Bill, Leo wasn't always the greatest shot on the trap line, he learned by both success and failure and learned how to distinguish between the two.
If a shooter can't identify why and how he missed a target, how in the world can he fix that problem if he has no idea? Good shooters know before the shot exits the barrel that it's a good shot. How could they possibly know that in advance, (Leo fits this cat?) I'm not talking about the poke n hope method shooters in trap shooting either that has a hot day every few months.
IMO, if you know why you missed, the reason you missed is because you where thinking.
Actually when you are concentrating to the highest degree, you are not seeing, feeling , hearing, tasting, thinking, etc., anything. What do you see when you get into a deep tired stare? Do any of your senses register in your brain when you are in a deep stare? That is the concentration required to hit the bird every time. This is why in my opinion, very acute vision is required to achieve this level of concentration. It seems to me that you have to see very clearly, to get to that point of concentration, where everything else is not registering.
That is what separates the Leo's, Phil's, etc., from the real amateurs. It is what separates all pro athletes, from the amateurs with the same physical abilities, IMO. The ability to concentrate to that point, for the required amount of time, every single shot.
Unfortunately, it is the hardest thing to achieve in shooting, but in my opinion, the most important.
Stl Flyn, Albert Einstein was once asked how long he could totally concentrate on a complex math equation. He replied about 2 to 3 seconds, without any outside interferences.
We shoot 100 targets with a shotgun and we're looking for total concentration for the entire 100 shots. Good luck with that is all I can say. I'd say MOST trap shooters are extremely lucky to have total concentration for about a 1/2 second or so, if they're lucky.
"Actually when you are concentrating to the highest degree, you are not seeing, feeling , hearing, tasting, thinking, etc., anything."
Then you say something entirely different?
"This is why in my opinion, very acute vision is required to achieve this level of concentration."
If your not "seeing" as written above, why is it necessary in your opinion below? Losing sight of a target, even if only momentary usually results in a loss. Either you actually see or lose a target. As Phil Kiner has said here many times, merely looking at a clay and seeing it with eye intensity is two far different things.
Hap, You say Leo wasn't always the greatest shooter. Winning titles at the Grand in the sub junior& Junior age groups,put him in All American Status at a young age. It did not take him long to master our so called handicap.He and his buddy Brad D were gifted shooters and made our so called back fence in a short time. They traveled from shoot to shoot trying to make a living shooting. I wonder what yardage they would be shooting from if they had to shoot their earned yardage?
"We shoot 100 targets with a shotgun and we're looking for total concentration for the entire 100 shots."
Hap I am not looking for total concentration for a hundred targets. I am trying to learn how to get it for one targets. When and if I ever learn that I will try to learn how to turn it on 100 times in an event.
BTW how long does it take to call for the target and make a shot? That is all the time I want to concentrate for. One hundred time when I want it that is all. Yet it is still mostly a dream.
"This is why in my opinion, very acute vision is required to achieve this level of concentration. It seems to me that you have to see very clearly, to get to that point of concentration, where everything else is not registering."
"The ability to concentrate to that point, for the required amount of time, every single shot."
"As Phil Kiner has said here many times, merely looking at a clay and seeing it with eye intensity is two far different things."
The above quotes of mine, are what Phil refers to in your quote of what he said. Seeing the target at first clearly, then the concentration (Intensity) takes over to the point of where you really notice nothing with the conscious portion of the brain. No thought. Once your vision is locked on to the bird with the intensity (Concentration) Phil mentions, it seems your brain will stop registering what your eyes are actually seeing, along with all the other senses. That is the level of concentration to the highest degree I am talking about. If anything obstructs that sight between the bird and your eyes, that level is instantly gone. The brain then starts processing sight information again, and thought begins.
The second quote refers to being able to do it every time, from the time just before you call pull, to the time you pull the trigger. Total concentration to the highest degree, for 2-3 second increments with each bird, is what I think is required in order to run them straight.
I just looked this up. Explains it a little better. Although it is on a religious premise.
"During concentration, the various rays of the mind are collected and focused on the object of concentration. There will be no tossing of the mind. One idea occupies the mind. The whole energy of the mind is concentrated on that one idea. The senses become still. They do not function. When there is deep concentration, there is no consciousness of the body and surroundings."
Clyde, Leo wasn't a natural but very smart and a quick study. Took alot of cases for that boy to just mount a gun halfway decent.lol
To the original question. Iam really aware of everything around me, my squad, on the sides/ adjacent traps, infront. But Iam not focusing/ extending thought just that its there or happening regardless of score Iam breaking. The difference in breaking the straight for me is that half second after I call and my focus then.
Read and re-read what the pheasantmaster posted above? He's no stranger to shooting great scores in small to the largest of trap shooting events! He beats the top dogs once in a while too!
If one's not aware of what's going on while shooting trap, Mother Nature will eat your lunch regardless of how much your in the zombie zone. Concentration is mighty important to score well! That process begins when you see a target emerge from underneath the roof line or out where you actually see a whole complete bird. From that point to making the correct connection with two moving objects is the concentration span which is less than a second or so, probably a lot less. (Remember Albert Einsteins abilities for total concentration?)
We're saying almost the same thing now that you've clarified how important seeing with intensity actually is but looking at it in a very different way. Targets can change in less than a heartbeat and if one isn't aware (Read Martins post again) a shooter can't adapt unless he's aware of what's going on!
When an average shooter does have that hot zone day and isn't aware of anything except the clay target is a fair bet it will be his only day till another ideal shooting day comes along? The conditions must be ideal for that happening to an average shooter but the top shooters have those days regularly? The top shooters are aware of practically everything happening on their traps! A hot zone day carried-over to the next like event usually spells trouble for most most average shooters even though they tied with a perfect score?