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What Do YOU Do With Your Eyes Prior to "PULL"

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GW22, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    What exactly do you do with your eyes? Long ago, a very good trapshooter told me that his success took a quantum leap when he learned how to focus his eyes properly before calling for the bird. I occasionally have problems with visual focus and quick target acquisition so I went looking online for more info and found the above Gil Ash video. It makes a lot of sense but it's not quite complete. Harlan talks about soft-focusing your eyes 13 yards or so in front of the house, but I like to call for the bird fairly quickly after raising my gun and I just can't consistently focus on "nothing" 13 yards in front of the house without taking a few seconds. So instead I find myself focusing on a hold point in the trees which are sometimes 100-150 yards away. I can't focus on grass or weed clumps because I hold a high gun.

    I find it curious that some superb shooters can tell me exactly what they do with their eyes and why, and yet other absolutely excellent shooters don't seem to have ever even thought about it. So, is a specific, deliberate pre-call eye focus strategy a real opportunity for improvement, or just one of those things that become more of a distraction the more you think about it?

    -Gary
     
  2. AAtrap

    AAtrap Well-Known Member

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    Gary, your last question may just be the problem you are having? Have you tried shooting without dwelling on it? I, like you, call for a target rather quickly after mounting my gun, but I make sure my eyes are still and simply looking somewhere out beyond the barrel(( can't tell you just where). I don't really worry about it. I do know that if I wait too long that my eyes will revert back to my beads which usually results in a lost target; especially in shooting handicap.

    I am sure other shooters will give you some other good things to consider. Good luck and good shooting.

    Steve
     
  3. Ed Y

    Ed Y TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Having relatively poor eyes I have found that if I call for the target and look for the target, I don't get as good of results as when I look hard for the target first and then call for the target. I hold a medium height over the house but look under and around the gun, trying to see the target as it exits the house.

    Ed Yanchok
     
  4. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    What exactly do you do with your eyes? Long ago, a very good trapshooter told me that his success took a quantum leap when he learned how to focus his eyes properly before calling for the bird. I occasionally have problems with visual focus and quick target acquisition so I went looking online for more info and found the above Gil Ash video. It makes a lot of sense but it's not quite complete. Harlan talks about soft-focusing your eyes 13 yards or so in front of the house, but

    "I like to call for the bird fairly quickly after raising my gun"

    Your last phrase makes it sound like you just chose to ignore all the advice given in the previous paragraph.

    I NEVER call for the bird until my eyes are properly focused beyond where the bird first appears. Sometimes it's 2 seconds, sometimes 5 seconds, sometimes I put the gun down and remount. I never call just because "it's time."
     
  5. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    You may be right, Steve. But I only started dwelling on it a couple weeks ago after a couple disappointing rounds when friend pointed out that I'm letting targets get further out than I used to. In subsequent rounds I noticed that I was struggling to get quick focus on the bird.

    I wear prescription eyeglasses but have never owned prescription shooting glasses. I don't like the thought of spending $350-$400 on glasses and colored shields, but maybe it would be a worthwhile investment?

    -Gary
     
  6. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Mike: I respect your point, and I've tried to hold the gun up until everything seems perfect, but it screws up my rythm and that of the squad. Plus it annoys my bad shoulder. I'll keep an open mind though. Maybe you're right and I'm rushing it just a tiny bit.

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
  7. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    I improved after applying the information on "The Quiet Eye ". Les Greevy published an article in Trap & Field, March 2006. Read this about 4 times and I believe you will find what you are looking for.
     
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  8. Simon Engraving

    Simon Engraving Active Member

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    hi i would like to offer my suggestion. when gun is mounted try eo look STRAIGHT AHEAD. in otherwords look for the straightway. your periphal vision will tell data processor (brain) which way target is going. the body moves for either a 10 or 2 oclock sight picture. got this tip from hap mec tweaks.helped me BIG BIG TIME. the reason to look for the straight away is that at 34 degree targets it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a TRUE STRAIGHT AWAY.hope this helps if not blame hap have a great day howard
     
  9. dds4horse

    dds4horse Member

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    Ok Gary, I was compelled to pull my gun out put it together and simulate my gun mount. Like I told you I do what I do and I don't think about it. Just don't tell anyone my secret. I mount the gun squinting my left eye and I look down the barrel past the mid bead to the front bead and straight through past the trap house and as I do this I open my left eye and acctually am a two eye shooter. If the bird goes left I will pick it up with my left eye first and turn (WITH MY HIPS) till it is in the middle of my sight field then and only then do I pull the trigger and watch the bird break. Unless it is what appears to be a "straightaway" I whiff. When I shoot my first round of practice I do the same but after I focus past the trap house I close my eyes and call for the bird trying to train myself to pick up the bird faster. My shooting glasses are my most important piece of equipment next to my gun and elephant shooting ammo. First time I shot with shooting glasses I broke 99. they are designed so that the main magnification is near the top of the glasses where you are most likely to be looking for the bird. Keep in mind this is what works for me and I am far from qualified to tell people how to do it.
     
  10. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    Gary,

    I appreciate the concern about the shoulder....the "rhythm", not so much. I'm pretty sure the very best shooters are focused on just one thing; breaking their next target. There's a huge difference between being a PITA slowpoke and taking whatever reasonable amount of time is necessary to be ready to break YOUR next target.

    You say you hold a high gun. Perhaps your hold point has crept up until you're actually waiting on the target to get to your focal zone. There's a fine line between starting so far behind that you waste time trying to catch up, and starting so far ahead that you waste time waiting on the target.

