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Soft Focus-Hard to Define?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by gunner x, Dec 27, 2007.

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  1. gunner x

    gunner x TS Member

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    Soft Focus,Hard Focus,Quiet Eye, it seems numerous shooters are perplexed by
    a clear and consise definitive explanation of those terms related to trap
    shooting. Various articles written on those subjects are somewhat vague.

    My Holiday wish is, could someone please treat us with a response to all the above and clear this malady once and for all.

    Thanks for Sharing,
    Gunnerx
     
  2. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Gunner.......Yes, it IS rather hard to put into words! Click on the SEARCH button and call up the thread "Soft Focus". Basically, it means no focus at all.
     
  3. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    Looking out, waiting for something to happen.
     
  4. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Hipshot 3: Is right, no focus is soft focus.
     
  5. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    Here is an article I saved about "The Quite Eye". Jim


    The Quiet Eye Phenomenon


    March 2006—Trapshooting Olympic Way 306 sidebar


    Dr. Joan Vickers, professor and director in kinesiology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, has been a pioneer in the identification, study and measurement of the Quiet Eye phenomenon in sports performance. The following material is a combination of direct excerpts from Dr. Vickers’ excellent article, “A Quiet Eye” [Golf Digest, January 2004] and additional text inserted by me to illustrate how her findings while studying golfers’ putting techniques can be applied to trapshooting.—Les Greevy


    Why is it that shooting consistently high scores is so difficult for so many shooters? Almost anyone can learn to mount the gun and determine the lead in an acceptable manner. The difficulty lies in using your eyes to detect the right information about distance, speed and direction at the right time, then using your mind to relay that information to consistently make the shotstring and target collide.


    By recording data under laboratory conditions (using sophisticated eye-movement tracker technology, which allows us to monitor precisely what the eye focuses on and for how long) the mystery of what separates really good competitors from the rest is beginning to be figured out. We call it the Quiet Eye; here’s what it is and how you develop it.


    The Quiet Eye occurs when your gaze remains absolutely still at the target pick-up point just before and as the target is called for and the gun move is initiated. There are two important aspects of this basic yet essential skill: location and duration.


    Concerning location, the shooter must determine his target pick-up point (look point) with precision. It must be on the line of the target, and the look point must be identified with a very small feature in the background of the scene. Quiet Eye duration is also important. The expert shooters have a Quiet Eye duration of 2+ seconds on average, while less skilled shooters hold the gaze for less than one second.


    The same results have been found in a number of other sports, including rifle shooting, darts, billiards and basketball free throws. In all of the self-initiated target sports, the Quiet Eye is emerging as the primary indicator of optimal focus and concentration.


    This QE period is essential because your hands are controlled by your brain. The brain gets valuable information from your eyes. As you shoot, your brain needs to organize more than 100 billion neuron networks that are informed by your gaze and then control your hands, arms and body as the shot is performed. These networks will stay organized for only a short period of time; a window of opportunity opens that must be used when it is at its most optimal. This is the QE period.


    The notion of being in The Zone or of “flow” in sport has been around for a long time. Until now, there has been only unscientific evidence that The Zone exists, let alone has measurable characteristics. Perhaps the Quiet Eye will emerge as one of the objective measures.


    The Quiet Eye is the glue that keeps neurons from being scrambled when under stress. It supplies the right information at the right time. Overall, the Quiet Eye has the essence of simplicity alluded to when the shooter is in The Zone. More research will tell. In the meantime, QE is something you can learn and add to your game today.
     
  6. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Hipshot 3 is correct. The human eye is a wondrous device, but you don't experience anything you see directly. All actual images are processed by the brain, before your conscious is presented with what it "sees". You cannot focus on nothing. If you try to focus on an area, or where you will pick up the target, or anything else, you end up focusing on something, and then you pay attention to it. So you don't pick the bird up as quickly as you otherwise would.

    The key is to gaze at a selected area, different for each post, that gives you the best view of the birds no matter which way they go. Then relax your eyes so they go to infinity. You can say they are focused at infinity, but you are not looking at anything. Your eyes are relaxed and gazing at an area. As part of the fight or flight reaction programmed into the more primitive parts of your brain, retinal images are processed for motion first. As a result, your eyes are immediately drawn to motion. You can't help yourself, unless you aren't paying attention, or you are focused on something else. If you are, your conscious will miss it. Then your subconscious has to go knock, knock, hey conscious, MOTION, check it out. That takes time, so you pick it up late.

    The key is to program your brain so that in this safe situation, the only motion you have to worry about is out there. I'm still working on that one. I can now almost always ignore motion on the line by shooters, but I have to concentrate on it. That means I don't always pick up the bird as soon as I should. I'm hoping by Spring I'll have mastered that.
     
