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California and Montana September 2015

We went to Quail Point in northern California for our first time and it was so exciting for us as well as our students.

They had had the regional shoot two weeks before and had left the course as it was and we were able to teach on it. Their competitive course is only open for tournaments so this was an opportunity for the participants to go back and shoot those stations they had trouble with.

There were a lot of “a-has” and learning and figuring out what the target setter was trying to do to the shooter.

Making the Targets Look Slow

I had a lot of folks who were shooting with a mounted gun and weren’t progressing and needed a new way. I asked if they would try to have the gun in a lower position and they all agreed they would try.

It only took a few hours to make the transition and they were shocked how that little change made the targets look so slow and how easy it was to pick the targets up and move with them, and that it wasn’t too hard to make the transition.

It’s not really a new thought for all of you who have taken lessons from us!

The hardest thing is to get people to begin their move early so that the target doesn’t catch up to the barrel. As soon as you see the target, get moving with it.

Because of the lag time of getting the information from the brain to the hands, you need to move and get engaged with the target as soon as you can. Get the gun moving and make that soft mount and get that part of the shot done, especially on a long crosser.

On those quartering shots, it’s as it has always been – push the gun to the front edge and take the shot.

“How Champions Think”

I just finished reading a new book that was suggested for us to read: “How Champions Think” by Bob Rotella. It’s a good read that goes through how exceptional people who become champions think.

“Great performers share a way of thinking, a set of attitudes and attributes like optimism, confidence, persistence and have a strong will,” he writes. “They all want to push themselves to see how great they can become.”

Rotella talks about how LeBron James wanted to be the greatest basketball player in the world but he needed to be able to shoot three-pointers and he was not very good at that.

So Rotella told him to get the Cavaliers to put a group of animations of a LeBron figure and have the figure shooting three-pointers from standing still, someone throwing the ball to him and taking the shot and dribbling the ball and stopping to throw the three-pointer. He told LeBron to watch it every night and the next day to go practice shooting three-pointers.

It’s very similar to us getting our students to watch the Clay Target Kill Shot on the Knowledge Vault before a shoot. Then they go out and shoot great scores. Something great happens when you can watch the review and then go out and make the movie on the course.

Rotella also talks about how you get better results when you are not thinking, as you are using the subconscious part of the brain that flows better. Once you go conscious you become awkward and hesitant.

Choosing to Remember the Good

Exceptional people are confident because they have trained their skills and can trust them. Champions also have optimistic attitudes because performances go best when a performer trusts his or her skills and lets the performance flow.

“Exceptional people choose to think about themselves in ways that contribute to their success,” he writes. “Exceptional people choose to construct confident self-images.”

He also stresses the need to forget a bad performance and think of only the good ones. He tells a story of Jack Nicklaus who when talking to a group of people said he never three-putted on the last hole of a tournament. A guy in the back said, “Mr. Nicklaus, you three-putted the 18th at some tournament.”

Jack replied, “I have never three-putted the last hole of a tournament.”  He chose to only remember the good holes and not dwell on the bad shots.

This should all sound familiar, as we have been talking for years about being process-oriented and not worrying about things that you have no control over. Learn to move and mount the gun and have a plan for each shot so that all your focus is on what you have to do to make the target break. That way you are staying in the present and letting the right brain take over the shot.

An Amazing Elk Encounter

We went from California to Montana and had a wonderful experience – not only teaching and getting our students to have confidence but we ended up having one of the best experiences in a lifetime.

The foreman of the ranch asked if we would like to go and watch the elk bugle. Well, of course, we would. So he called them up and the herd came.

We watched the largest bull step over the fence (not under, but over) very close to where we were crouching. It walked within a very close distance to the caller – even he said he had never been able to get an elk to come that close to him.

When the bull couldn’t see the “lady” he was looking for, he turned and walked majestically back to his herd and they left. Wow, what an exciting thing to watch and be so close to that beautiful animal. It was definitely worth the trip walking up that mountain to watch.

It’s been a busy year, with more to come…

Clay Kill Shot Review
Nationals 2015