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Thoughts on the Advance Class: New Moves and Nose on the Target

Just like the wind, March flew by way too fast. We had two Advance Schools this year and due to the COVID restrictions, only 12 people were allowed in the lodge at 74 Ranch. So, we had nine students and three instructors for two weeks.

We spent the majority of the time learning how to read targets in the break zone so you would know what it was doing and to learn the four new ways to shoot targets—Catch, Stroll, Converge and Challenge.

Keeping the nose on the target was also a big deal for everyone, which means you have to have your head off the stock so you can look back to the trap and see the target. If your head starts on the stock, you don’t see the target until it crosses your barrel. Then you are behind, and it is hard to catch up. If the nose (and therefore, the eyes) are away from the gun, you can see the target and stay in front the whole time. Create separation of the eyes from the barrel.

Learning only comes from the feedback you get from the shot. If you miss it, you get a lot of feedback. And even if you hit it, you get feedback.

“Finish the shot” was talked about a lot. That means you have to have the same speed at the end of the shot. Stopping after the shot and replaying it was hard for a lot of folks.  They wanted to just keep loading and loading.

The post-shot routine is the most underused, but one of the most important to do. The best time to review a shot is right after you have smashed a target. So why not take those few seconds and relive the break? Then this becomes your pre-shot routine of seeing the target break in the breakpoint. The other thing that happens is that this keeps you in your rhythm, so you don’t go faster and faster at the end of the set.

It was a great two weeks, and our job was to get everyone out of their comfort zone. We accomplished that and made everyone comfortable being uncomfortable.