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Need Coaching Advice for High Schooler

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by bmcgrew, Apr 3, 2009.

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  1. bmcgrew

    bmcgrew TS Member

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    I'm calling on experienced coaches for some guidance here, please.
    We've started a high school trap team and I've got a 9th grader I need some help with. He's a great kid, will do anything you ask, works hard and just a pleasure to coach. Here's the problem. The first time he ever shot trap was this year and he went 20/25. Then he went 14/25, 11/25, 7/25, 1/25 in that order. We took a break after Christmas and have started up again this spring and he consistently shoots 3/25 or 4/25 at best.
    His stance, balance, mount and move to the clay, all look fine most of the time. I'm just at a loss as to what to do. Give me some ideas as to what to do to get this young man back to breaking birds.
    Thanks so much,
    Bruce
     
  2. StonewallRacing

    StonewallRacing Well-Known Member

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    Take him to a good stock fitter.
     
  3. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    On the likely chance that the kid doesn't have money to get a custom stock, I would suggest that you just keep reinforcing the basics of keeping your head down. I would also tell him to give the bird a little bit of time to clear the house. The most important thing is to enjoy shooting because if he doesn't have fun anymore, he's not going to want to try.
     
  4. rmngtngrl

    rmngtngrl TS Member

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    Make sure that he is not trying to see the bird with his off eye...(check eye dominace).Also make sure he is mounting the gun in the same position EACH time...

    I always have the kids mount the gun (empty of course and I check this prior to this ) and then I look down the barrel to see where the beads are sitting in relation to the eye...(i.e. is it too far to the left..right...is it too high in the pupil so that he is lifting his head slightly to see the target...is is too low?) Hopefully this helps...also be sure that he is not "checking his beads " meaning that he starts off on the target then shifts his eye back to the beads and then back to the target...you will be able to tell if he is doing this by whether or not the gun is in constatnt and consistant motion.no jumpy jerks.... hope this helps

    Kym Hughes
     
  5. LABS4U0

    LABS4U0 TS Member

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    Bruce, Take him to the patterning board and find his POI. My daughter is a 9th grader and she grew 6" last year, 6' now, basketball seems to be her sport. Darren
     
  6. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest asking the shooter where he points his gun and where he is looking when he calls for the bird, and what he looks for when he sees the bird. You should know the right answers. LOL

    Then, stand a few yards away from him for a couple of shots to check for flinching, peeking, bead checking, band leading, arm shooting, and obvious glitches that are more easily seen from a distance.

    If you don't come up with anything obvious, stand a little behind the shooter and see where the shot goes. If you look through the barrel, you can see where the gun is pointing.

    If he shot well at first, he has picked up a "virus" and you must eliminate it.

    Putting a round or two on paper, using the Winston Method, might be a good idea as well.
     
  7. bmcgrew

    bmcgrew TS Member

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    I appreciate everyone's input so far. The one basic thing we have not done yet with the young man is the patterning board. And this evening after practice I did mention to him that we would probably do that next to get an idea if the gun was shooting where he was looking. "Shooting Coach" mentioned the Winston Method. I'm not familar with that; what is that?

    Thanks,
    Bruce
     
  8. Lyle

    Lyle Member

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    It could be a multitude of things and many were suggested. I have only taught one HS kid to shoot but many many kids in the sport of BB.
    I would only caution you start from the very beginning which is stance and mounting the gun empty time after time after time after time after time........you get the picture. Next shoot things that are stationary checking for stance and mount....then move to the 10 yard line and throw nothing but a straight away and break some until consisitent.

    My only student won the HOA lady at the State shoot after a year of teaching after never firing a gun previously. Trust me, start from the beginning and don't let him shoot a full round until he is doing it safely and CORRECTLY.

    Lyle
     
  9. colobiggun

    colobiggun Active Member

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    Faith and confidence have a lot to do with how you point your gun and pull the trigger. Nothing builds these faster than smashing some targets. Take him to the skeet house, low 7, and have him shoot these straightaways until he can break them easily. You should be able to stand right behind him and watch his gun movement and see what he is doing. Get his gun to shoot where he is looking.

    After much progress, move him to post 3, 16 yard line, and let him break some straightaways from there. Again, stand behind him and watch his gun movement. Dial his gun in to smoke every target. Eventually, let the machine throw him some angles. Progress to posts 2 and 4 and finally 1 and 5.

    There is a lot more to it than just this, but this should get you and him off to a better start. You need to make it fun, and breaking targets is a lot more fun. Stick to the basics and don't make it more complicated than it is. They have enough things rattling around in their heads without us adding to it.
     
