Repetition! Go with what works! Practice is for honing skills needed to perform in a stressful situation. Whether it be league, registered, or simply a grudge match, being able to perform under stress is what separates the shooters. Practicing with a full squad is best, different light conditions, different winds and temps, and pressing yourself to put up a good score will help you perform at your best when the money or trophy is up for grabs! JMHO
We all have different approaches to shooting practice, some good, some bad. In the past, I used to shoot anywhere from 200-300 practice rounds per month, and it did not improve my shooting one bit. I finally realized that all I was doing was re-enforcing the bad habits I had accumulated over the years. Sad, but true. Now, I very seldom shoot practice unless I have laid off shooting for a while, and only then to get back into the rhythm I like. I try to make registered shooting my practice, so to speak. I am able to concentrate better on the targets, and find myself shooting better scores in the bargain. In between registered shoots, I use my Terry Jordan wall chart to practice my gun mount, visual acuity, and help to build my stamina.... While this may not be for everyone, it works extremely well for me...
I enjoy shooting by myself on occasion,. Set targets on hard lefts or rights, and shoot them from each station. Set them high or low, get some shots on the grass cutters, or in your face high wind shots. Lots of ways to improve when shooting by ones self. I've had the chart and computer systems. Nothing beats the real thing.
the first three times out, I only shot from post 3. then 4 & 5. Then 100 targets from 1, next time 100 from 5.
Now I start by shooting at least 25 shots at whatever was giving me trouble the time before, (I keep a journal).
Sometimes I will only shoot one shot at each station, going left to 5 then shooting back 4, 3, 2, 1, forces me to set up for each post every shot. Lately I've noticed that I shoot better when I shoot fast, so next time out I will work on taking a short break between each shot.
In other words, there is no one right way to practice as long as you are working on something and not just throwing lead.
If you're shooting with friends I have found it helps me to maintain focus and concentration if we shoot for something. Make it a soft drink, cup of coffee, piece of pie on the way home, just something. I know not everyone will agree, but I consider games, especially Annie's and Protections to be a fun and beneficial way to practice.
If you shoot on a regular basis and combine fun but also are looking/planning forward to a league or tournament it is always good to look at things in a perspective of practicing to improve. I keep notes from past tournaments that I have shot starting with the club and weather conditions/what event and target presentations I have had trouble with but also notes on things that went right so better keep track of things and not cover the same ground twice unless I have too. I practice on a squad but will also shoot short squads or by myself because you never know what situation you will find yourself in. I also do not get locked into shooting one post all the time as what happens if you travel to a shoot and end up being on a squad where the openings for a handicap squad are there but not your normal starting post? So for me I like to work on practicing to improve and maintain things such as my pre-shot routine ect. Shoot well George
Leo always told his students to practice with a purpose. He only practiced if he was changing guns, making adjustments (like when he lost a lot of weight) or if he had not been shooting for an extended time over the winter. He shot nearly every week except during Nov and Dec (that was duck season and Christmas time) so at times his registered rounds were the same as practice.
One thing most us should do is to practice as much as possible on the nasty weather days. You know...the windy nasty days that we usually avoid because it just isn't fun. The thing is those windy nasty conditions tend to occur on game day and being practiced in those conditions will give you a big advantage over most shooters. You will have a hard time finding a full squad that is crazy enough to join you though.
Well the original plan was 2,000 rounds a month in practice but that fell through real quick. After 5 surgeries, 12 ER visits, placement in a wheelchair, a back brace, physical therapy and losing 121 pounds my practice sessions have been to say the least, sparse. Maybe in another 6-7 months after I regain my strength I can get back to a practice schedule and attending matches.
When you miss a target you have done something wrong. With your method of practice you will get very good at doing it wrong. You need someone to show you the right way to break the bird, and then practice that method until it becomes second nature. HMB
hmb, Aug 11, 2008
I hope hmb is on. I was looking back at some older posts. The above is from hmb. His answer nailed it for me. It is one of my problems, I was shooting between 400-600 rounds per week, and was going no where. There are to many who try to give pointers. That is one reason that I'm looking for a good video camera to mount on a tri pod and set it up behind me. I think if I can see a replay and see my hits and misses, I'll be able to fix my issues. Like allot of shooters I do have those good days where everything goes right. The bad days are what I'm working to Eliminate......
Brent when you are looking for a video camera make sure you get one that can break things down really well frame by frame. Im trying to remember the one that Nora Ross uses as was very good. Nora had related to me that she had looked into many video cameras and the one the was using the past couple of years was the best one for use during her clinics.