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Went and shot Friday night and couldn't break more then about 18-20 from the 16 yard line. Went and shot again yesterday and the first round I broke 18. Shooting the same gun for 15 years and knowing where it shot I went to the pattern board and shot one shell and no surprises it shot exactly where I told myself it would shoot before I even loaded the gun. Went back over and broke 50 straight from the 16 yard line and got in the truck and went home smiling!
 

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Went and shot Friday night and couldn't break more then about 18-20 from the 16 yard line. Went and shot again yesterday and the first round I broke 18. Shooting the same gun for 15 years and knowing where it shot I went to the pattern board and shot one shell and no surprises it shot exactly where I told myself it would shoot before I even loaded the gun. Went back over and broke 50 straight from the 16 yard line and got in the truck and went home smiling!
If you ever figure out how that works, let the rest of us know!! I sure haven't.
 

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I’m just starting back after a year lay-off. Before, I was a solid B class or above. Now with a gun that fits perfectly, and is a dedicated trap gun, I’m at D class and can’t seem to pull myself out of the hole. Yes, I’ve been to the pattern board, excellent patterns, good weather for the most part, and a 21 is all I can muster if that. I know it’s all about concentration. Perhaps I just need to give it more time. Sure is frustrating.
 

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I always have heard 16’s are not hard to hit just easy to miss.
I can relate to that statement and lots of times my misses are thinking misses and the others are raising my head.
Hard to believe that you can lose concentration for those 2-3 seconds it takes to break the target but I sure do.
The mental part of the game separates winners from also rans.
 

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For me dropping targets is contagious. Hardest part is being able to miss a target and get focused again before dropping 2-3 more
 

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Biy, can I identify with this rhread. 0n a roll a month ago and just like that.... my scores drop off... some gun related but the rest focus related... yesterday, shot a low of 17 and a high of 25 after 7 rounds.. 10% gun set up, 90% focus.
 

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When discussing the mental game, one must also consider the emotional quotent as well.
Intellectually, you have the fundamentals under control but emotional stability is often confused with or inadvertently combined with mental focus when in reality they need to be dealt with separately.
Intellectually speaking, trust yourself to do what you already know how to do: break one at a time.
Emotionally speaking, clear your plate. Clear your schedule and eliminate outside influences which may be as simple as squadding with strangers or driving yourself to the event. There's much more to it than that but it's a great place to start.
Realizing this has had the most positive influence in my shooting. And no I didn't read it somewhere, I spent a great deal of time "soul searching" after spending thousands on guns and practice, trying to figure out where my roadblocks were....
 

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When discussing the mental game, one must also consider the emotional quotent as well.
Intellectually, you have the fundamentals under control but emotional stability is often confused with or inadvertently combined with mental focus when in reality they need to be dealt with separately.
Intellectually speaking, trust yourself to do what you already know how to do: break one at a time.
Emotionally speaking, clear your plate. Clear your schedule and eliminate outside influences which may be as simple as squadding with strangers or driving yourself to the event. There's much more to it than that but it's a great place to start.
Realizing this has had the most positive influence in my shooting. And no I didn't read it somewhere, I spent a great deal of time "soul searching" after spending thousands on guns and practice, trying to figure out where my roadblocks were....
During my wife’s initial hospitalization for her cancer I took a morning at the range thinking it would be a good distraction. Squadded up, lined up, missed the first 5 targets. Folded up my tent and walked away. My emotional state wouldn’t let my intellect concentrate and produce smoke. My concentration was back in the hospital room with my wife.
 

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What squad am I on?
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During my wife’s initial hospitalization for her cancer I took a morning at the range thinking it would be a good distraction. Squadded up, lined up, missed the first 5 targets. Folded up my tent and walked away. My emotional state wouldn’t let my intellect concentrate and produce smoke. My concentration was back in the hospital room with my wife.
Exactly. Thanks for sharing.
 

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I too struggle with inconsistency and I've worked hard trying to identify why? I thought maybe it was related to the target height or possibly target visibility. Although both may be a factor, I think most of the time it's more mental, It seems like days when I start out well, I shoot well and other days I can't get comfortable and don't shoot well.
 

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I struggle with the mental game more than any aspect. Plain and simple I get nervous at registered shoots. Maybe it's the squadding with strangers as Wadhopper mentioned, or shooting in front of the squads waiting I really don't know. I can't ever seem to settle down and just focus, especially on the first box. I typically have a straight or two on every registered event, but almost always begin with a 20ish due to anxiety. I am trying to tell myself that it's the same targets, same view, same everything as at the club or during practice, but can't consistently (or rarely at all) settle in and approach calmly. Still trying to harness the calm I feel normally to just step up and go as I can on open nights at the club. I just picked up Lanny Bassham's book 'With Winning In Mind' and hope that helps. Any other reading or techniques are welcome. I agree with the emotional quotient as I have dealt with that as well.
 