  10. omahasportingsupply

    omahasportingsupply TS Member

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    I like to film the difficult kids with a camera mounted on a tripod. I know many OLD SCHOOL coaches do not like this method. Golf has used this technique for many years. Film breaks down to 30 frames in a second of tape. On the editing program I use (cheap), I can view the tape down to 1/100 of a second. Most editing program allow you to slow the tape even slower. At these slower speeds, the tape may contradict what some coaches think or say. It isn't that they are bad coaches, they have many pupils and don't have the time to analyze at the line. Many umpires have been overturned by the instant replay challenge in professional sports. If you look at the speed of the event in real time, you are amazed that the umpires get most of the calls correct! Shooters will make different mistakes at different stations. Tape is so cheap, you can keep the old copies to compare against new copies. Now you can check your progress based on what you see on tape. It may not work for everybody, but I know when parents and coaches have watched the tape in slow motion, they are amazed at what the camera records which their mind cannot. IMHO Your Camera May Vary Omaha
     
  11. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the more he shoots, the worse he gets.

    I don't think it is from lack of effort, as the young man surely wants to break those targets.

    He may be trying to hard.........He may be rechecking his bead just before he fires and if he does that, he will miss........as he has been.

    I'd lock the trap to throw straights from post 3 and start there.......That is of course after patterning his gun.

    Good luck and tell the young man he can do it by looking only at the bird, and never the bead........

    Hauxfan!
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    A custom stock is great for a shooter who is in the 85%-90% range. It could pick up another 8-10 birds.

    I suggest getting the young shooter to concentrate on the basics. Head down-look at the target. He could have an eye dominance problem that prevents him form looking at the target with his head down. Change him to shooting rounds of 10 birds (2 per post). He might be getting either physically or mentally tired. Shooting a round of 25 while making a serious mistake is just practicing the mistake.

    Setting the trap so it does not oscillate and having him shoot from posts 2,3 and 4 might help. I would bet you a Coke that he is coming out of his gun just as he shoots. After he breaks one bird, stop and have him explain what he did and what the bird looked like and how the gun felt on his cheek.

    I would ignore things like foot position, POI and where he points the gun on each post. These are things that will pick up 5 to 10 birds per round of 100. They will not pick up 80-90 birds per 100.

    Pat Ireland

    Pat Ireland
     
  13. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    Dear Bruce

    The Winston Method is simple. From a supported position, shooting off a rest as a benchrest rifle, have the young athlete shoot at a dot on paper at around 13 yards.

    While he is standing, have him look at bead stack, how the beads look to him on the barrel, head postion on the stock, grip and such, and make sure he has the same relationships on the bench.

    Have him touch the top of the bead to the bottom of the dot. Use a TIGHT choke.

    Also, very light loads will help him do well. I keep a box of 12 ga 3/4 oz "muffin" loads in the car for this. After about three or so shots, you and he will see what the gun is doing. If he is a smaller shooter, he may be lifting his head to see the bird. I would not be eager to diagnose without seeing him.

    I prefer a high shooting gun for trap. Many folks like different Points-of-Impact. If the pattern needs to come up, and the gun does not have an adjustable comb, look at a 1/4" Cheek-Eeze stick on comb. They are around $15 and stay on pretty good, and come right off. This is just an educated guess.

    Since you stated the young athlete started out like a firehouse, he knows many of the basics. See the bird, break the bird. This glitch should be easy to catch and iron out. Look for the positives, do not focus on the negatives. Not to quote someone, but "YES, HE CAN!" This is NOT rocket science. LOL
     
  14. bmcgrew

    bmcgrew TS Member

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    I wanted to catch everyone up who contributed to the forum, trying to help my 9th grader get lined out. I have some good news, so I thought I would post it.

    Just to refresh your memory, he was the young man who had went from 20/25 down to 3/25. I took advice from several different sources including Phil Kiner, who was very gracious in trying to help the young man and here is what we tried one on one with him at the range.

    1. Completely taped his off eye lens
    2. Painted his bead black
    3. Had him hold at the top of the trap house

    I then locked the trap for straight-away from post 3 and put him right behind the trap house. Close enough he could lay his gun on the roof. We just started from that point and at he chipped the first 3/5 but then started dialing it in and I wouldn’t let him move backwards until he was smoking them. Once he got to rolling smoke I had him step straight back about 3 yards and go again. We kept doing that until he had worked his way back to the 16 yard line on post 3. So he shot about 50+ rounds between the trap house and post 3 and he was in good shape after that. We shot one complete round after that and he went 21/25. Needless to say he was thrilled to death and so was I.

