tight quartering, slow to med speed, close to med distance quartering target or a crosser at 25 yards, slow to med speed and close to med distance.

Ask your self as a shooter where is your true opportunity is it @35 yards plus or 30 yards and under. Are you truly perfect and closing the gap where the best opportunity is?

Is it your quartering, crossing or inbound move. Continue to diagnose and understand where your opportunities are and you will continue to close the gap.

If this game was that easy we would see more perfect scores, higher percentages like that of trap or skeet. The variables are extensive, not one course is the same, not one background is the same. While some may not agree......guess what??????? you must think in sporting clays. If you are not thinking someone one else is and that is the 1% difference.

Continue to close your personal gap not someone else's we are not machines that are all wired the same. Run your game, seek professional development, ie coaching that fits you as a shooter. Remember we cannot make a wide reciever a lineman. Kill it along the way and never let off the gas. Keep pushing all and have fun along the way!!



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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:09 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:06 am
Posts: 95
I have only been competing in sporting clays for a year now. It took me a while to realize that closing the gap isn’t just learning the mechanics of different target presentations, but learning how to control the mental aspect of the sport. The challenge of "closing the gap" is what has me hooked on the sport.


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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:55 am 
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From the skeet field there is a lesson that you can apply to Sporting Clays.......you have to be able to break the baseline targets every time. I do not claim that I am able to do that, so the work continues.

I fully believe that is the difference in every class between the best shooters and the rest. Being perfect on those baseline targets.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:58 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:49 pm
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This has the makings of a really great thread, Bill.

I’ve often wondered about why, when you go to most shoots, there isn’t a target that most of the shooters there can’t break. The key is who’s the most consistent in all aspects of the game, and you’re OP deals with that perfectly.

Looking forward to following this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:12 pm 
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It's really interesting to me how 1 or 2 targets make all the difference in competition. I find myself out of the money or without a punch quite regularly. By 1 or 2 targets.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:31 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:51 am
Posts: 1204
Base line targets. Yup, step into a stand and recognize that target. But there is so much a target setter can do makes it appear baseline and you miss the darn target. Watching each target what it does, take note if others are missing a certain target, there is a reason. Raising the bar is mental, focus on each target, and practice on targets of difficulty....


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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:21 pm 
Field Grade

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mdlott wrote:
It's really interesting to me how 1 or 2 targets make all the difference in competition. I find myself out of the money or without a punch quite regularly. By 1 or 2 targets.
Isn’t this the truth! So many times I’ve said "If I hadn’t missed those few easy targets...."


Jeff
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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:16 am 
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Good thread topic.

I don't personally think about "perfection", especially in terms of sporting clays. 100 straight scores on high level courses are pretty rare, and I don't think I've ever seen a 200 straight. There are just too many variables in sporting for perfection to be a reality.

Closing the gap between being a good shooter and being a great shooter takes several things.

Obviously you need to be technically sound in your approach to breaking targets. Lessons from a qualified instructor can help with this.

During the tournament is NOT the time to be thinking much about technique. Your skills should be solidified in your practice rounds. On game day it is time to let your subconscious do most of the work with the skills you have learned.

Being consistent before the shot is one of the keys to consistently breaking targets. Keep it simple, I have a very quick and simple pre-shot routine. The only method based thing I think about when in the stand is where to set my feet and start my gun.

The biggest difference between the middle of M class and the top of M class is between the ears. Once a strong technical foundation has been established the mental game becomes critical. Learning how to shoot and learning how to compete are 2 different things in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:17 pm 
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Great post and replies Bill and Dog. I think Bill's post is more than good. It is GREAT and uses a lot of common sense. Spizz, you still need to learn all you can about any presentation, no matter how easy or hard it is. To be a really great shot, you need to develop a routing (Basic Setup) and do it the same every time. This will help make you consistent. Your mental approach should be the same but when you're ready to move mount and pull the trigger, most people to use the subconscious (sorry Pete) but I am talking about how I shoot an teach I know that you are more into seeing that exact lead and making a more precise shot and that is what you should teach. There are many was to skin a catfish. I guess this is my favorite quote now. LOL

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:53 pm 
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Spizzer wrote:
I have only been competing in sporting clays for a year now. It took me a while to realize that closing the gap isn’t just learning the mechanics of different target presentations, but learning how to control the mental aspect of the sport. The challenge of "closing the gap" is what has me hooked on the sport.

I don't know you and I don't know how you shoot. So this is unsolicited advise from half way across the country, take it for what you are paying for it.

There are absolutely two pieces to this game; mechanical and mental. People that compete for a little while like to think their "mental game" needs work, when in fact, their "mechanics" need work.

People at Bill's level that crank off 40 in a row, drop 2, and crank off another 50 in a row, can claim they have a problem with their mental game.

People that consistently break 5/6 or 6/8 but just can't seem to put a string of 6's or 8's together, most likely do not have a problem with their mental game. They have a problem with their mechanical game. They are not going to the SAME hold point, they are not inserting in front of the clay at the SAME point, they do not have the SAME gun speed on every shot. Mechanical consistency starts at the pre-shot and finishes at the shell ejection.

Does frustration come into play in the game? Sure. But that is not a mental game problem, that is an emotional response to something in your control that you have failed to execute. It is nonetheless devastating on the course, but you have to learn to put a period on it and move on.

A round of sporting clays at a competitive level is an exhausting activity. Most of the top guys will tell you that after a good round they are wiped out. Of course, most of them can recover a heck of a lot faster than use old timers. But they are here for serious business, we are here for fun and maybe beat some other guys that are here for fun.

