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Tying Up Both Sides of the Brain

I had a lesson with a 70-year-old guy who had been taking lessons from the young guns – trying to pull away, trying to insert, trying to match speeds then pull away, all manner of things at the end of the shot.

When he hit it moving the same speed at the end the first time, he looked like he’d seen a ghost. He proceeded to hit quite a few targets. And I wasn’t throwing him cream puffs. He was challenging some birds and he was catching other birds and converging with quartering birds.

He asked me, “Why is this so easy?” And I said, “Well, you’re tying up both sides of the brain getting the speed right. The conscious brain that argues all the time is in charge of two very important things: bird on the correct side of the barrel, and tell me when the speed’s right. So, it’s engaged 100%, leaving the unconscious brain free to, as you adjust the speed, adjust lead to whatever it needs to be, regardless of what you think it needs to be – as long as you don’t get involved in it.”

When you’re totally intent on seeing that bird behind where the barrel is pointed, and you’re totally focused on matching speed, you’re tying up both sides of the brain doing something that they each do well.