    Thanks to everyone,
    Bruce
     
  15. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. that old adage... "Back to Basics"
     
  16. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    I bet he shot that first round with his left eye closed.
     
  17. K80Dude

    K80Dude Member

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    Well your getting a lot of good answers. I just became a certified trap coach so I am still learning as well but here is what I would do.

    Check his gun fit and make any adjustments he may need. We all understand that not every shooter is going to be coming with the best equipment, we are struggling with a couple of shooters who don't have guns that fit and parents don't want to spend the money.

    After you check his gun fit have him shoot at a patterning board. You need to understand where his gun is shooting but the shooter needs to be able to visualize where their gun shoots. If you tell them they are shooting over or under the bird they need to have the visual reference to know what to adjust.

    You also need to check and deal with any eye dominance issues. He can do everything correctly but if his eyes aren't working with him then he is in trouble. I am currently dealing with this myself, getting old does some interesting things to your vision.

    Once these issues are checked and dealt with it is now time to shoot at targets.

    I would then have him put a modified or skeet choke in his gun and stand right behind the trap house and shoot straight away targets from post 3. Since the shooter is now shooting consistent straight away targets, he is close to them so they appear larger have him start shooting and breaking targets. Once he starts breaking targets then move him to a full choke. Keep him behind the house and have him put some smoke up. If he is missing or chipping you will know by the target break what he is doing wrong.

    Once he gets good at that move him to the 16 yard and shoot the same targets, again with a full choke. Once he has built his confidence back up and you know where he is shooting etc you can start shooting random targets. As we all know if your putting up low scores, especially lower then 10 they have no confidence, they will mentally break themselves down and you have to start all over by rebuilding their confidence.

    Assuming the gun fits, patterns where it should etc I would bet that he is either bead checking, stopping his gun or had eye dominance issues. It could be all of the above. That is a tough nut to crack for sure. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.

    David
     
  18. Steve L.

    Steve L. Member

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    Best advice is to go to a professional teacher, most everyone at club will try and give different advice and confuse him. I had the same problem many years ago. Started out in the 20's, went down fast to the single digits. Aiming, Aiming, stopping the gun. Just trying to hard. My instructor Bill Anzaldi worked with me, tried everything then one day with trap locked on straight aways told me to hold gun up level, look under gun and when target came out and under under gun to shoot. Target smoked, I could not believe it. Point was I was under targets because of trying to be too careful and stopping the gun.From that point on I learned to shoot when you get to it. His other simple rule--See the target, shoot the target. Don't think. Great advice and great teacher. Steve
     
  19. Pass103

    Pass103 TS Member

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    He is FLINCHING
     
  20. Mismost

    Mismost TS Member

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    Check his eye dominance! We had a kid last year and for what ever reason he "faked" his eye dominance...every time he showed right eye/right handed. He could not hit the side of barn if was standing inside with the door closed! I finally "caught" him closing his RIGHT eye...he still would not make the change to lefty so we had to cover his left lens with black tape...the targets started to break. He is a good little kid, but he is a one eyed shooter. Just tape the off eye, heck he can't shoot any worse and it may well help.

    I would also make real sure your boy is UP over the gun. Some times these kids shoot much better with a high gun....set the front bead on the bottom of his eyeball...get him up high so he can see what's going on. I'm convinced that you can test right eye dominate but when you obstruct that right eye's vision by putting a shotgun barrel under it, it makes it real easy for the left eye to take over...switching dominance causing missed targets.

    Talk to this kid about how he feels when he shoots...does he feel confused, kinda sick, has a lot of rapid rushed thoughts, a lot of noise inside his head, any sweaty palms or knocking knees? All of these can be caused by a "battle of the eyes". The worst part is the harder he tries, the worse he gets....stress just makes it worse.

    The good news is that if he wants to, he can! Y'all just have to find the right way for him. He may be your one eyed shooter. One eyed is not the best way, but it may be HIS way. Don't take this last part the wrong way, but you may have to get yourself some help, get this kid another coach or get another coach to help you....heck we are all learning...I'm blessed by having 2 other good coaches to work with and we quickly trade kids...sometimes I just don't click with a kid and yet another coach can come in get things rolling right away! Kids are just like real people, only smaller!! Good luck and thanks for trying to teaching a kid how to shoot!
     
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