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Vicki Ash

Vicki’s Blog

Vicki is considered one of the queens of the sport. She’s been known to outshoot many folks, regardless of gender! You’re assured a great learning experience when you get Vicki as your teacher. Send Vicki a message if there are any areas of information you would like for her to respond to.

In order of date

Mastering a Trajectory

New shooters don’t have the shot inventory to properly visualize how and where they want the shot to come together, or they have been chasing all the targets down and trying to fix the shot at the e...

June 24, 2024

Fear from a Lack of Plan

You can see people walk up to a stand, and they are scared to death to get ready to shoot that target. They don’t have a plan of what they’re going to do with the targets. And you can just...

June 3, 2024

How Much Detail in Your Routine?

How detailed should your routine be once you’re in the station?  There are several levels of detail that we can discuss, depending on whether you’re in a tournament or whether you’re in...

May 13, 2024

Your Memory is a Choice

Remembering the past is intimately linked with imagining the future. You had a bad day at the shooting range and your buddy calls and says, “Let’s go shoot at that range.” You’ll probably ...

April 22, 2024

Change Your Approach

Positive or negative, or even verbal encouragement on the course while you’re shooting… none of it is good or will improve your performance. This is why the frustration occurs. What you’...

April 1, 2024

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 ch...

March 11, 2024

Blind Spots When Shooting Pairs

If the targets are hard to see due to lighting or background conditions, find a spot that’s either on the target line or close to it. And after killing the first bird, get your eyes there and ke...

February 19, 2024

Confident – But Not Overconfident

“If we can accept that having some level of expectation is a normal and natural byproduct of training and competition, how do we best manage and deal with it?” Well, you always go into a p...

January 29, 2024

Learning to Shoot in the Wind and Rain

If you want to become a good competitive shooter, just like practicing your gun mount, you got to put a number on your back and get in the game. The first year in master class, shoot every event at ev...

January 8, 2024

Shooting Without Thinking

We think it would be good to talk about one more step in the performance part of sporting clays that not many of you have considered. When you look at a target for the first time, your long-term memor...

December 27, 2023

Failing and Failing Better

For most of you, facing a long, crossing target will make you a little uncomfortable on your first attempt because you have no expectation of hitting it. You simply call for the bird and the gun magic...

December 20, 2023

The “Win or Learn” Attitude

Things that happen to you just are. But how you remember them turns them into strong influences on who you will or can become. When you attach to the memory something positive that helped you to achie...

December 13, 2023

The Habits That Are Hidden by Conscious Thought

Our research shows several patterns that have emerged over the years we have been professional coaches, and it basically boils down to two things: either shooters begin to try or begin to evaluate whi...

December 6, 2023

“Talent Hotbeds”

Daniel Coyle, author of “The Talent Code,” has a knack for putting things in words based on his research of “talent hotbeds” – coaching situations that produced high performers consisten...

November 29, 2023

Opening Your Over-and-Under Automatically

Let’s use opening your over-and-under shotgun as an example. You don’t have to consciously tell your hands where to hold the gun and you don’t have to look at your thumb to make sure it hits the...

November 22, 2023

The Pointing Instinct

Since you were six months old, you have been pointing at something you were looking at, so your pointing sequence is highly automatized due to the number of times you have pointed at a distant object....

November 15, 2023

Your Attitude is Crucial

The journey to mastery involves controlling and dealing with the many challenges and adversity put in your pathway to teach and test you. Skill resides in the filler in the brain and as you go through...

November 8, 2023

Having a 50/50 Point of Impact

We recommend fitting a gun with light cheek pressure and that the gun be stocked so that with light cheek pressure, the Point of Impact (POI) be 50/50. While some shooters like floating a target, we a...

November 1, 2023

Myelin Growth in Young Shooters 

Young shooters are easily excited with the rapid learning and skill-building they experience, but they will soon hit the proverbial wall where it takes more effort to move to higher and higher score p...

October 25, 2023

Learning from Your Failures

It’s easy for shooters to dwell on the failure on the last station. But the winners learn from it and move on, and leave the misses behind them in the cage, maintaining a calm quiet mind. Most shoot...

October 18, 2023

Are You Doing This for Yourself?

Some people think shooting is about breaking targets. But in our experience, it should be about so much more, especially when it comes to learning to perform. We have the privilege of shooting with yo...

October 11, 2023

A Hundred Percent Effort in Practice

The thing that confuses shooters is that they don’t practice with the required intensity. They’re out there going through the motions, having fun. And then when they go to a tournament they tr...

October 4, 2023

 The Downward Spiral

After you enter the downward spiral and are confused for 25 to 30 minutes, you’re toast for the day. This is due to your brain injecting cortisol into your system, which is a hormone that kills ...

September 27, 2023

Distracting Phrases

We’ve all heard the stupid phrases our brain injects that do anything but help us remain positive and stay in the zone: “Is that the right hold point? Be sure you get the lead right. I wis...

September 20, 2023

Learning to Compete

There’s a difference in shooting a shotgun and learning how to compete. First of all, you have to be able to shoot a shotgun and break the target the way you want to break it and where you want ...

September 13, 2023

From Hesitant to Depressed

When we go into the negative spiral, we begin neutral, but we become hesitant and doubtful due to hoping to shoot great today. The wrong brain is already in control. From hesitant, you slip into the c...

September 6, 2023

The Upward and Downward Spirals

Pressure, real or perceived, makes our brains say the most stupid things to us at the most inopportune times. We have talked about how to overcome these lapses into doubt. But when you make it a habit...

