Regardless of the arena, the one thing you must overcome is fear.
The only way you overcome fear is to become competent. And when you become competent you become confident. When you are confident, you know you can do it – not because you know the lead, but because you know how the shot must come together to be successful.
It’s Not A Snapshot
Most shooters are looking for a snapshot of lead. This in and of itself is self-defeating. It’s not a snapshot; it’s a movie. It is more important how the shot comes together than what the lead is.
If the shot comes together correctly the correct lead is a result and shooting will become easy. It’s easy because you don’t have to think about all the junk.
However, few people are willing to give up trying to control the lead. This is why there are so many shooters that are stuck in the 70s, chasing the target and trying to get the lead right!
The reason practice is so important is that it enables the shooter to anticipate farther and farther out in front of the targets. And the farther in front you can anticipate, the less you have to think about what you are doing. Because of competence, you are not afraid of missing. You immediately know how to hit the target.
Again it is about controlling fear through confidence and competence. Most shooters never achieve competence because they do not approach practice from a skill-building standpoint. They are trying to shoot a score or break the target instead of building better and better skills that they can depend on to break the targets!
Developing the Right Attitude
I remember watching shooters shooting a 5-stand that my son Brian had set with on our Laporte chandelier machines with all the spring it had. It was a rising, edgy outgoing curling bird at distance.
Nadeem Nasser pulled up in his clays car, got out, and said “What a great bird. I can’t wait to see how these guys approach
“I already know how I am going to break it,” he added. “But it will be interesting to see what others do with it!”
This is the attitude I am talking about. It’s developed through hundreds and hundreds of repetitions in practice and honing skills in practice so you can depend on them on game day.
This attitude is not developed by telling yourself you can break that target. If you have broken a target similar to that 1,000 times you don’t have to tell yourself you can hit it!
You can’t think your way to the right action. You must act your way to the right way of thinking!
As the great Bear Bryant said, “The will to prepare to win is infinitely greater than the will to win!”