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Help w/ Shooting Slump

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by blackfoot, May 12, 2011.

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  1. blackfoot

    blackfoot Member

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    I'm struggling- off to a slow start to this season and not sure how to pull out of it!

    My averages have been slowly going up the last 3 years and picked up yardage last year( A/ 25.5 yd).Right now I'm shooting about 4-5 birds below my averges in both Singles and Hdcp.I've shot maybe 1500 targets this year so far.

    My gun is the same and have spent at least 5 hours on the pattern board in the last 2 months,my hold points are the same, loads the same,I had my vision checked this winter and things didn't change( I will have another check up)

    I'm a one eyed shooter- I'm sensing that I'm bead checking and it goes on for maybe 10-12 birds and then I stop when i'm on the line shooting: by then I'm screwed as far as scores go.

    My misses tend to be behind the bird and my hits are centered very good breaks w/o chippers.

    The only other change i can think of since last year is I have gained 5 #'s since last year( about 1% gain).


    That's about it, my confidence is in the tank and I'm not sure how to break out this. I'm a hard worker and am spending alot of time at the range- not goofing off but shooting only singles/straight aways/hard rights/hard lefts etc.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated- never been in this jam before!
     
  2. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Golf?

    Really... Get a Krieghoff Trap Special and all your problems will go away.
     
  3. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned a couple of things that are probably big keys to you 'slump'. The first is bead checking and the second is that you are working (practicing) hard.

    Could it be that you are trying too hard? Trying to gain a level of precision that doesn't work on moving targets?

    You are shooting a shotgun not a rifle but I'll bet when you go to the patterning board you shoot the gun exactly as if it were a rifle complete with the sighting.

    Try this - black out the bead (s) on your shotgun with a black dry erase marker. Go to the firing line, line up the gun just below the edge of the house now take your eye off the bead and look out just above the house where you expect to see the target. Keep your focus there and call for a target and keep your focus on the target, fire the gun when you have a good target picture. Don't worry about your scores when you are doing this, worry about seeing the target and not the bead.
     
  4. Hardage

    Hardage TS Member

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    Relax...the slump will end. You know how to hit them so you must relax, trust yourself, and just look hard at the target only. Remember that you are not making your living doing this and occasionally a 5 to 7 day break will leave you mentally fresh and visually hungry for the targets.
     
  5. NJCOP

    NJCOP TS Member

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    May I suggest that you are too worried about mechanics and not just shooting, i.e. going after the bird agressively. Similiar thing happened to me awhile back and it wasn't fun anymore. I determined that I was going to shoot for fun (taking a break from being serious) and stopped thinking about leads, etc. I let my instincts guide my learned muscle memory and my scores went back up by thinking of the clay bird as game bird.

    "USE THE FORCE LUKE!"
     
  6. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Hard and Luke have it right. go have fun and it will go away.
     
  7. bigben

    bigben Active Member

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    Blackfoot, congrats on your efforts to get better, the first thing I would check is your trigger, if you don't have a gauge, get one in the meantime have someone with a gauge test your trigger poundage on a 15 shot string, should the poundage vary more than 1/2 pound, have it fixed. 3 1/2 # should be your low level, anything less is short shoot time. At your yardage, put a 1/16 spacer in your comb and look for better breaks right away, never confuse space between the beads as an indicator of a gun shooting higher or lower, the first bead closest to the breech is often miss drilled from gun to gun, even from the same manufacturer the only reason for the first bead is to check for cast-off or cast on requirements, nothing else. A great test is to place a pc of 7 1/2 shot on your rib or a tiny spitball while your are in your gun mounted stage, move the bb or spitball closer to the end of the gun, now the gun appears to be a figure 8 or even buried, but you have made NO adjustments to the gun at all!. A 5# increase in weight will not make much difference, 15 to 20 will need adjusting, maybe 1/16 either way, focus now on an area about 20 yds in front of the house, look in the distance and WAIT untill the target clears your barrel, your eye goes to the target FIRST, then the gun goes a split second later if you try to move the rib at the same speed as your eye, most often you will hear LOST! Practice handicap, hard, as handicap shooting magnifies your errors, 16 yd. shooting is rewarding with the customary bunch of straights but is short lived when shooting handicap.
     