August 30, 2023

Neutral or Happy

In Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson’s book, “Every Shot Must Have a Purpose,” their mantra is “neutral or happy” from an emotional standpoint. A lot of emotional outbreak, whether p...

August 23, 2023

Training Your Working Memory

You’re very confident about the things that you’ve shot the most of. And you don’t have to think as much about how you’re going to shoot it because you’ve shot them 10,000 ti...

August 16, 2023

How Lethal Our System Is

You can never put the gun consistently further in front of the target than you are comfortable with. The reason you were able to do it in the first shot was because there was no expectation. You just ...

August 9, 2023

Focus on Specific Targets in Practice

You have to have a goal for your practice. That comes from an assessment of what happened last year. Let’s say you went to a tournament, and you realized that of the 18 birds you missed, 11 of t...

August 2, 2023

Finding Your Inconsistencies

Effective practice demands a higher level of engagement. You can’t cram for skill-building in shotgun shooting; it’s a gradual process that requires thoughtful and deliberate effort. A rec...

July 26, 2023

Turning Negatives into Positives

It’s a common human tendency to remember events more negatively than they actually were. This negativity bias affects our perception in various aspects of life, including clay shooting. Surely y...

July 19, 2023

How You Respond to Pressure

Every shooter experiences moments of failure and pressure. However, successful shooters differentiate themselves by how they react to these situations. A common response to pressure is to speed up –...

July 12, 2023

Analyzing a Master Class Scorecard

A thorough examination of a master class shooter’s scorecard can uncover significant insights. Despite a high level of expertise, areas for improvement are often evident, such as unforced errors...

July 5, 2023

Skill Development and Repetition

In the journey of mastering clay shooting, the mantra is clear: repetition breeds skill. Just like railroad tracks, which become polished and smooth with frequent use, shooting skills are honed throug...

June 28, 2023

Beyond Targets: Life Lessons from Shotgunning

Shotgunning is about more than just hitting targets; it’s a gateway to invaluable life lessons. For young athletes, especially those in college, shooting can teach honesty, discipline, and how to le...

June 21, 2023

What Our Experience Has Taught Us

In our travels shooting, coaching, and speaking about our passion, we’re still amazed at the perceptions that each shooter brings to what they do when they shoot a shotgun. We’ve spent most of the...

June 14, 2023

Creating Concepts

When will you be willing to fully embrace the concept of breakpoint and being early? It is a choice. When will you be willing to fully embrace the concept of subconscious lead and stop looking at the ...

May 31, 2023

The Edges of Your Ability

Anything contrary to what we believe is easily dismissed as not believable. Your performance is the byproduct of your concepts, and the learning threshold is the summit of your current abilities. Your...

May 10, 2023

Struggles Are Good

...

May 3, 2023

What You Need to Ask Yourself Before a Shoot

You need to determine how far you’re comfortable traveling to a shoot the morning of the shoot. Experiment. Look for patterns. Some people might be comfortable traveling for two-and-a-half hours and...

April 26, 2023

Talent vs. Skill

Talent is the ability to anticipate into the future without fear. Skill is the ability to do what you do subconsciously. Let’s use a fishing metaphor, shall we? Your subconscious skills are running ...

April 19, 2023

Competition – Win or Learn

The competition isn’t a win-or-lose thing. The competition is an opportunity for you to lay it all out there on the line and keep giving it a hundred percent. At the end of the competition, go back ...

April 12, 2023

Cue, Response, Reward

Habits are built this way: cue, response, and reward. The cue is a trigger for the automatic response to start. The response is the behavior itself, and the reward tells our brain whether we should st...

April 5, 2023

Act Your Way to Right Thinking

You’ve got to put yourself in the game and fail enough times, but keep trying harder and doing the things that we’ve talked about on the Coaching Hour in order to succeed. Remember: you can’t th...

March 29, 2023

What Are Focus Ratios?

“Focus ratios” are what we call the amount of focus a shooter puts on the target versus the amount of focus on the gun as a term of percentage. For many people, these things change. For example, y...

March 22, 2023

F.E.A.R: Failure to Effectively Accept Results

Failure to Effectively Accept Results. Fear. The thing that enables us to get past fear is courage. And courage comes to you in different ways. What do you have to trust in your game to overcome fe...

March 15, 2023

What to Do During Your Winter Layoff

First, you’ve got to take time off. And if you have been keeping a log, refer to what you’ve done in past years. If not, then start keeping a log. You can go to the log page on the Knowled...

March 8, 2023

Finding Your Idiosyncrasies at the Start of the Year

At the beginning of the year, it’s important to find your idiosyncrasies. They’re going to be certain things that you will have a tendency to do under pressure. You’ll take things for granted: M...

March 1, 2023

There’s No Such Thing as an “Easy” or “Hard” Target

  “If we can accept that having some level of expectation is a normal and natural byproduct of training and competition, how do we best manage and deal with it?” You always go into a prac...

February 21, 2023

Your Opponent is Your Ally

Your opponent is instrumental in creating this growth. The better the people around you that you are competing with, the better you will have to shoot to compete with them. The better your opponent is...

February 15, 2023

Tips on a Blindside Bird

A blindside bird is one that comes from your left if you’re a right-handed shooter and from your right if you’re a left-handed shooter. When shooting a blindside bird, it’s important...

February 8, 2023

Pushing Past Discomfort to Learn

  This is a segment inspired by Fred Shoemaker’s book “Extraordinary Golf” that Gil and Vicki used at a coach’s clinic in Nebraska about coaching kids.   One of the things you have to ge...

February 1, 2023

The Timing Drill

The timing drill is done on a skeet field. You go out to station eight and take three or four steps back towards station four and face the center stake. The gun hold point is over toward the high hous...

