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“A-ha” Moment

The Subconscious Takes Over

Here’s a comment from a student who finally realized this is not a gun/cartridge/glasses/lead game, but a brain game. He describes his “a-ha” moment when he made this discovery:


As you already know, several moments could be classified as “a-ha” moments. However, I think all of them are initiated by the first conscious awareness that our subconscious took control of the shot process.

I feel the most significant moment is when the shooter captures a complete visual field, inclusive of ~95 percent central vision (clay focus), ~5 percent peripheral vision (barrel awareness), and for the first time taps through a barrier that they consciously realize they saw with their brain what the subconscious was doing.

This can not be explained consciously from teacher to student. The subconscious knowledge can’t be transferred. The student
has to rely on their innate ability specific to their individual reservoir of events.

I believe some never have an “a-ha” moment and they act only upon repetition of the process itself.

Without getting too far out there, I’ll just say that an “a-ha” moment breaks through a neurological barrier that connects the conscious with the subconscious. And it is different for everyone. However, I do know that trust is a good common ground.

I’ve studied the nervous system for 30+ years and there’s one thing I have figured out: I don’t know shit. LOL

I absolutely enjoy the Sporting Clay Game and admire your and Vicki’s passion.

Filler in Your Brain: Developing Skill

He is describing the filler that we talked about in the March Coaching Hour podcast. While the brain can access all of the experiences we have had in our lives, it is most aware of the things we have done a lot called skill. The more skillful you are at anything, the less conscious awareness you have when performing the task.

We learned this from The Brain Games on the Nat Geo channel. In fact, we depend on the filler to motivate through life
and anticipate what our bodies need to do. And some of these calculations are very tricky.

When we shoot a moving target with a shotgun, we are anticipating where the target will be in the future. And the more experience we have doing this, the better we are at hitting the target.

The better we get at hitting the target, the less we are aware of what we are doing while we are doing it. And the more specific we can be for what we want our brain to do during the shot. The greater the skillful anticipation to the target, and the better and more consistent we become while being less aware of what we are doing.

This is why the stable pictures you see on the kill shot reviews are so important to perform at higher and higher levels. When you miss, it is your filler that is fooled – either by not reading a subtle difference in the shot or because you simply have not ever seen it before. You have no filler to depend on. You can’t use anyone’s filler; it’s what you have done that created it in your

There’s No Shortcut

This is why taking a lesson from another pro shooter is futile. You will never be able to see what they see. It is also why you must
practice so much to ever achieve the performances that all shooters desire but few
are willing to put in the hard work to achieve.

There is no shortcut. It is long, hard work and it means you will be working while others are playing. But if you want to get there, you’ve got to pay your dues. No shortcut. No magic pill. Just hard work and time behind the gun and on the target.

You cannot choose when you will learn a lesson or learn how to break a new target. The lessons you learn are a result of many hours of practice and rehearsal and actual tournament play. What you take away from each time you touch the gun becomes what you learn.

You don’t learn specific things; you evolve as a shooter. This is perhaps the most difficult thing to get people to understand. But is the most critical for the advancement of skill

These are just my thoughts on a Thursday morning. And yes, there will be more.

Listen to the March 2015 Coaching Hour. It will change forever how you look at skill-building and what skill really is. Also check out this thread in the forum: “How we see is a circuit in the brain.” Read it from top to bottom. You will be glad you did.