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Worst thing I did for my trap shooting was taking over the trap program at my club. Hard to clear the mind when you’re worried about getting people signed up, making change, filling the machine, trouble shooting voice calls that are acting up, etc.

I now wait til the end to shoot, when it slows down. Easier to concentrate.
 

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Consistency is my nemesis. If I can maintain focus, I can put myself in a position to be successful. Easier said than done...
 

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I struggle with the mental game more than any aspect. Plain and simple I get nervous at registered shoots. Maybe it's the squadding with strangers as Wadhopper mentioned, or shooting in front of the squads waiting I really don't know. I can't ever seem to settle down and just focus, especially on the first box. I typically have a straight or two on every registered event, but almost always begin with a 20ish due to anxiety. I am trying to tell myself that it's the same targets, same view, same everything as at the club or during practice, but can't consistently (or rarely at all) settle in and approach calmly. Still trying to harness the calm I feel normally to just step up and go as I can on open nights at the club. I just picked up Lanny Bassham's book 'With Winning In Mind' and hope that helps. Any other reading or techniques are welcome. I agree with the emotional quotient as I have dealt with that as well.
I have read Lanny Bassham's book and listened to his tapes, and while many years have passed, I am sure that they will help you. I recall that I took them very seriously and am sure that I have encorporated many of his concepts in my personal practice. I will have to dig them out and re-read them. I recall there was a lot about positive thinking and affirmations. I have a company called Postivethink so perhaps I was more deeply affected by that book than I realize. If you are dealing with anxiety during a shoot try this. Focus on the physical rather than the mental. The impossible task is to not think about something by telling yourself to not think about it. Rather than try not to be nervous, which just makes you more nervous, focus on your breathing. Slow it down. Deep breaths and relax. Slow the heart rate. Open your eyes. Listen, see, be aware. Choose your positive thoughts. Be deliberate in your movement. Perfect your mechanics, your mount, your move. Be calm.

Your best scores will come under pressure. Anxiety will be channeled into deeper focus and mechanical precision. You will find solace from anxiety in flawless execution. Deep breaths, relax, ...

Hope it helps,
Follow the Smoke
Kirby
 

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When discussing the mental game, one must also consider the emotional quotent as well.
Intellectually, you have the fundamentals under control but emotional stability is often confused with or inadvertently combined with mental focus when in reality they need to be dealt with separately.
Intellectually speaking, trust yourself to do what you already know how to do: break one at a time.
Emotionally speaking, clear your plate. Clear your schedule and eliminate outside influences which may be as simple as squadding with strangers or driving yourself to the event. There's much more to it than that but it's a great place to start.
Realizing this has had the most positive influence in my shooting. And no I didn't read it somewhere, I spent a great deal of time "soul searching" after spending thousands on guns and practice, trying to figure out where my roadblocks were....
I agree. I remember talking with David Radulovich one of the years he won the NSCA US Open after Wendell Cherry's (his coach) wife passed away. I recall him saying it was very hard to keep it together and he never chipped and chunked his way to HOA like that before. He dedicated his win to Ann.

So yeah, shooting when you're emotional is hard, for sure!
 

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Worst thing I did for my trap shooting was taking over the trap program at my club. Hard to clear the mind when you’re worried about getting people signed up, making change, filling the machine, trouble shooting voice calls that are acting up, etc.

I now wait til the end to shoot, when it slows down. Easier to concentrate.
Oh boy can I relate to that! Same here. Run trap at my club and there are days I’m so busy taking money, running squads, scoring, fixing microphones, making coffee, checking on food, selling shells, providing tools to fix Adjustable combs, butt plates, and other mechanical stuff. Welcoming new shooters, giving orientation to them, just plain helping out here and there. Who can concentrate on their own shooting.
 

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Oh boy can I relate to that! Same here. Run trap at my club and there are days I’m so busy taking money, running squads, scoring, fixing microphones, making coffee, checking on food, selling shells, providing tools to fix Adjustable combs, butt plates, and other mechanical stuff. Welcoming new shooters, giving orientation to them, just plain helping out here and there. Who can concentrate on their own shooting.
Keep track. If your club hours are fixed, open at 10 close at dusk, 6 days a week ( lets say ), there will be a slack time in there. Either every day or one day of the week, regular as clockwork your club will be empty. Schedule yourself a couple of rounds. Or even just one. Every chance you get. Won’t be long before you start standing in the winner circle.
 
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