January 25, 2023

Weekend Shooters vs. Winners

Seeing a marked improvement in your ability to shoot targets is not a quick evolution. This is why we keep saying to shoot singles with routines. There are no shortcuts, but everyone is looking for on...

January 18, 2023

Failing and Expectation

The people who are still in mental management and the people who are selling “reprogramming your brain” and mental chewing gum as the know-all and end-all will tell you that all you have to do is ...

January 11, 2023

The Importance of Balance

Balance is something that we take for granted because we use it every day. Unless you’ve had an inner ear infection or some kind of problem that affected your balance to where you couldn’t overcom...

January 4, 2023

How Close Together Should Your Feet Be?

“When shooting below your feet, how much closer should your feet actually be? Should foot closeness vary with downward angle? Should my feet touch every time? Is there an optimal distance betwee...

December 28, 2022

What Are You Trying to Change?

The performance mindset is to break the target at all costs. But in order to get into the learning mindset, you need to stop trying to break the target. If we can get you to focus on the change, focus...

December 21, 2022

Be Methodical!

You’ve got to be methodical about everything you do and every shot you take. If you’re not methodical and intense every time that you get ready to call for the target and go after it, then your re...

December 14, 2022

Adjusting Your Expectations

Back in 2021, a shooter we were helping told us that exchanging had really helped him, because it made him look at him game. “It made me look at what was going on outside of sporting clays in my lif...

December 7, 2022

Our Simple System

The OSP system is not a system of complex leads. It’s not a system of gun speed being faster than bird speed. It’s very simple: 70-yard line, nose on the target, be early, as it comes stabilize th...

November 30, 2022

Leaving the Present and Self-Judgment

There’s a catch-22 in shooting competitively. You do it for the enjoyment and the thrill of competition and you start shooting well. Then all of a sudden you think, “Well, this is why I’m doing ...

November 23, 2022

The Evolution of Your Self-Correction

Your correction routine is going to evolve. A few years ago when we changed our approach from getting you to hit the targets to teaching yourself to self-correct, we began to realize that just looking...

November 16, 2022

Back from Nationals

We are just getting back from the NSCA National Tournament in San Antonio where we spent eight days in an RV. It was a great time seeing all the folks – sponsors and friends that we have been w...

October 31, 2022

I Can See Again!

It has been a busy year and we are already scheduling for 2023. If you would like us to come to your club, let us know so we can call and get them on the books. It has been a roller coaster ride for m...

October 11, 2022

Breaking Clays from California to Tennessee

April was a busy month. Our out-of-town clinics are really filling fast and “Gun-Fits-R-Us” is busy when we’re in town. Brian is working almost every day and his weekend clinics are all full. ...

May 10, 2022

Another Great Advance School Wrapped Up

Another Great Advance School Wrapped Up We are at the end of March, and I have to say it’s been a busy month. Our Advance School took up the first two weeks with a great group each week. There were ...

April 1, 2022

A Full Schedule of Clinics and Lessons

It’s been a busy start to the year. January flew by and now we are at the end of February. And it’s all gone great! We have completed the schedule for the year, and it appears that it will be anot...

February 22, 2022

It’s Shaping Up to Be an Eventful 2022

We are almost to the end of January, and what a busy month it has been. We have almost all the clubs and dates for this year posted. It will be a busy year like 2021 was. Brian and Gil went to Flori...

January 24, 2022

A Busy End of the Year

November and December have been very busy for us, just as it’s been very busy all year. I think people just want to get out and feel normal again. We added nine new clubs this year and they were all...

December 13, 2021

Lessons from 2021 Nationals

We had a great time at the NSCA Nationals. It’s always fun to see everyone and remember why we love this game so much. Every year we rent an RV and stay on the grounds. And this year we even rented ...

November 17, 2021

News from Vicki: New Clubs and Starting Over

It’s the end of October, which means the rest of the year is going to fly by and 2022 will be upon us. We’ve had a great year and it’s been fun to get back traveling again and seeing repeat stud...

October 23, 2021

Continuing Eye Issues

In April, we went to Iowa to teach the Scholastic Clay Target Program athletes and their coaches. I noticed that there was a blurry spot in my left eye, so when we returned to Fulshear, I called and w...

August 10, 2021

Back to Normal – A Quick Update

It’s been a busy couple of months and it feels like we are getting back to normal and traveling to clinics again. We have been to Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, South Carolina, Minnesota, Wisconsin...

August 10, 2021

Reflections from Cosner Reserve

It looks like people are getting back to some sense of normal. On our way to Sporting Clays at Cosner Reserve in Pelham, North Carolina, the airport was really crowded. There wasn’t a seat left on t...

May 10, 2021

Success in Des Moines

Gil and I just got back from Des Moines, Iowa where we were training the SCTP group and their coaches. What a great group of adults and athletes to be around. A big thank you to Larry Gay who is in c...

April 29, 2021

Thoughts on the Advance Class: New Moves and Nose on the Target

Just like the wind, March flew by way too fast. We had two Advance Schools this year and due to the COVID restrictions, only 12 people were allowed in the lodge at 74 Ranch. So, we had nine students a...

April 5, 2021

What A Difference A Week Makes!

Brian and I left on Thursday, February 11th for Ben Avery in Phoenix, to do three full days of teaching. When we left Houston, we were looking at what the weather was going to do. Our weather service ...

February 24, 2021

Beginning of a New Year

Well, 2020 is finally over. And just when I think 2021 is going to be a great year… things happen. But we are continuing to book clubs all over the U.S. to have a great year for helping people ...

