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Discussion Starter #1
Recently discovered a case of recoil anticipation in a youth shooter and believe it is the reason keeping them from breaking through to the next level. The shooter realizes the issue and is open to breaking the habit, we tried blind loading the shotgun to sometimes leave an empty chamber which seemed to help, anybody have any drills they go to for this? We are shooting the softest load possible out of a semi to reduce recoil, the shooter is fine with the recoil but needs to get past the "surprise" of the report.
 

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If he's using ear plugs, try muffs instead. Also might try this...
Tape a penny to the underside of his barrel. Tell him it's to help balance the gun during his move to the target. We all know it won't do anything to help with his issue but that might take his mind off it and that may be all he needs. A very wise man told me that story when he was helping his son(s) become a better shooter.
 

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If you have access to a dry fire simulator put him on it and it will fix the problem. Just make sure someone is standing next to him if it is real bad some will almost drop the gun when it doesn't go off. Have fixed several with the same problem using this method.
 

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+1 for dry firing. Moves should be smooth with no jerks when the trigger is pulled. Nothing high tech necessary - a Jordan Wall Chart is good, but a few Post-it notes on the wall works too. Be sure to use a snap cap of some kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. I don't have access to a simulator but could setup some post its on the wall, I had not thought of something that simple but can see how it would work. The flinch we are dealing with is not bad enough to drop the gun but is bad enough to severely affect score and confidence. When this is over come by a young shooter does it typically come back or will we need to continually work on it?
 

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I don't know if it will be the same for your shooter, but I was amazed at how much jerking/flinching there can be when the trigger is pulled to dry fire the gun. Once the problem is solved, the jerkiness can return to some degree, but it is usually remedied by just reminding to shooter to be smooth. I have a really good shooter that had this problem in his early years and he is now to the point where he self diagnoses it. He recently shot 49/50 in practice and looked really good doing it. He had been putting up pretty good practice scores prior (46-47/50), but looked a little rusty since he hadn't shot over the winter. After his good practice round I asked him what he was doing different. He said he was only concentrating on being smooth, and it sure showed. So I guess it might be good to tell them what to do (be smooth), instead of what not to do (don't jerk/flinch). If they are really concentrating on the targets and making smooth moves to them, they will hardly notice the recoil if the gun fits them correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I now realize the first step in fixing this problem was having the shooter realize the problem and the effect of it. Have been doing some dry fire drills and it didn't take long to notice improvement while dry firing, hopefully it will continue with live fire.
 
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