  7. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    I feel it is my duty to inform you that all of the above only scratches the surface of the task at best.
    I will tell you this, you must supply your brain with visual information as soon as posible when shooting a moving target. When you are in the zone you do not miss. That is because your subconscious mind is performing the task. It never makes a mistake. It is only when your conscious mind tries to help out, that failure occurs. HMB
     
  8. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    Okay I admit to being as confused as ever. I try to do as Shawn suggested in his first post and that is to soft focus in the zone in front of the trap house where the target changes from an orange streak to a solid image. This was taught by Kayo in a clinic many years ago. I have read Daro Handy's book many times and I have tried his method of developing a smooth timed ritual for my Set-up routine. If I mount the gun and pause too long before calling for the target I end up with a stressful tense hard focus too soon and it becomes difficult to track the target. I do a short duration pause and Soft Focus instead. This seems in direct conflict with the Quiet Eye theory as I have read it ??
     
  9. Pukey Stagg

    Pukey Stagg TS Member

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    This soft focus, hard focus is all crap. It was invented because shooters wanted an explanation why some shoot well and some don't. The main reason is called ABILITY. Some shooters have more ability than others. Most of the Big Dogs don't even know why they shoot so well. Not all of them are mental giants but that doesn't keep them from breaking good scores.

    Pukey Stagg
     
  10. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Pukey.........That comment is about as screwed up as anything I think I ever read. You obviuosly don't understand some of the more significant things{like Soft Focus] in good shooting, so you will, therefore,never be as good of a shooteras you might otherwise have been! How ARE your scores?
     
  11. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    I have text files of Les Greevy/Bill Henry articles on "Quiet Eye" and "Soft Focus".

    If anyone wants them, translate the above email address and send me yours.

    Morgan
     
  12. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    Pukey, one of the most important aspects of "talent" lies in the ability to maximize the effectiveness of the techniques that make the shooter consistent and successful. I don't know WHO would have invented "an explanation why some shoot well and some don't" or why they would have need to. And I'm not sure where you learned that "most of the Big Dogs don't even know why they shoot so well" but the fact that many of them teach their styles year after year indicates that they must have given some serious thought to analyzing the reason for their success.

    Morgan
     
  13. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    How about this, When I first started shooting trap. With my 870 express. I had trouble are mounting the gun. Just felt funny. I missed a lot. Then out of frustration I went bird hunting mode. Low mount pull ohh there it is track it gun comes up I shoot. For a while I shot better this way than premount mount. As I advanced you learn theres to much to do this way. Its, tough to describe. For me its just getting a view of where the action maybe. Just like walking the fields waiting for something to fly up. You are not focused on anything just alert. I do agree you have to just go automatic. I pick a distant object prior to mounting my gun. Then a raise my gun like I want to shoot that object, mount the gun. call for Target. The target kinda scares me. Like previous. your eyes will move to the motion.
     
  14. Pukey Stagg

    Pukey Stagg TS Member

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    Hipshot,

    You would not believe my lifetime averages if I told you and neither would some of these other clowns.

    Pukey
     
  15. Pukey Stagg

    Pukey Stagg TS Member

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    Gunnerx,

    Sorry to have jumped on your thread. I hope you learned what you were after with your question.

    Have a nice New Year.

    Pukey
     
  16. Dove Commander

    Dove Commander TS Member

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    Soft focus and Quiet eye are not the same thing. Everyone should have to show their ATA number/ averages while answering questions. Most aren't qualified.

    Any good archer knows what soft focus is. You either focus on the target or the sight. If you focus on the target, the sight is a soft focus..something like a shotgun bead...duh. Quiet eye is a focus into space, in preparation to quickly pick up a target. Concentration is involved.

    The difference between a "Top Dog" and the average dude, is the ability, and desire, to process the sight picture, identify it, and move to the target in an efficient, constant, precise manner consistantly. It takes mental and physical ability to accomplish this. And it takes competitiveness to drive that desire.

    Few have the ability or the ambition to reach it. The ability and drive may or may not be "Natural".
     
  17. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Pukey....Try me! IF you have,indeed, been successful in your shooting, it must have been for reasons other than basic shooting intelligence and knowledge! For a successful shooter to downplay the very things that contribute to that success is beyond my understanding!
     
  18. kallen

    kallen TS Member

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    I like the definition of soft focus and is this better accomplished by a low gun or high gun? One of the best tips I read on this forum is to not move until you see the target clearly. Your thoughts
     
  19. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Pukey.........That comment is about as screwed up as anything I think I ever read. You obviuosly don't understand some of the more significant things{like Soft Focus] in good shooting, so you will, therefore,never be as good of a shooteras you might otherwise have been! How ARE your scores?
     
  20. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    I have text files of Les Greevy/Bill Henry articles on "Quiet Eye" and "Soft Focus".

    If anyone wants them, translate the above email address and send me yours.

    Morgan
     
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