January 15, 2021

Nationals 2020: Competing With New Eyes

Previously: My reflections on being able to see for the first time in 2 years.  Gil, Doss, and I got three days to actually shoot at our field before Nationals. And that was the first time I had sh...

November 9, 2020

My Cataract Journey (Part 3: The Second Surgery)

Read Part 1 and Part 2 The second surgery is done, and what a difference they’ve made in my life. I really didn’t realize how bad my vision was until I could see. The first one went so well, wi...

September 10, 2020

My Cataract Journey (Part 2: In Limbo)

In her first post, Vicki talked about the lead-up to her cataract surgery. In this post, she goes through the week following the surgery on the left eye. The afternoon after surgery I went home and d...

August 6, 2020

My Cataract Journey (Part 1)

In 2018, my eye doctor told me I was developing a cataract on my left eye, but at that point, it was not bad enough to do anything about it. In early 2019, I knew my vision in my left eye was getting ...

July 27, 2020

Quarantine Update

Here we are on day 3,080 of quarantine – or it feels like it, anyway. We have had the office closed down since March 20 and have been spending our time cleaning out boxes of stuff. We moved int...

May 12, 2020

Advance School 2020

Well, it has been a busy March. We did the Advance School the first two weeks and had a great time with everyone. There’s been a lot of learning and progress with everyone’s game. Now it’s ...

March 23, 2020

Ben Avery December 2019

We spent last weekend in Phoenix, Arizona teaching at Ben Avery. Wow, what a facility! We have been going to Ben Avery for about six to seven years, and it has grown so much. They used to have only on...

December 16, 2019

Nationals 2019

Well, it’s been a while since I told you what we’ve been up to, so here goes. It’s been a busy fall! We went to NSCA Nationals and as usual, we had a blast. This is the only tournament tha...

November 15, 2019

Looking at the Barrel and Making a Plan

We’re just getting home from teaching at a new club for us – Minute Man Sportsman’s Club just north of Boston. What a perfect time of year to go to a cooler climate. The leaves had not s...

October 1, 2019

Where Did July Go?

Wow, where did July go? We got to spend some time at the bay house over the 4th of July, but the winds were so high that we didn’t even get the boat out of the stall. We did have the right West wind...

August 28, 2019

Punching in to Master Class

On our last Coaching Hour podcast, we had some students who have punched into Master Class and they wanted to know about the mindset of competing in Master Class. Each of them has families and jobs an...

June 28, 2019

Tips for a High-Volume Shoot – Bolivia 2019

I’m home from Bolivia. Gil and I had a great week seeing old friends, making new ones, and instructing in the field on how to best take the dove and pigeon shots. Everyone did their gun mount h...

June 4, 2019

Kentucky, Colorado, Bolivia and Argentina!

We went to a new (to us) club – Jefferson County Sportsmen’s Club in Louisville, KY. The flight over was interesting.  As much as we travel, we haven’t had the pilot come on the speake...

May 30, 2019

April – Frozen to Blustery!

Gil and Brian got home from teaching the kids of SCTP in Frozen Butt, Iowa. After I taught the novice clinic and Easter coming up, we started a Coaching Hour on Wednesday. But there was so much static...

April 22, 2019

19 Years at Camanche Hills!

It’s been 19 years that we have been coming to Camanche Hills Sporting Clays in Northern California. My, how time has flown. Next year we will have to have a party when our 20th year rolls around. W...

April 9, 2019

2019 Spring has Sprung: Back on the Road Again!

Lessons from the Advance School We had two weeks of Advance School at the 74 Ranch, and what a great two weeks they were. The biggest thing we worked on was having a pause before you call “pull,” ...

March 25, 2019

Why Won’t You Practice the Flashlight Drill?

Brian and I just got back from teaching for four days at Ben Avery in Phoenix. They keep telling us they only get seven days of rain a year, but every time we come it rains. Then a cold front blew in ...

February 20, 2019

Where Did January Go?

Here it is the end of January, and where did the days go? After we all got back from San Diego, Gil and I went to Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada to do seminars. We had a full hou...

January 30, 2019

Welcome to 2019!

Wow, 2018 went really fast and we started 2019 in sunny San Diego, CA with the family.  Andrea, Tim, Avery, and their exchange student from Colombia came down from Oregon. Gil, Brian, Jackie (fiancé...

January 16, 2019

Youth Interventions and Year-End Wrap Up

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! And it’s going to be a great New Year. We have already fully booked the year for clinics, so check it out and come see us somewhere in this country. Or come dove and/or pigeo...

January 2, 2019

Knowledge Vault Will Improve Your Game!

We are in sunny Florida doing clinics at the Sarasota Trap, Skeet and Clays Club. The weather is beautiful and temperature is 65 degrees, getting warmer by the minute, and everyone here is wrapped up ...

December 9, 2018

No Heavy Lifting!

Wow, what a busy three weeks. Sorry to be so late in letting you know what the Ashes are doing, so here goes. Gil went to Boise, Idaho with John Wiles of Best Wingshooting to check out a place where y...

November 16, 2018

Nationals 2018

I’m sitting inside our RV in San Antonio at the 2018 NSCA National Tournament and it is pouring down rain here. We chose not to go and shoot our 28-gauge 100-bird competition or the 28-gauge FITASC ...

October 29, 2018

Preparing For A Hunt

We have been busy teaching a lot of folks who are going on some kind of hunt, some for the first time. I have had several lessons with folks going to Argentina for the first time and tried to emphasiz...

October 12, 2018

Phoenix is HOT in September!

Brian and I got away from the rain in Houston and into the heat in Phoenix… and I mean the heat. It was 110 degrees at least each day, and we got through it. Wow, it was so hot! But it was a dry hea...

