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Return from Phoenix blog

Gils blog 24 FebReturning from Phoenix and what a great time was had by all….Dan Twitchell at Ben Avery runs a first class operation and we had a ball shooting both of his courses and teaching 29 shooters 11 came for two days over a four day period… with out exception the ones who could afford it and came for two days were glad they did on the second day at about 10 am…. What a dramatic turn around in their shooting and it seems that the second day that everything just solidifies into more solid technique.We are seeing more and more Safari shooters finally come to us to improve their wingshooting techniques and we are glad to see it….we put so much into our articles in Safari magazine it is good to see the interest….there is still out there the perception that all top shooters pull away from their targets because that is what they teach but nothing could be farther from the truth….in fact we had two shooters who had lessons from a self professed top shooter named Bruce and they had been told by him that he shot pull away on everything but were told by others who had shot with him that he did not shoot that way….he was in front of the target the whole time and shot just like Gil and Vicki taught when the money was on the line….then they began to put two and two together and realized that after every issue of Sporting Clays Magazine that Bruce would use the phrases and points that we would make in our articles in their next lessons…..well they put two and two together and came up with…..”Why am I learning from someone who doesn’t shoot like he is teaching me and on top of that he uses Gil and Vicki’s phrases that he reads in Sporting Clays Magazine?”They were not the only ones that mentioned the similarity of phrases in their teaching every month after our articles came out….we cant do anything about it but we surly can begin to mention it here and in our articles…..we would tell you that most of the top shooters don’t pull away from their targets like they say they do …. They start in front and stay in front just like we teach ….. in fact we are the only professional coaches who have shared with everyone our journey in coaching for free in Sporting Clays Magazine….the rest would not share with you all they know for fear that you would have the knowledge to beat them….yes this does exist and several comments were made about several shooters that said they pulled away but in reality when the shooters in the room had shot with them in tournaments that was not the case…..We were over run with shooters this trip and were disappointed that we could not accommodate more shooters who wanted two days …..it seems the two day format is catching on as the way to go and we agree with it….well we guess booking early to future clinics is in order for all of you…..Our advanced courses start next week and we are full for three weeks in a row this year in fact we are full next this weekend with two groups of shooters who wanted each of us to themselves beginning Fri-Sun ….. and then we have three advanced classes that are full…..The clay target review is a huge success and we showed 16 pheasant kill shots that I shot last Tuesday as a trial run for the pheasant hunting section of the shot simulator that we will be introducing….the shooters were excited to say the least about the pheasant shots…..we will be redoing the clay kill shot review soon and will be adding a go pro shot straight on to the shooter so you can see how the mount and muzzle speed play into stabilizing the picture…..on Wed we will be working with Mitch on placing a green donut around the red dot on the current review to indicate when the gun is really mounted so you can see how the target comes to the lead as the picture is stabilized…..that is for some reason the single most asked question when the review is viewed…..Talked to two coaches of high school shooting teams (sctp) and asked them what was the hardest thing to teach the kids in their shooting….. “Really focusing on the target was their answer without hesitation and then I asked a couple of their team members who were sitting at the lunch table the same question…. They said mental focus to which I asked what they meant…. They said they could focus on a target and break it several times but then they would just loose it for some reason….when I asked why,….. they nor the coaches could answer….when I asked all of them when they were shooting a low house target or a left to right crosser where were their eyes…. They all agreed they were on the target but when I mentioned that they had to be seeing the target across the barrel you can imagine what happened!!!! The kids looked at me like I had grown and ear in my forehead and the dad coaches looked at each other like I had begun to speak another language…..one of them said well focusing hard on the target is the hardest thing we have to get across to the shooters to which I said so you are telling them to look so hard at the target that they don’t see the barrel?….of course they said relieved…..so they are trying to get the gun ahead of the target a certain amount and not look at the barrel?….to which they all agreed….and they were again all relieved…..so I just had to ask it……”how do you visualize getting the gun ahead of the target and not looking at the barrel? ….”Just what does that look like….and why do you all of a sudden when you know what hard focus on the target looks like and you have broken 6 in a row do you all of a sudden not focus on the next two and miss them?……well that ear must have grown out of my forehead again cause I got that look….again I said do you realize that when you are shooting a right to left target do you realize that you are looking at the target across the barrel….coaches not a clue and the kids didn’t know what to say…..they could all recite the phrases but did not have a deep enough understanding of what the words really meant when applied to the reality of actually shooting….we see this a lot in the volunteer coaching programs of SCTP AND 4H…..when we took them in and showed them the KV animations they were blown away and they both texted their sons to come in alone to see this stuff….their sons got it immediately but were afraid to say anything to not disappoint their fathers coaching commands…they are getting hooked up with KV and we will see where this goes….Again seeing a lot of shooters plateau at 74-76 because they are playing tooo close to the target and getting jammed and the reasons for the misses are still as crazy as ever…. in a few instances we had to fight with them to get them to try being early but eventually they gave in and were amazed at how easy it got…and how consistent they became immediately…..I’m sure you heard several Pops from the Phoenix area of the country if you were out shooting this past weekend….maybe the big take away for me was that the line takes care of it self when the picture is stable and how many shooters are thinking that if their nose is over the gun and they cut their eyes back to pick up the target they will see it sooner and hit it more consistently….well we are here to tell you it don’t work from a scientific stand point and it wont work from a performance stand point….it is that fear thing putting the barrel between the target and the eye….finishing early allowing the barrel more time to merge with the target as they come together in the break point and letting the target come to the lead is getting easier to teach and easier to comprehend due to the clay kill shot review so we both know we are on to something here….cant wait to re do the shots with gopro camera shooting back at us when we shoot…..also we are planning to shoot left to right and right to left crossing shots in the same break point at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, &100 yards……we are coaching long distance a writer to hit a 100 yard crosser with out even being there….first attempt was consistency at 60 yards but the target was dome on and had too much curl…..he hit the target but it would not break…..next try it will be belly on and not so much curl with all the spring the weak ProMatic trap can muster and my prediction is success in the first box of shells……more later….GA

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Ben Avery 2014