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Why can't I hit anything

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by jbifulco, Mar 29, 2007.

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  1. jbifulco

    jbifulco Member

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    I would like to start by saying I have been reading posts here for two years since I started trap shooting. I have taken away a lot of good advice and even a few laughs from this board and enjoy the reading. This is my first thread, so any and all comments are welcome and appreciated.

    In my two years shooting I quickly became proficient, bought a XT Trap, shot every league and registered shoot I could. I carry a 94 average in singles, and a 92 average in handicap (20 yards). I even won top gun in a short 150 bird league last October. I practice 100 to 200 targets a week, mostly from the 16 yard line. I always shoot 100 targets per session and had always scored in the high 90's, 25 straight was common place for me and I was having a great time.

    Now the bad part. Since early February my scores have fallen apart. It is now a struggle to break 80 during my 100 target practice sessions. Same loads, same gun, same everything. The first ATA shoot of the season for me is Good Friday and I am concerned.

    Does anyone have any advise on how to "get it back"? Is this just a slump I can shoot my way out of?

    Thanks for listening.

    Joe Bifulco
     
  2. Sam (ATA Noobie)

    Sam (ATA Noobie) Member

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    327
    Try mixing up your routine.

    Sounds like you've become used to it, lost some if its fun. Try shooting some games with friends instead of just 100 singles.

    I think routine is your worst enemy here.
     
  3. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    I had a problem hitting targets with a rifle I had so, I just got a bigger target and next thing you know I was hitting the target more than 1/2 the time ... What you need is bigger targets, which might be a problem at most clubs today ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  4. chiefjon

    chiefjon Active Member

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    You are the best one to analyze the problem. Something has changed. I would take a couple of weeks off. Check the gun, has the comb moved??? Start back by having the trap throw straight aways, shoot from post 3 until you get your mind back in sync with sight picture and timing and breaking birds. Then move to post 5 and post 1. I recently missed the first 6 birds in a row. When I looked at the gun the comb had moved and eventhough it didn't feel wrong, I wasn't paying close enough attention to the sight picture. Once I straightened it, I was back on target. Good luck.

    JON
     
  5. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    I have encountered the same problem from time to time. The cure for this is to buy a different gun. Lol. I learned not to do this anymore. From the sound of it, you enjoy your gun! Lets get to the problem.

    You have become too comfortable shooting your XT and your concentration has lapsed. Bad Habbits are slowly creeping in and you aren't realizing it. Go back to the basics that you used when you got started. Have a trusted and knowlegable friend watch you while you shoot. Have him critique your shooting. He might not see anything at first, because you'll be consentrating on shooting properly. Those bad habbits will soon surface and become very apparent. Remember not to take your buddies head off when he suggest a correction.

    The other thing that I have always found helpful is to repeatedly mount your gun on nights when you aren't shooting. Do this in front of a mirror so you can see yourself. This way you will be able to see your form and notice if anything seems off kilter. I usually do this about a 100 times a night. This is just a suggestion.

    ec90t
     
  6. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    Are you shooting faster? Have you speeded up and lost control?
     
  7. JRD

    JRD TS Member

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    Make sure you check your comb as others have said. I usually average around 90-92 as well. I was at a registered shoot last week and I wasnt shooting very good to start with, but by my last 25 birds of singles I had totally fell apart. I had no idea where I was shooting or what was going wrong. I finished up my singles so disgusted with myself, than I came to find out my comb has worked loose and was sitting flat on the stock. I couldnt notice just by shouldering the gun, but found out after a visual inspection what had happened. Stupid me didnt have any washers on the posts to stop that from happening, but you can bet that I do now!!
     
  8. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Joe, when a shooter first starts trap, he uses a conscious, you may want to call it aiming (or not), method of putting the gun where his thought processes move it.

    After a while, control drifts over to some more automatic, you may want to call it muscle memory (or not), system which is, by definition, far more inaccessible, since thought processes are shut off.

    One of the characteristics of the automatic system is that it is far faster. (For interesting reflections on this, see the NY Times "Play" Sunday supplement, March 2007 starting page 36, and David Brook's column "Your Brain on Baseball" in the same paper, Op-Ed, March 18, 2007.) The automatic system needs to pull the trigger at a different time, in fact much earlier, long before it "looks right." While in that transition between systems, your scores are going to go way down, since the moment of trigger pull is moving and you can't do anything about it.

    Still, the auto system is the one which will win you trophies, and the one you use at the start generally won't.

    However, I completely agree with a recent post by zzt in which he advocated having both systems available and pretty well tuned up for use when needed. The auto system will sometimes go out of whack, and the only way salvage a score is to aim.

    But keep working on the unconscious way you are headed. As you get better and better, you will need it more and more.

    Neil

    PS I'll email David Brook's valuable article to any who contact me about it at the above address. It's copyrighted, so I won't be posting it here.
     
  9. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    I can see Bill Gardner has no sense of humor, must be a fun guy to be around ... Then on top of that no real solution to your problem, which if you think about it mine was ... lol .... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  10. jbifulco

    jbifulco Member

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    I found the bigger taarget post funny. I wish I could shoot garbage can lid size targets, that probably would help.

    I do seem to be shooting faster, and the gun is almost going off by itself. I seem almost "out of sync". Neil might be on to something. Maybe I am thinking to much.

    Joe.
     
  11. lumper

    lumper TS Member

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    Be like the dude in the movie Tin-Cup. Go out and get all kinds of contraptions to keep you feet correct and your body straight and your arms just right along with special extra long blinders for your glasses and a different hat with a long bill and then realize that it is 99.9% all in your head.