September 17, 2018

Bolivia – Pennsylvania – Phoenix!

Sorry to be so late with another blog, but things have been really busy here. We went to Bolivia to a beautiful lodge and shot doves and pigeons for four days. Gil had gone last year when I was kid-si...

September 10, 2018

Coaching Hour Transcripts Underway, August Travels and More!

We, meaning all of us in the office plus our new editor Nick, are trying to get the rest of the Coaching Hour transcriptions up on the OSP website. 2001 through 2014 are up and readable, but we have m...

August 13, 2018

Ashe County Wildlife Club

We just finished three days at Ashe County in the mountains of North Carolina where the high was 75 degrees. A lot nicer than the 100 degrees in Houston. This is a new club for us and the reception wa...

July 23, 2018

Oregon 2018

I’m on my way home from a great ten days with our granddaughter Avery in Oregon while her parents were gone. Our daughter Andrea turned 40 years old, so a little vacation is a reward for her and Tim...

July 19, 2018

Coaching Hour – Hot Topics!

We have been at the bay house for a week now and fishing hasn’t been great but the crab traps have been busy. In 3 days we got 28 crabs and had a big crab boil with our neighbors and ate them al...

July 10, 2018

Nashville – Country Music Hall of Fame!

It was a great week in Nashville. Our son-in-law and his team were on morning radio to be inducted into the Country Music Radio Hall of Fame. Even Garth Brooks showed up! So cool. We went by Double Gu...

June 28, 2018

Argentina 2018

What a great time we had in Argentina! We spent eight days of shooting; first doves where we taught in the field and didn’t shoot, then on to the pigeon lodge where we shot those deceiving big birds...

June 19, 2018

What’s Going On at OSP

Mother’s Day brought us back to Houston after being at Drake Landing in North Carolina for three days of learning. Great place, great people and good targets in the hills… and for a flatlander, s...

May 31, 2018

Three for Three at Kiowa Creek

We had a great three days at Kiowa Creek in Denver, Colorado for all three of us. And we were especially happy that it didn’t snow on us. We will be back the same weekend next year, so put it on the...

May 14, 2018

Vicki’s California Adventure!

I took a long ten-day trip to California, and what I learned is fabulous. I was solo on this trip going to two places I’d never been before. My first stop was in Sonoma at the Wing and Barrel Ranch....

April 30, 2018

California and Balance

On my way to a new adventure, going to California, alone, to a new club. It’s my time to spread my wings and fly — literally fly to Sacramento, then on to Sonoma to the Wing and Barrel Club for th...

April 23, 2018

Problem with a Target?

It’s Sunday morning and I’m at NTB with Brian’s truck, since he had a flat tire on his way to do his clinic this morning. So I left him my car and brought his truck to get new tires. It’s been...

April 9, 2018

Hope is Not a Plan

Wow, what a great weekend clinic I had at our home field! Gil and Brian were in freezing Iowa teaching the SCTP coaches and athletes in the snow while I took the clinic in 80-degree Houston. I got luc...

March 28, 2018

Advance School Week One: Lots of “A-has” and “Wows!”

We had a great first week of Advance School. There were lots of “a-has” and we gave everyone some things to work on to improve their shooting. We had several “move, mount, shoot” people for th...

March 7, 2018

Make Your Plan and Shoot Your Plan!

Last weekend in Hurricane, Utah was great and we found out why it’s called “Hurricane”: on Saturday the wind came up and blew 40-50 mph. It was hard to even stay on your feet, especially when a ...

February 14, 2018

See It, Stabilize It, Send It!

2018 started busy as ever. The first weekend took us to Dallas Safari Club to do our seminars. This year Brian went with us to see what goes on. It is a big show and lots of people come to see all the...

January 19, 2018

Holiday with the Ashes!

Boy, was the end of 2017 busy! We had our Christmas here on Christmas Day, then on the 26th we gathered the crew and went to Bend, Oregon to meet up with our daughter Andrea and family for fun in the ...

January 15, 2018

Doing a Little Fishing

We are taking some time off and doing a little fishing. Since it is winter and all the bait fish have gone out of the bays, we have to change what we are doing to catch the fish that are left behind. ...

December 12, 2017

A Great Year of Learning

Whew, what a great year of learning 2017 has been! We have traveled a lot; we met so many great people this year and added five new clubs, so all is good. We’re still recouping from Harvey, getting ...

December 1, 2017

Make Your Plan and Shoot Your Plan!

We are leaving to come home after being at Garland Mountain Sporting Clays near Canton, Georgia. Wow, what a beautiful place. Being November, the trees had turned their fall colors, which was lovely. ...

November 13, 2017

Fun at Nationals

We had a fabulous time at Nationals this year. It was so great to see everyone again. We rented an RV and became trailer-park trash for a week. We had a ball staying on “campus” and not having to ...

November 7, 2017

Pennsylvania to Houston to Connecticut

We’re on to Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays and had another great three days of learning with a lot of new folks and several of our repeat offenders. Lehigh is in an old limestone quarry and has a lot ...

September 26, 2017

Bye-Bye, Harvey – Hello, St. Louis!

Harvey is gone and left the Houston area devastated with homes underwater and lives destroyed. But we will return as a better city. The one thing that everyone shared with us from all over the country...

September 26, 2017

Hurricane Harvey!

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers as the state of Texas has gone through the worst natural disaster in years. This makes two years in a row that we have had torrential rains and subdi...

September 12, 2017

Argentina Pigeon Hunt

We made it to the Montaraz Lodge – the pigeon lodge. After a light lunch, we were off to the pigeon fields. Hunting pigeons in Argentina is so much fun since it is like hunting ducks without the...

