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Ego and Evaluation

Shooters can get so obsessed with breaking the target instead of the process. You can’t do anything unless you have a plan.

This game is all about ego. And ego is all about breaking the bird. So, that evaluation part when you’re trying to learn makes it hard for everybody.

They evaluate the day on how many targets they’re going to break. That’s just the wrong mindset when you’re trying to learn something new. Once they figure that out, it doesn’t take very long.

If you start with a gun on your shoulder and your head off the stock, for you to put your head down takes fractions of a second sometimes. They’re so obsessed with what’s going on with the gun and making sure their head is down and making sure the gun’s in the right spot in the shoulder.

All that stuff isn’t important. Absolutely it is. But when you’re learning something new, and you don’t have a sight picture, you’re not missing the target because you mismounted the gun. You’re missing the target because, one, the sight picture is not right.

What they had been doing in their journey of shooting has been wrong, because they started out chasing the bird down, trying to fix it. That makes everything speed up.

Once they break that first target with very little effort and everything’s in slow motion, then you have the big “aha.” They turn around and look at you like, “Oh, wow, it’s never been that easy before.”

But then it’s on the next shot, and everything matters. They go back to “Oh, where did I start the gun? Where did I break the bird? Where do I put my eyes?” instead of focusing on the process, and not so much the result.

That way when your brain sees it five or six times in a row and it finally puts that sequence together, everything starts to look normal.