  8. brownk80

    brownk80 Member

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    Blackfoot.

    Weight gain can and will change gun fit but I am sure you didn't mean to imply that you weigh 500 pounds...did you? (500 X .01 = 5).


    Sounds to me like you are moving the gun when you call. Get your eye up off the front sight and don't move the gun until you have the target locked in your sight, then move smoothly and aggressively to the target and shoot it.

    Good luck (and stay away from the beer!!)

    BrownK80
     
  9. archangel

    archangel Member

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    Happens to me too it is very frustrating. My son in law played ball at a very high level and I asked him how does one get out of a batting slump. He said review all of the basics and relax.
     
  10. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Go back to the basics. Concentrate and follow through. Shoot it out. It will eventually get better. Just went through that myself. Jon
     
  11. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    systematically, look at your score sheet after each round do you have a problem post or target? ask why , figure to make changes on worst post practice to perfect your worst post until that bad habit is broke advance on to next worst problem, yes it takes time but it does work I prefer to practice ten on post one five on three and then ten on post five missing in the middle posts is lack of concentration.
     
  12. Phil Kiner

    Phil Kiner Well-Known Member

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    You could very well be peeking with your off eye.

    To test tape you off lens completely over with black tape and go shoot a round or two. If you notice seeing black on some of your missed targets you have answered at least part of your question.
     
  13. Beni

    Beni Member

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    Go shoot two rounds of sporting clays and have sone fun then go shoot a round of trap and quit dwelling on your misses,give yourself a break. beni
     
  14. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    blackfoot:
    Your thinking way to much on the line. Did you gain or lose some weight? When I am in a slump, which is often, the harder I try and the more I think about it, the worse my scores. My best friend always says, forget all the crap you've read about shooting, look for the target, break it as soon as you can. Most of us make this game harder than it actually is. End of story.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  15. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Tuff time of year for a slump. Walking away from the game for a couple of months often works, but it's not a good time of the year to do that.

    Curious - How much did you shoot over the off-season?
     
  16. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    You have a seeing slump, not a shooting slump. Wanting to make sure of your shot leads you to peeking at the bead instead of seeing the target intently with your one shooting eye! Nora Martin Ross is a one eye shooter, one of the best lady shots of all time too, and you can bet she sees the leading edge of angled targets all the time! You hafta want that next target you call for with intensity and see it's leading edge with the same vigor.

    Hap
     
  17. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Slumps are usually the development of bad habits or something physically obstructive. I do believe in biorhythms but that shouldn't account for anything long term.
     
  18. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    I'm like Beni, Go shoot some Sporting Clays one Week and then some skeet the next. Do this for a 2-4 weeks and feel confident in your shooting again and just clear out your head. Once your sure what you were doing wrong, Then go back and shoot some trap again. Beating your head up against the wall over and over again will fix nothing (but give you a headache). Good Luck and Break-em all. Jeff
     
  19. blackfoot

    blackfoot Member

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    Thanks to all for your inputs- very helpful( more than you know)!

    Just got back from a 3 day shoot- not great again( shot 1 good Hdcp score).

    A couple things that I caught myself doing: moving the gun before I call and I have not been looking at the bird hard.The birds always look small and fast and I feel like I'm trying to catch up.Last year the birds looked slow and like Pizzas.

    Driving home I decided that I'm going to take a 2-3 week break and not shoot.I have been practising way too much( 3 times /week-20/30 rounds)trying to get out of this slump. I have now ended up being wound up as tight as a Chinese watch!

    I'm a good shooter who may have burned out practising this winter for the regular season.I know next year I'm going to take 2-3 months off in winter.

    Again, Thanks!
     
  20. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Blackfoot,

    That is exactly what caused my slump. Shot through the winter up here in Wisconsin. Ruined my confidence and destroyed the intensity of concentration. Finally started getting mad at the targets, like I really wanted to "smoke" them. Finally shot a 25 last round.
     
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