September 11, 2017

Argentina – Dove Hunt

It’s Thursday morning and we are in the van again to make the trip to the Pigeon Lodge. This one is only four hours away. We had a great time at Tomas Frontera’s Lodge La Zenaida or what is referr...

August 9, 2017

Argentina – Duck Hunt

We got home from teaching in Montana on Monday, July 24, and quickly unpacked and washed clothes, as we were headed for Argentina early Wednesday morning. After going to Argentina all these years, we ...

August 1, 2017

Emmet County Sportsmen’s Club

What a great trip to Emmet County Sportsmen’s Club last weekend… that is, once we got there. Our flight left at 5 AM on Wednesday to Chicago, and we landed at 8 AM. So far, so good. Our flight to ...

July 25, 2017

Vicki’s Sweet Vacation

I’m just getting back from what our general manager Becky called my vacation in Oregon with granddaughter Avery. I am not sure that vacation is the correct term. Our daughter Andrea and her husband ...

June 26, 2017

Continue Learning with the Three-Bullet and Flashlight Drills

It’s been a busy eight weeks of traveling from club to club. We have added five new clubs this year, so it’s been very hectic. But there’s been a great deal of learning going on. We have gone fr...

June 16, 2017

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Whew, what a busy and active three weeks! We went to a new club near Raleigh, North Carolina called Drake Landing. A wonderful club with a great staff and great targets. There were a lot of crossers, ...

May 26, 2017

“Pretty Gun, Isn’t It?”

“Pretty gun, isn’t it?” I know we come from a society that aims down the barrel of the gun. Most people started with a BB Gun, went to a 22, then on to a rifle and then on to a shotgun. They tho...

May 15, 2017

Make Your Plan and Shoot Your Plan: Going from 75 to 90

Here are some thoughts that I talked about in the Coaching Hour where we were talking about how to go from 75 to 90 percent. (Part two here) Before you get into the stand you should have a plan &#8211...

May 8, 2017

Crunch Time!

Crunch time has arrived. Our calendar is full and fishing is out for a while. Oh well. We are on our journey of constant discovery. Each day is a new one. We think we have heard it all and then it hap...

May 3, 2017

You Must Practice with a Routine and Plan

It’s spring, which makes us want to get outside and shoot. The biggest issue that seems to be coming up is shooters’ frustration at having so much potential in practice. Yet on game day, they fail...

April 11, 2017

Teaching in the Rain

Brian, Gil and I are here at 74 Ranch south of San Antonio, Texas doing our 2nd Advance School. We are all here and have had a ball introducing new ideas and ways to improve everyone’s game. It&...

March 13, 2017

2017 Safari International Club Conventions

We’re returning from the Safari International Club Convention where we had two great seminars. We are the only folks that get a two-hour seminar and we always run overtime because there are so many ...

February 6, 2017

“Damn, this works!”

I’m sitting here at South Florida Shooting Club watching it rain on a cold Sunday. We have had a great few days of teaching and even some time to shoot the ShotKam for the website. We had so many st...

February 6, 2017

Nuisance Decisions Get in the Way

We’re just getting back from South Carolina and Florida. It struck me how nuisance decisions get in the way of everyone shooting their best. On the September 2016 Coaching Hour, we discussed how mak...

November 30, 2016

If Only We Had a Magic Pill

I was in the office this week due to all the rain we have been having and spoke to several people about the plateaus they were on, as well as how to get beyond the score they were stuck on. If only we...

September 12, 2016

Performance Anxiety

As the different state shoots are coming up and then Nationals in October, there seems to be some performance anxiety rearing its ugly head. You can’t let that control what you do. This anxiety is f...

September 12, 2016

Vicki’s Family Reunion

Well, it’s been an exciting two weeks. Our daughter Andrea and granddaughter Avery came to town last Monday, so we spent the week with them to prepare for our Watson Family Reunion. We were in charg...

September 12, 2016

Do the Drill!

I know we have talked and talked about everyone doing the flashlight drill and the three-bullet drill and I have a hard time figuring out why no one will do them. They cost nothing other than a ten-do...

July 22, 2016

“Two Eyes – No Gun!”

It’s been an exciting number of very busy weeks for us. Traveling from hot South Carolina to the bay for a few days over July 4th to cool Montana for a welcome change from the oppressive heat in...

July 22, 2016

Travelling this Month

Brian and Gil went to Iowa to teach coaches and kids of Larry Gay’s SCTP team and I went to Oregon to babysit our granddaughter, Avery. What a busy week with a 7-year-old. She had every minute plann...

June 15, 2016

Argentina 2016

After leaving the snow of Colorado and the floods in Houston, we left for Cordoba, Argentina to rid the country of those pesky doves and pigeons. It was fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Usually, it’...

June 7, 2016

Effort and Attitude

Our Coaching Hour is our monthly hour of solving problems, talking about what we have learned, and hearing about our students’ successes and things they had learned. On last month’s Coaching Hour,...

May 23, 2016

Four Days at Kiowa Creek

We’re just getting back from a fantastic four days of teaching in Colorado at Kiowa Creek, just outside of Denver. We had so many students that Brian got to go with us and we took 15 students each d...

May 10, 2016

Fishing, Shooting, and Life

We went on a fishing trip yesterday. I say “fishing” because there was not a lot of catching on this trip due to the weather and a lot of wind. So, it also gave me a chance to think about how frus...

April 18, 2016

Close Targets Within 30 Yards

It seems there has been a big issue of students who come to clinics or lessons and always want to learn to shoot the farther targets. But I ask, “Can you shoot all the targets that are within 30 yar...