    Hold points and elevation have a radical impact on how, when and where I get to the target. While I have my fundamental approach for competition, it's the thing I experiment with most in practice sessions. I want to understand not only exactly where to hold, but why; what it means to me if I vary it a little this way or that way; when to adjust for varying conditions and in what way. And I'm pretty sure that little of what I've learned would be of value to the next guy.

    In your case, it just might come down to figuring out how to "focus on nothing" a bit beyond your muzzle, as you said in your first post.
     
  11. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    You haven't gotten prescription shooting glasses?
     
  12. Star4Ever

    Star4Ever Member

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    After mounting the gun and checking the bead alignment and hold point for the station, I open my eye lids wide to let as much light in and look out on mid field in my break zone for the distance. This seems to work best.

    I used to try to see the bird as it left the house by hard focus on the front edge of the trap house but it seemed that I was playing catch up with the bird. So viewing the whole field in an appropriate area for the station is where I am now.

    However, I must say, the thing that has helped my scores the most has been a dedicated practice regime from station one and five. I did an analysis of my missed birds and one and five accounted for 57% of them.

    Nice Topic.
    Art
     
  13. BigBadBob

    BigBadBob TS Member

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    We teach "The Quiet Eye" to our youth shooters and since I have learned to use the system, my scores are consistently better.

    We teach our kids that it takes 3-5 seconds for the human eye to focus on an object. We have the kids, once they take the line to look nowhere but downrange of the post they are on. They and you should be familiar enough with their gun to be able to load, close the action and mount without looking at their gun. Once mounted, they should use a couple of seconds to get the "soft focus" 13-15 yards in front of the trap house, as Harlan suggest. Call for the target and break it.

    When a target is first seen by the eye, it appears as a streak, not a target. By focusing downrange and seeing all the other shooters targets and loading the gun without looking, the focus on the target is quicker.

    You also have to be totally committed to the target to break them consistently. Do everthing exactly the same way every time.

    Even unloading the gun, be it break-open or pump or semi-auto with a shell catcher can be loaded and the empty removed without looking down, with a little practice.
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Member

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    Prescription shooting glasses first.

    I find a focal point at least some 10-20 yards past the trap house. I also move the barrels slightly to the right of center, but keep my eyes over center where thr target will emerge. This is to make sure I never (well mostly never) focus back on the bead. I prefer a soft or area focus) rather than something like a bush or tree - more like the grass around it. or shoreline of a creek like we have at DGC..

    Get Prescription glasses - with at least two sets like bronze and yellow.

    Every field will require a different focus and a practice round will help you find one that suits.

    Get prescription glasses - did I mention that?
     
  15. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    Bob, 3 to 5 seconds? Eye Accommodation (focus) in humans is 350 milliseconds from 7cm to infinity. What ever you look at, your eye automatically focuses on it. Trying to focus on nothing (like the middle of a trap field) is next to impossible. I like to focus right on the middle front edge of the trap house, so I can pick up the bird as soon a possible. JMO

    Wayne
     
  16. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

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    The way my scores are going, it would appear I am closing my eyes as I say PULL.
     
  17. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Well,I'm slowly rebounding from some bad outings.With your question you've helped me review what I've done to get back on track.It seems focusing was part of the problem.It's one thing to look out and down the barrel when mounting,but another when you actually focus.So,remembering my mentor's tips I started from square one again.Bringing gun to mount at first at angle where the end of the barrel is in front of my eyes,looking past the end at a specific point,then mounting the gun without moving my head so as when it's mounted,I'm now looking down the barrel and beads are line up towards the point I'm focusing on.Next,think of a key word or phrase to use,besides pull,(ex.,,focus, bird,bustit,,go to bird,,,) then call pull.
    At one point when I was useing a sporting clay gun,I actully would try focusing on part of the bird,front edge,center etc.,,When I feel I'm truly back on track I'll try it with the BT.Right now being winter and experimenting with 7/8 oz. loads,I don't want to change too much at this time.

    Doug H.
     
  18. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with the posters that said to get prescription glasses. I reduced the cost by looking for the 2 for 1 deals when it was time to get new ones. I just bought straight single vision in a very large [decot style] frame with anti glare coating. I have never had the need to add any color. What you might be experiencing, if you have progressive lenses or bifocals is you're unconsciously waiting for the bird to clear the reading part of your glasses before you can see it properly. This is especially possible with a higher hold, which I also do. Bill
     
  19. BigBadBob

    BigBadBob TS Member

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    wayneo,

    Yes, 3-5 seconds before being truly focused. You will see the object immediately but will not be truly "zeroed" in.

    Check out the "Quiet Eye" . Google it or Dr. Joan Vickers.

    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 movement is initiated.There are 2 important aspects of this basic yet essential skill: location and duration.

    With location, the shooter MUST determine his pick-up point of the target with precision. This would be the hold-point for each post.It must be on the line of target trave land the look-point must be identified with a small feature in the background.( soft-focus) Quiet Eye duration is also very important. Expert shooters have a Quiet Eye duration of 2 or more seconds while less experienced users hold their "soft focus " for les than 1 second before calling the target.

    This technique is helpful in rifle shooting, darts, billiard. In all of the self-initiated target sports, the Quiet Eye is becoming a primary indicator of optimal focus and concentration.
     
  20. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    I mount my gun and wait a few seconds to let my eyes adjust and concentrate on seeing the target and call pull and move my gun when the target emerges I track it and release the trigger.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
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