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Practicing Slower Moves

I had a student who was really good out to about 30 to 35 yards, but when a target was any further than that, he wasn’t so good.

“Okay, tell me what kind of targets are giving you problems,” I said.
“If they’re fast, I can hammer ‘em, and if they’re close, I can hammer ‘em,” he said. “But if they’re off-speed, or if they’re long, I can’t buy ’em.”

“Well, the problem you’re describing to me is someone who doesn’t have a move that’s slow enough to go with an off-speed bird, or to go with a 50-yard target. Both of those targets have to have a very slow, delicate, soft move; otherwise, you blow right by them.”

So, if you were going to practice a slower move, you’d want to practice it on a really slow target. Probably in the beginning though, I would go out to about a 40-to-45-yard curling chandelle and practice getting in sync.

His problem was that he was too intent on lead and not intent on matching the speed. Once I got him to slow down and quit looking at the lead, and trying to shoot the lead and just see the bird on the correct side of the barrel and concentrate on matching the speed, he didn’t miss anything.

In fact, I got him back to 60, 70 yards, and several times I had to tell him after he smacked it on the first shot to close his mouth.

So, I put him in a situation that would exploit what I thought his weakness was. Everybody has a good fast move. It’s the slow stuff that you get caught on.

So, to go out and work on that you need to have a goal. “I want to improve my slower moves.” You can do that by having a target where the trap is 75 yards away from you, and it’s kind of throwing a target, it’s doing this, it’s coming at you. And then it crosses in front of you like that when it’s really slow, when you have to move really slow to stay with it.