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Nationals 2015

Shooting at Nationals

It was another great year at the NSCA National Championship – or at least for most of it before the rain set in.

We shot our main event on Monday and Tuesday when it was sunny and nice. We shot the small gauge and small gauge FITASC on Wednesday and Thursday and got the Krieghoff Kup in on Friday in the drizzle.

The forecast didn’t look good for Saturday so we called the Weather Service and they confirmed it was going to rain. So we packed up the trailer in about 45 minutes and left to go to Houston before the rain began.

Boy, were we glad we did, as the rain set in and they ended up canceling all of Saturday’s events. All we had left to shoot on Saturday was the super sporting, which we have never shot. But we were glad to be home and watch eight inches of rainfall in the next 24 hours.

Brian had to stay and was shooting really well. He was only down 15 targets after 150 targets shot. He ended up doing really well for shooting his first Nationals in 15 years. Usually, he was one of the target setters for this event, but this year he got to enjoy shooting it.

What did we learn from watching shooters?

A lot of the folks that we watched had that gun mounted and were looking right down the barrel the whole time. That would put them behind the target the whole time and they would wonder why they could not get in front of the target.

One of the gentlemen we were shooting with asked some questions and we told him to make sure when he called for the bird to have his eyes away from the barrel and looking back to the trap. He was amazed at how it slowed the target down. Rather than conducting a symphony orchestra, he was shooting a lot more efficiently and effectively.

We also saw a lot of swing-through shooters and witnessed their frustration when they couldn’t hit the target. The gun was going so fast they had no way to correct the miss since everything in the picture was moving. All they could do is swing faster. And we all know how that works out.

We also watched how many people were watching the barrel in the setup. That means they will see it during the shot, which as you all know is not good. You know where the gun is, but you must practice knowing where it is. Most folks don’t want to put in that time, which is a shame.

The more awareness of the gun you have, the less you have on the target. We like our students to have a 95-98 percent focus on the target and a 2-5 percent awareness of the gun. The gun is a part of the shot, but not a big one. Yet everyone wants to know where it is and check the “lead.”

If you will just have the target behind the barrel and go the same speed, the lead will be right. But you can’t trust that until you have trained it.

We also watched the clay target kill shot review on the Knowledge Vault for a week before the shoot and each day of the shoot. What a difference that made in our shooting.

As you all know, we don’t shoot tournaments and don’t practice. But I found it amazing that I could make the movie happen just like on my computer screen. It took so much of the anxiousness out of the shoot and I felt calm and relaxed for each shot, which was really a good feeling. I felt like I had my flow on.

We shot great for the amount of time we had practiced, but more importantly, we had a blast seeing everyone again. And that’s what it is all about. If it isn’t fun, it’s not worth the time.