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Ben Avery 2014

What another great four days at Ben Avery Shooting Sports in Phoenix, Arizona.

The weather was perfect—a little cool in the mornings and thank goodness for the overcast skies in the afternoons. We had 38 out of 40 slots full and 11 students came for two days. We were so glad they did, as they realized how important the second day is in their progress. A lot of new faces and new friends, and of course, the repeat offenders were there also.

The animations again hit the spot and helped everyone get on the page pretty quickly, even if they did doubt it a bit. But after several hours, it began to filter in.

Had a lot of good ideas for the website and it will continue to get bigger and better.

Practice Your Gun Mount!

I still am amazed at how many people think they can shoot a shotgun without having a gun mount. They found out very quickly how much easier it is to see the target without the gun up in their face and made the move with the target so much easier.

Everyone, please practice your gun mount so that it’s coming to your face each time in the same place. This will make it so much easier for you to get the system we’re trying to get you to learn. If you not thinking about the gun mount you can focus more on the move and hitting the target.

The idea of stabilizing the gun speed and target speed at the end made a big difference. It’s a little hard at first, but once you do it several times, it becomes more natural and you can really feel the connection with the target. You know the target is going to break.

I found that the idea of “behind the barrel” and “across the barrel” really helped most of the students because now they had a picture of what the shot was to look like. Everyone puts too much importance on where the gun is. We are changing that to the picture of the target behind the barrel or across the barrel then the subconscious knows what you’re asking it to do. That was a big deal for everyone. It was a little hard to grip at first, but it started to become more acceptable as we went through the day. If you can preload that picture before each shot, the work is done.

“What Do You See?”

Also, a big deal was making the eyes slide to the front of the target.

When someone misses, the first question I ask is “What did you see?” And more often than not, the answer is “the whole target.” When they take a fraction of a second to slide the eyes to the front, the target slows down and they usually hit it. They have a startled look on their face and respond that it should not make that much difference on a four-inch disk. But it does. So we go over practice drills you can do to help your eyes see small.

Looking at the edge of a picture frame or something small in your home or office and counting to 10 without your eyes coming off that small thing is very helpful to maintain the focus on the front of the target.

As spring is coming (at least for us in the South) start to look at trees and have your eyes go to a new bud and count to ten. You will find that after the count of three or four, your eyes will begin to bounce around that small bud. So keep doing it until you can hold the focus to the count of ten.

There are so many things you can do at home to help you become a more successful shotgunner like the flashlight drill, the three-bullet drill, and focusing on small things.

Another big lesson learned was that failure is not the enemy you think it is. It’s a way to become successful, as each success comes from a failure. Don’t get mad at it—learn from it. You will become a better person and one that people like to be around when you are learning and not throwing shells.

Next time we are going to come in a little early or stay a few days late and enjoy the desert of Arizona.

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