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I know a man who when he was in his 30's went bowling for the first time and bowled almost a perfect score, he later went on to win many tournaments,I also know of a man who on his very first trip to a skeet field shot 100 straight, also know a man here in my little town who is as nutty as a fruitcake, but give him something similar to a pool cue and he will run the tables for hours.. you cannot beat him.. i sometime wonder if the top shooters, Leo, Harlan, Nora,Phil,Kaye and the likes are super human beings when it comes to shooting, its like they were born with the talent, have perfect hand eye cordination, their mental state is right where it should be.. they see a target and smash it.. I on the other hand struggle with everything I do.. last year I averaged 76..it was my first year of trap shooting, this year i'm at 87.. I'm wondering if I practice enough will I ever run 100.. I dont know but I bet these top shooters never had to take instructions or read books, they just picked up a gun one day and it was like a extension of their arm.. I hope I'm wrong..I hope I can achieve the top shooting scores like they do but sometimes I wonder... oh well... thanks!
 

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Practice can't hurt unless it is bad practice. Like most things, the more you do it the better and faster you will be. Trap is very repetitive and the key is to do the same thing every single time, even if the targets change from club to club you will be able to shoot them well. You may not get to big dog level, but you can certainly be a top shooter of your area and club.
 

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I believe to be really good, you need to have the following:

-Time

-Money (pratice, quality gun, good gun club to shoot at)

-Desire

-Natural talent/abilty

I do believe that one can overcome deficiencies in any of these areas with surpluses in the others, to a certain extent. I think of it in percentages. There are a lot of ways to get to 100%, other than 25, 25, 25, 25. If you have a lot of desire and natural talent, you can get by with less money (as outlined above). If you have very little natural talent you'll need to make up with it in other areas (a lot of practice, professional instruction). If you have the best natural ability, all the time in the world, all the money in the world, but no desire, then you'll never go anywhere (I've seen a lot of people who fail to live up to their potential because they don't have the desire to be the best, they're satisfied with being in the middle of the pack).
 

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I think what you need is:

1) Natural ability
2) Natural ability
3) Natural ability
4) Time
5) Money

In that order. I think practice is overhyped, at least as far as getting to be a big dog is concerned.
 

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25% ability 75% UNWAVERING DETERMINATION

Would you be in the top 10 worldwide? Maybe not. Would you be damn good...YES

As far as practice.... I watched Kim Rhodes practice when she was shooting Olympic trap. Practiced 100's and 100's of shots EVERY day. So...who is better to judge if practice is important....us hacks or someone with 20 pounds of gold around their neck. IMHO, practice is invaluable....just dumping lead down the barrel is not.

Mark
 

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If you look at the shooter information on the ATA site, it will show averages from registered shoots that go way back. I know it sounds silly, but I look at these once in a while just to make myself feel a little better, and you will see a lot of the 'big dogs' shot in the 70's for a little while when they first started, but it usually goes up to 90's and better quite quickly. Again, as others said, they had a combination of time, money, desire, and talent (not in that order). Like anything, you have to keep at it. The last year or so that I bowled in a league, (after about 20 years) I had two 658 series in two weeks! When you are 'in the zone' it is hard to explain the feeling. The top shooters are 'in the zone' a lot!!

Good Luck!
 

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Blkcloud, I can only add on thing to Skeet_man's thread. You really, really, really have to hate to lose. Add Hating to lose with desire and you can do it!!! Good Luck and Break-em all. Jeff
 

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Mark 425.. I agree with you.. How bad do you want it??? and what are you willing to give up to get there??? A good coach that understands YOU is better than a great coach that you can't communicate with..
 

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The worst thing you can do is shoot with hacks. They fill you with BS advice that will hold you back. Try to shoot with the best at your club.

If you have been shooting a year and not taken a lesson from one of the greats (Harrsion, Ross, Hoppe, etc) you are already off to a poor start. Bad habits are hard to break so do not develop them.

You can become very good without tons of "natural" ability. Are you prepared to shoot 15-20,000 rounds a year? 600-800 boxes a year is a lot of money. That is why lessons are such a good investment. $350 for a two day clinic will do more for you than 7 flats of econo shells. You can use the Terry Jordan wall chart to reduce the munber of fired shells but very few will spend the time to dry fire 200 rounds a week.

Most people cannot afford to become good and/or do not have the desire.

Don Verna
 

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To become a really good shooter you need desire and money--to be an excellent shooter you need desire,money and natural ability...SMOKIT
 

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practice without purpose is worse than no practice at all. you need to be able to self analyze your weakness with honesty, and work on them systematically. Shoot with the best you can find around until you need to grow more than them. Learn to be your own best friend, and the only limit you have is what you cannot imagine.
 

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If you really want to improve, shoot with the best shooter that you can find. It doesn't just apply with shooting either. A good example is that I was new bowler with just average scores but spent a year in Japan and bowled 8 to 10 games a day. As I was improving the house pro's wanted to practice their english on me so bowled with me. I progressed to a 225 average before I left Japan that year. I bowled in some leagues after that and carried a 205 average and was half drunk most of the time. I often wondered how good I would have been if I had stayed sober. I then took up pool and met a high school teacher in Tampa Fl that was one of the best pool shooters I have ever seen. I desired to beat him and it cost me a lot of money but I finally did. I had a great desire and practiced a lot, I mean a lot. I found that I could make pretty good money shooting pool until people got to know me. I learned the hard way that there were still a bunch out there that could beat me due to myself getting a head full of myself. I've tried to apply these lessons to my shooting skills and haven't made it yet. I keep practicing though. LOL Jackie B.
 

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Heck i could be one of the Top Shooters if i really wanted to. I just haven't really wanted to. :)

Matt
 
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