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Cue, Response, Reward

A habit is nothing more than cue, response, and reward. And you have to do that “cue, response, reward” enough times, so that it becomes a habit.

When I look at the target, I always use a skeet choke on anything inside of 25 yards. I always use skeet on anything inside 25 yards. I’m making that a habit so that there’s no consternation. There’s no second thought, there’s no self-thought, nothing. If it’s close, I’m shooting it with skeet. I don’t care what you say or what you want to do. I’m shooting it with skeet.

I’m trying to create habits so that when I see a target that’s close, there’s no discussion. There’s no conversation, question or discussion of whether I should or not. I always shoot skeet at anything inside 25 yards, period.

It occurs to me that this is what practice is for. Practice is when you build habits so that when you’re performing you depend on your habits, which is how you perform without thinking. If you always do the same thing when you’re presented with a certain situation, it becomes a habit. If it becomes a habit, eventually the brain’s going to automatize it. If it becomes a habit, the brain chunks many parts together and you look at many different parts of a habit and it becomes one thing.

Until recently, I had never really looked at practice as building habits. Practice was always something I loved to do, because it was fun and I loved it.

And now even more, it’s fun because I love all the moves that we’ve come up with. All I have to do is say the word of the move and my brain knows what I’m asking it to do. I don’t have to think. I don’t have to consternate. I don’t have to worry about it. It’s just there. “I’m gonna do it this way. I’ve seen that break three times; I know I can do it. I’m gonna challenge it right there.” I don’t have to think about anything.

The ability to shoot without thinking means that you’ve done things enough times the same way over and over again that they become a habit. And when you find yourself in a similar situation, boom, the decision is already made. There’s no doubt. There’s no concern. You’re flatlined. You’ve done it so many times in practice, you know what you’re going to do. It has to become a habit.