Monday, May 10, 2010

Be a target shooter, not a target critic.....and other lessons.....

So I'm helping a student, and we are trying to figure out why his performance wasn't up to par at his last major shoot. The good news was that I was in his squad at the shoot in question, so I already had a good idea.....

I sat through stories of all the reasons ...... problems at work, problems with others in the squad, the sun was in my eyes, I think my gun doesn't fit me anymore....maybe it was the new shells, my tummy didn't feel good...and oh yeah, I hated those targets, because you know SOandSO set them, and everybody knows his targets are terrible....

Oh Really? I ask....

Why did you think they weren't well set?

Well, there were too many quartering/crossing/incoming/outgoing round disc shaped birds, and they were either orange or black! what was the target setter thinking! Everybody knows that this guys sets terrible targets!

Oh Really? I ask.....

Well, I asked him if he had heard about this problem with the target setter before the shoot? and yes, of course, his other friends had filled him in....and sure enough, there were waaaay to many of some type of targets set and that confirmed that there was a problem.

And my student went into this shoot, convinced that the targets would not be to his liking,  and of course, they were not. He was convinced they were going to be "bad targets" before the weekend started. It was the topic of conversation before/during/ and after the much that he was not planning his next station while waiting to shoot, but stewing on these awful targets.....and you can imagine how that helps your score!

I shouldn't sound so pious....I have fallen victim to the same evil vice, that of being a Target Critic( the all knowing, wise to the ways of sporting clays) instead of the Target Shooter. The Target Critic may sound like he knows a lot about the game( and have a built in excuse for poor performance), but the target critic rarely performs well.....since, you know, it was the fault of the poorly set targets. This evil usually befalls a shooter after he has been to a few "great shoots" with "great targets", and suddenly finds himself not shooting up to his level of expectations. It certainly can't be the shooter's fault, it must be something else.....let's blame the target setter!

I got tired of letting my performance slip by having my own little pity party about the target quality, and decided that I have to play with what is set for me to shoot right now. I can decide whether I like them next week.

Look gang, when you went through registration, you signed up to enter a competition shooting targets, not showing your experience by criticizing them. You signed up to shoot the targets that were presented for that quit talking( and whining ) about them, and set about killing them. I promise you will have more fun.

You can bitch about them Monday on the internet....



PS, if you know the target setter for the upcoming shoot is famous for a particular style of target, and you haven't practiced that type of target until you can hammer them over and over again......then whose fault is it really?

My Momma drowned all the dumb babies.....


  1. I like your attitude, Will. Taking responsibility instead of playing the blame game sure makes sense. Keep up the good blogging.


  2. Sure saw a lot of this at the last NSCA shoot here in Tampa. I heard one guy complaining that they were too hard because he couldn't hit them all! Imagine that in a tournament???