March 24, 2016

Florida Recap

We have been in Florida for the past 21 days, and while wish I could say we were enjoying the warm sunshine, it was cold until the last day. We were in our down jackets and rain gear and those shorts ...

February 22, 2016

Reflections and Realizations

We were in Dallas last weekend for the Dallas Safari Club Convention. As I drove the four hours with Gil working on something and all was quiet (hard to believe, I know) I started reflecting on the pa...

January 14, 2016

Wrapping Up 2015 – Look Out, 2016!

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. I know we are since a lot of new exciting things are happening at OSP. Our Christmas was great with our son Brian and h...

December 29, 2015

Sarasota Gun Club 2015

We have had a great week in Florida, going to Sarasota Gun Club for the first time. What a great club. It’s getting larger and adding new courses in the next few months. We will be back on January 2...

December 23, 2015

Nationals 2015

Shooting at Nationals It was another great year at the NSCA National Championship – or at least for most of it before the rain set in. We shot our main event on Monday and Tuesday when it was su...

November 2, 2015

California and Montana September 2015

We went to Quail Point in northern California for our first time and it was so exciting for us as well as our students. They had had the regional shoot two weeks before and had left the course as it w...

October 30, 2015

Learning New Skills: Fishing and Shooting

We’ve been able to take some time off from our busy schedule and have come to the bay house to chill and fish. Until six years ago I had never really fished at all. Growing up in Houston, my dad...

September 21, 2015

Dove Hunt #2

We’re back to the dove lodge with a new group of folks from Texas, St. Louis, and Jamaica. What a great experience. Everyone jelled perfectly. The Jamaicans had been there a day, so they had alr...

June 8, 2015

The Pigeon Lodge

Argentina Pigeon Lodge How much fun we had and how many lessons learned. And of course, the food and service were fabulous. The pigeon lodge was built in 1622 and has so much history. The manager Chri...

June 3, 2015

Argentina Dove Hunting 2015

We left Houston at 10:30 in a big rainstorm. Houston had so much rain on Monday night that it flooded the town. And we were getting it again. Getting to Argentina Off to Panama to catch our flight to ...

June 3, 2015

DNR Training in Iowa

We’re on our way home from doing two DNR trainings. One was in Florida which had 186 volunteers that we introduced to the OSP System. The other was in Des Moines, Iowa at the International Hunte...

May 22, 2015

Learning at Kiowa Creek

Last weekend’s clinic at our field at American Shooting Centers was as always a learning experience for us all. Just when we think we have heard it all, something new comes up. Once again, not l...

May 5, 2015

Headed to Argentina with Us? Practice Your Gun Mount!

Practice Your Gun Mount! We are going on another great trip to Argentina on May 28th. The topic of practicing your gun mounts before we go has come up. We’ve talked to many who are going with us...

April 21, 2015

Brian: The New Addition to OSP

Welcome, Brian! We had a few days last weekend when we had time to go shoot with our new employee: our son Brian who has joined us at OSP. We are so excited that he has chosen to come to help us teach...

April 21, 2015

Grandma Vicki in Oregon

While Mom and Dad went on a well-deserved vacation, Grandma Vicki took the reins over one of our granddaughters – a very active 6-year-old, Avery. Our daughter Andrea and her husband Tim live in...

March 29, 2015

Finishing Up at Advance Schools

We had a great three weeks of Advance Schools. A whole lot of learning went on in the three-and-a-half days of classes. Being at the 74 Ranch is such a great learning experience. You eat, sleep, and l...

March 23, 2015

Return to Sunny Florida

Another great week in sunny Florida. I feel like I just left… Oh, wait. We did just leave 10 days ago. The event we did was a little different from just clinics at Gulf Coast Clays. We called it...

February 24, 2015

Leaving Sunny Florida

We were in sunny Florida last weekend and had a great time with some new students and our repeat offenders, too. The weather was a lot better than in most parts of the country and we had some folks co...

February 1, 2015

Dallas Safari Club Seminars

We did our seminars at Dallas Safari Club’s convention last weekend. And as always, the animations were a hit. Everyone liked the duck, pheasant, dove, and pigeon kill shots from the Knowledge V...

January 29, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Be safe out there. ‘Til next year…...

December 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We had a great Thanksgiving week. Andrea, Tim, and Avery came in from Oregon and our son Brian picked them up from the airport. That began the week of fun. They got to the house about the time I finis...

December 17, 2014

Houston Clinic and More

Lessons Learned in Houston It’s been a strange week here in Houston, Texas. We had a great clinic last weekend. Gil did individual lessons and I took on the clinic for two days. We had so much f...

November 13, 2014

Relearning to Slow Down

Last weekend we went quail hunting at the 74 Ranch south of San Antonio. This is always a fun hunt and we do it four times a year. The thing that I learned (and probably have to relearn at the beginni...

November 10, 2014

Vicki’s Accomplishment at 2014 Nationals

What a great time at the 26th NSCA National Tournament. At the Hall of Fame Banquet, we found out that I was the only one that had been to all 26 years of tournaments. Who knew? Fun Times in the RV We...

November 9, 2014

Headed to Nationals after Clinics

We had a wonderful weekend clinic a week and a half ago and taught all week. Next, we’re going to the NSCA National tournament to visit with good friends and of course meet new ones. Our last c...

October 19, 2014

Catching up with Vicki

Back from Oregon We are just getting back from three wonderful days with our daughter Andrea, son-in-law, Tim, and one of our granddaughters, Avery. On Wednesday, Gil went salmon fishing with the boys...

