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Sporting Clays Journey

It’s About How You Handle Failure

The road to success is not a freeway. It’s always under construction, full of setbacks and holes to fall into. And the paradox is you never really get there, especially in this silly game we play called sporting clays.

This brings out the best in some of us as well as the worst in some of us. It’s because the journey is neither short nor easy – and it’s full of failure. The way you handle the failures -not the successes – determines in great measure the heights of your achievements. And your attitude about how long you will be doing this has even more to do with the speed of your development than just about any other thing.

We are in the beginning stages of launching a program on our Knowledge Vault web site that outlines what shooters must learn at different stages of their shooting career in order to optimize their time spent trying to improve. We have openly shared with all shooters worldwide what we have seen and experienced, first as competitors at the top of the game and then as professional coaches through our columns, our 12 books, and hundreds of videos.

Some of our shooters took our advice and advanced from E class to Master in as little as 12 to 14 months. And others made the same journey in as many as six to eight years. We have recently interviewed many of them for this project and many common threads emerged. The order of events seemed eerily the same in almost all instances.

Is it a Gift or a Job?

As I mentioned above, your attitude about how long you’ll be doing this has a lot to do with how long it will take you to develop the skills necessary to excel at this game – or any other circumstance in life itself, for that matter.

Let’s look at the skill of walking and the skill of skateboarding, for example. Since you will be walking for the rest of your life, developing and maintaining the skill of walking is essential for your quality of life. However, since you just might not see skateboarding in your future (especially if you are on Medicare!) the driving force behind learning to walk is greatly different than the driving force behind learning to ride a skateboard.

So if you see shooting a shotgun in your future for the rest of your life, then the drive to get better and constantly improve is constant and automatically comes from within.

I read a study a few years back done by the USOC on how athletes viewed talent. Is it a gift or a job?

Those that viewed it as a gift when faced with adversity in learning or improving a task would throw their hands up and say, “Well, I’m just not talented enough to do this!” Those athletes had a problem staying on task for any length of time; they were constantly looking for the easy way out, and would hop from task to task trying to find something they were good at.

Those that viewed talent as a job and something that must be developed looked at adversity as an opportunity to learn. They stayed on task much longer than the other group and were never satisfied with “good enough.” They always pushed themselves to the next level, greeted failure as the first step in the learning curve, and developed uncanny emotional control.

You must become infatuated with learning to mount the gun and live ahead of the target. Same speed at the end.

Relearning to Slow Down
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