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No Shortcut to Proficiency in Shotgunning

One big thing we have been emphasizing is that skill resides in a person’s memory. A person cannot visualize something they have never seen, so there is no shortcut to becoming proficient with a shotgun – especially in hunting situations. In addition, our brain has no ability to do what we want it to do unless it first has a picture of exactly what we are asking it to do and in what order. This is what keeps most wing and clay shooters and coaches stuck at a level below where they would like to be.

When the target is still, anyone can become moderately proficient in a short amount of time, because on a still target the shooter is looking down the barrel and at the target at the same time. This pointing sequence in your brain began when you were six months old as you began to look at and point at what you wanted.

When we ask our brains to point at what we are looking at, it seems normal because we have been doing that all our lives. But when we ask our brains to look at a distant object and point at another closer object somewhere else other than what we are looking at, our pointing sequence crashes.

Adding to that, when you’re focused on a target at distance, you see two barrels, and when focus shifts back to the barrel you see two targets! It’s called physiological diplopia. Everyone has this confusing picture in the beginning and this leads to a lot of misdiagnoses of dominance shift by well-meaning but misinformed coaches and shooters.