October 7, 2014

Teaching in Oregon

We’re on our way to Oregon for a short family reunion and some teaching at a new (to us) club in Grants Pass. First, we’re flying into Medford, then on to Eugene to visit with our daught...

September 23, 2014

From Pennsylvania to Iowa

Our trip from Pennsylvania to Des Moines, Iowa was a little less than perfect. We left Allentown, PA after a great four days. Then on to Chicago, then on to Des Moines, Iowa…or at least that was...

September 11, 2014

Lehigh Valley Shooting Clinic

This is our third or fourth year to come to the limestone quarry known as Lehigh Valley. We once again had four fabulous days with the staff and students. Some were repeaters, but most were new to us...

September 10, 2014

Being in Flow

On our recent Argentina trip, I found myself on the third day of the pigeon hunt not shooting very well.  I guess that’s an understatement of my inability to hit anything. After shooting doves ...

September 9, 2014

Cardinal Shooting Center – Our First Visit

We visited a new club out of Columbus, Ohio last weekend and found an oasis in the middle of nowhere. This was our first time, and the facility is beautiful and huge. They have a long row of trap ran...

September 8, 2014

Baffin Bay

As soon as we got off the plane, we had to drive to Baffin Bay. We had a stop off at our bay house to get all our gear and then drive down past Corpus Christi to the way to fish with a student and hi...

August 11, 2014

Argentina 2014

We arrived in Cordoba, Argentina on Tuesday, August 5th, having left Houston on Monday. We got through customs, and then on to the lodge. That trip was another two hours, but at the lodge, Eduardo m...

August 11, 2014

Teaching in South Dakota

We finally got to Hunters Pointe Sporting Clays in Humboldt, South Dakota, 16 miles west of Sioux Falls. Tony Bour, the owner, had been trying to get us to come up there for two years but it just neve...

August 3, 2014

Taking Time Off in Alaska

We’re just returning from a vacation in Alaska. Vacation is not something we get to do, and this one was very special because we spent it with our daughter Andrea, her husband Tim, and most impo...

July 23, 2014

Advance School #1

The first Advance Class was a true learning experience. We had some new faces and some repeaters, but it was a good mix, and a lot of “aha’s” came about. Day One: Preloading and Fini...

July 18, 2014

Advance School #2

We began this school with a lot of talk about peripheral acceptance of the gun farther and farther behind the gun. This is such a hard thing to do, as it’s very uncomfortable. But the way to imp...

July 18, 2014

74 Ranch 2014: Week One

Sitting at 74 Ranch waiting for Gil to finish a lesson and waiting for the next cold front to hit here and drive home in the rain. Oh, joy! When will spring be here? Can’t be too soon for me. Great ...

July 5, 2014

Georgia DNR

We are waiting at the airport for our 2:55 PM flight to leave. It’s 4:45 and we are still on the ground. Ah, the joys of traveling for a living. Oh well. It gives me time to tell you about ou...

May 27, 2014

Safari Club International Convention – Las Vegas!

We’re just returning from Las Vegas from the SCI convention – and what a convention it was. Everything you want for a hunting experience is on showcase. You can book a hunt in Africa or a...

February 6, 2014

Seven Days in Beautiful Florida

Just returning from spending seven days in Florida. We got to Orlando and made our way past Disney World to Lakeland to meet with the Department of Natural Resources from Florida, Iowa, and Georgia. ...

January 28, 2014

England: Sightseeing and Hunting Grouse on the Moors

Coming home from 12 days in England. Wow, did we have fun. We got into London after a 10-hour overnight flight and were met at the airport by our good friend Chris Potter and went to a hotel in Tunbri...

November 9, 2013

St. Louis

Two great days in St. Louis with some repeat offenders and a lot of new faces, too. We also had a writer from Safari Club International to cover the school and to learn to shoot, so be looking for a...

October 30, 2013

South Carolina

Successes in South Carolina We had another great weekend at The Clinton House in South Carolina. This is our third year, and each year has been better than the one before. Mike Johnson, who runs the ...

October 27, 2013

Wingshooting Argentina

What a great time we had in Argentina in August! We have this figured out when to go. In August when it is hot as you-know-what here in Houston, let’s go to Argentina where it’s winter. Th...

September 24, 2013

Lessons from Lehigh Valley

We had a great trip to Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. For those of you who haven’t been there, it’s at an old limestone quarry with target presentations like you haven’t seen. You will have...

September 24, 2013

Canada

On our way home from another great trip to Wapiti Shooters Club in Grande Prairie Alberta, Canada. The club is great and the people are even better. We always enjoy this trip to visit with everyone. T...

June 30, 2013

What We Learned at the Advance Schools

We have just finished doing three weeks of Advance Schools and boy, did we all have fun. A great deal of learning went on for all of us. The one thing we wanted everyone to learn to do was to have the...

March 21, 2013

Focus Ratios and Lower Gun Mount

It’s Monday, which means we must be on an airplane going home to Houston. We had a great weekend at OK Corral in Okeechobee, Florida. Yes, we were back at OK Corral in three weeks, as the demand was...

February 17, 2013

Four Days at Ben Avery 2013

If you haven’t been to Ben Avery Shooting Center, you should go. It’s a great venue with lots of great target presentations – and of course a great staff. We had four days of teaching...

February 3, 2013

OK Corral Weekend

Just leaving “sunny” warm Florida — NOT! But we had a great weekend at OK Corral in Okeechobee. So good, in fact, that we’ll return in three weeks. It’s a great club that is growing....

January 21, 2013

Shot Show 2013

The 2013 shot show was huge as it always is. But it had a special meaning this year. Because of the gun violence in 2012 ending in December with the Sandy Hook shooting, the folks who buy and sell g...

January 10, 2013