Just my perspective from the middle of AA class. Took me 10 years to get there, 4 years to get to M, and 8 months to get thrown back in AA (because I really ain't that good).

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:34 pm 
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Jeff,

GREAT post and so true {hs# I've read comments from several of the top coaches/instructors and they all say the same that students will ask them to help with the mental side and after watching them shake their heads that their mechanics SUCKED and they could have the perfect mental game and still not shoot well or consistent.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:48 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:53 pm
Posts: 1050
Just some questions, is it ok to be perfect in our game? Yep we have to be on some shots if not you will not ever win your class.

Is the mental game important? Yes however this can only come through competing, we cannot wake up one day and just say hmmmm I am going to have a strong mental game.

Just some food for thought......

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:37 am 
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But if you don't start out thinking that "hmmmm I am going to have a strong mental game."
you never will.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:41 am 
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OK right up front, I tend, REALLY tend to make bad moves on the second target when the pair are far apart.

In my mind that issue starts before I ever step into the cage. That is the mental game. There is no question that matching target speed, starting points, eye holds, muzzle insertion, making a compact and repeatable move, etc are the mechanical part of the game, but once you reach a certain level, all that stuff begins with the 6" between the ears.

For the most part I already know how to do those things, but if I don't plan all the stuff beforehand, 5 for 6, 6 for 8. Before I realize what happened my score isn't what it should have been. Miss one target per station on a 16 or 17 station course, 83/84, that gets you a "Thanks for being here today".

Do my mechanics need work, absolutely, but a lot of the bad moves start with poor mental preparation....at least for me.

The reason I believe this......I worked with a very good shooter, and when I followed what he told me, those crappy moves weren't so crappy any more. So that tells me I can make those nice smooth, compact, repeatable moves IF I prepare correctly.

Just my 2 cents.

As the great marist89 states, I am only in AA so WTF do I know.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:49 pm
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I believe it’s Anthony and/or Zach who have said over and over again that a shooter doesn’t need to get overly involved with the mental game until they start shooting in the 82/85 arena on a solid competitive course. Until then, it should be all mechanics, and not worrying much about the mental component.

I know for a fact, especially as I’ve aged, that my weakest link in my sporting game is the mental component. That just maybe because when I got started, that really wasn’t talked about or taught much. I never grew into the game utilizing it, and the benefits.

I do know on those occasions when I do have it all together, I don’t have to force the mental component. It’s just there, and I do all of the planning and engineering very smoothly, and quickly.

When I have to force myself to engage the mental game, it’s not as productive — at least for me. The forced, conscious mental game is for practice time. The unconscious, let it just happen mental game is what you want for game day.

If only it all were just so simple as that in reality, huh?


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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:05 am 
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Mule Driver wrote:

When I have to force myself to engage the mental game, it’s not as productive — at least for me. The forced, conscious mental game is for practice time. The unconscious, let it just happen mental game is what you want for game day.



Brilliantly true.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:03 pm 
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Mule Driver wrote:
I believe it’s Anthony and/or Zach who have said over and over again that a shooter doesn’t need to get overly involved with the mental game until they start shooting in the 82/85 arena on a solid competitive course. Until then, it should be all mechanics, and not worrying much about the mental component.

I know for a fact, especially as I’ve aged, that my weakest link in my sporting game is the mental component. That just maybe because when I got started, that really wasn’t talked about or taught much. I never grew into the game utilizing it, and the benefits.

I do know on those occasions when I do have it all together, I don’t have to force the mental component. It’s just there, and I do all of the planning and engineering very smoothly, and quickly.

When I have to force myself to engage the mental game, it’s not as productive — at least for me. The forced, conscious mental game is for practice time. The unconscious, let it just happen mental game is what you want for game day.

If only it all were just so simple as that in reality, huh?


Good post mule, a lot of that fits in with what I said above. I think you are dead on about practice vs. game day.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:37 pm 
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In another life I was a serious USTA tennis player. I once got to talk with Jimmy Connors for a minute at a tennis tournament, in his twilight. I was asking about the "then new cutting edge" concept of the mental game. He replied something like: "You can have the best mental game in the history of the earth, but if you can't hit a high backhand I will beat you 0 and 0 in about 20 minutes." This made an impression on me as far as what to work on foundationally first, then learn to get out of your own way mentally. YMMV.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:42 pm 
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After reading some replies, are we all talking about the same mental game?

Are you folks saying that you step into the cage with no idea, of where you are going to look for, setup and break the targets? Where on the target you want to see it clearly and focus? Etc.?

I don't believe that for a second. If you then tell me you consistently shoot in the 90's lacking or not using a proper mental game, then I REALLY don't believe you. Either that or you are shooting skeet in the woods.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing the Gap between average and perfect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:16 pm 
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dogchaser37 wrote:
After reading some replies, are we all talking about the same mental game?

Are you folks saying that you step into the cage with no idea, of where you are going to look for, setup and break the targets? Where on the target you want to see it clearly and focus? Etc.?

I don't believe that for a second. If you then tell me you consistently shoot in the 90's lacking or not using a proper mental game, then I REALLY don't believe you. Either that or you are shooting skeet in the woods.


I consider most of what you are talking about there to be technical shooting ability, not mental game.

The mental game is learning how to compete at a high level. Controlling your emotions under pressure, learning how to deal with a bad station, preparing your mind the morning before an event and many other things are what I consider to be mental game required to compete at the top of M class.



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