    Your thinking to much ... you didnt say that you took anytime off before your downfall to crap in early Feb. Ya know you could have just had one bad 25 that made you begin to think there was a problem and it has festered into a problem of confidence and overthinking.

    It was suggested to just go out, pick up the gun and call pull. Dont think about it just go do it. Get on station, stand as you normally would, put the shell in the chamber and when its your turn close the action, put the gun in shoulder, call pull and poof broken target ... 99.9% chance your overthinking it but by now you have played with your comb, your stance, your timing ... basicly you might have screwed yourself all up over nothing ... chances are its all in your head.
     
  12. lumper

    lumper TS Member

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    BTW ... did I mention that your problem is probably all in your head?
     
  13. jbifulco

    jbifulco Member

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    Forgot to mention my comb hasn't moved since I put some fancy brass washers under it about a month ago.

    Joe
     
  14. Jerbear

    Jerbear TS Member

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    Going to get flamed on this one, go shoot something else. Sporting clays, skeet, 5 stand and then come back to trap. You say your practicing 100-200 targets a week. Shoot a 50 bird Sporting clays and 50 Skeet and 100 Trap.
    See how that changes your concentration. The Sporting Clays will humble you, so you will come back to the Trap field and concentrate.


    JMHO...Jerbear
     
  15. RLSS

    RLSS TS Member

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    Joe,

    First off, your lying about your averages, practice doesn't count. No sense kidding yourself or trying to fool others.

    WPT gave you his normal dipshit answer. No help there.

    Sam (ATA Newbie) gave you bad advice. "ROUTINE" if correct is your best friend, not your worst enemy. I don't know why he even bothered.

    Eye exam - good advice.

    Return to fundamentals - good advice.

    Neil's comments are real, and happen to differnet shooters at different times in differnt degrees, but real non the less. The transition from conscious to automatic is a leap of faith that has to happen.

    GET A MENTOUR, and choose him or her very, very carefully. Local person you can trust is best. Now also sounds like a good time to consider lessons from an accomplished shooter. Many good options here.

    Keep your head down, and shoot them one at a time. Get past issues of T & F, and read all of Hoppe's and Kiner's articles.

    Good Luck,

    RLSS
     
  16. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Get your eyes checked for "Cross Dominance".

    Curt - Delaware
     
  17. maltzahn

    maltzahn Active Member

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    Over the years, my slumps seem to mirror your discription. My slumps have always related to vision, or better stated, not properly aquiring the target visually before the shot is fired. Also encourages a jump at the target or short shot. Put your effort into seeing the target clearly before you move the gun. Set your mind on visual focus just before calling for the target. The gun will move naturally with your eyes.

    The other extream is loosing confidence in your ability and stock setup or POI. Drifting into aiming instead of pointing. Loosing your timing and stopping the gun during the shot process.

    Consider winter weight gain, and how that may effect your gun fit or POI.

    We have all gone through what you are experiencing. Just keep shooting and you will find the problem. It is easy and basic form related.

    Maltzie
     
  18. CIM

    CIM TS Member

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    Last year my averages went down and my shooting was eractic.My singles dropped a full point.My handicap dropped 2 points.My doubles went down 2 points.

    I had a custom stock made for my kolar and got to where I could not shoot nowhere need as good as I was.

    There were 2 things that had changed.I had gone through a nasty divorce after being married 26 yrs.The next thing I had lost 35lbs.


    So late in the year I bought a new seitz that fitted really good.My scores went up back where they were.

    I put my old stock back on my kolar and my scores in doubles went right back where they were.


    Check your stock.Your probably shooting under the targets.Or alittle left or right.Get on post 3 lock it on straighaways and shoot till you are smoking the top half of the target because you want to be on top.

    CIM
     
  19. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Go back to basics and break down your routine, make sure you are seeing the targets, (Eye Exam, if you haven't had one in awhile) ... Head off to the patterning board and see if anything has changed from the last time or first time you were there ... Check the comb and adjust as needed to make sure you are looking down the center of the rib just in case you packed on a few pounds ... Get one of Phil Kiners Tapes or DVD's which is the best money you can spend to help in sorting out little problems and big problems also (He has a special going in March) ... If its a slump, we all get them so don't get frustrated and try to consentrate a little more on seeing the target because you cannot hit what you cannot see ... Do not move the gun until you see the target ... Good Luck ... WPT ... (YAC) ...


    Bill Gardner,

    I'm retired and don't have a job to give up being as I gave it up and sold my business's at the prime old age of 47 to take up other things in life that I thought might be more fun that going to work everyday ... I probably need more practice in my delivery or a crowd thats a little more forgiving that has a keener sense of humor ... Either way Chia Baby, have fun and lighten up ... You seem to be taking life way to serious ... Me again ...
     
  20. larryjk

    larryjk Member

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    jbifulco, Have you started any different medication since shortly before you started into the "fudd"? I started medication for an allergy that gave me severe headaches and shortly thereafter I started missing shots I knew I could hit. Finally figured out the misses were to the left. Started closing my left eye on left hand targets. Bingo. I am having a "Cross Domination" problem brought on by medication. I am going to have my eyes checked to see if there is some type of corrective lens that will give me back my dominant right eye. In the interim, I stay off the medication for a few days before an important shoot.
    Closing the left eye for a left hand target is not a good solution because you are using some of your concentration for other than target tracking. Good luck.
     
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