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Practicing with Just One Flat of Ammo

I was working with Craig Hill after he had gone to the world shoot and finished eighth in the world. He came to me again and awked, “Okay, what do I have to do different?”

“Describe your practice routine,” I said. Now, Craig is 6’6, a big ol’ boy who can handle recoil. No problem with it whatsoever. He had an unlimited budget and unlimited time.

“Well, I usually go up to Westside or Greater Houston, I put a flat on my golf cart, I go out and shoot a flat, I come back and get another flat and go out and shoot another flat. Then I clean my gun and go home. Why do you ask?”

I said, “Because you’re only going to shoot a flat from now on.”

“Man, Gil, what do you mean?” he said. “I’m a big guy. I can handle it.”

“It’s not the recoil,” I told him. “You’re not committing 100 percent in detail to how and where you want your shots to come together. Yes, you’re shooting 500 rounds and you’re inkballing a lot of targets, but you’re not practicing deliberately enough so that it builds confidence in your plan, so that you can commit 100 percent to every shot during your tournament period.”

He didn’t like the answer. But like he’s always done in the past, he did it. And he lit up the tournament circuit three or four months in a row after a month of deliberate practice, shooting only a flat every time he went out there.

He called me after his third win in a row and said, “I just got to tell you, not only have I gone to a flat, sometimes it’s only 175 shells because I’m worn out mentally. I’m concentrating so much on being deliberate and exact and I’m committing 100 percent to how I want the shot to come together and where.”

All the “Be Sure”s
 The Downward Spiral