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How should I practice?

What is the best way for a C, D, or E class shooter to practice?

If you are a beginning shooter, concentrate on simply getting your eyes, hands and gun working together to break some easy targets. Start on going away and incoming targets then gradually introduce more angle: quartering targets, then crossing targets followed by specialty targets. For competitors that find themselves frustrated and stalled in C or D class probably haven’t developed an effective practice strategy. Shooting 100 targets at the local club once a week probably isn’t going to get the job done. Here are 5 tips for enhancing your game and increasing your punches:

1) Increase your “target database”. Become proficient at breaking a wider variety of targets by exposing yourself to different clubs and different target setters. If time, money and your job allow it, plan to travel to some bigger shoots out of your home area like a State Championship, Regional Championship or the Nationals. The larger the variety of targets you are exposed to, and the more difficult they are, the less likely it is that a particular target presentation will stump you come competition day.

2) Compete, don’t just practice. The psychological conditions of a tournament are very hard to replicate….so compete regularly. Just as you have to be in good “technical shape” to break tougher targets, you also have to be in tough mental shape to be consistent in competition. Regular competition yields mental toughness.

3) Practice to a standard. Hold yourself accountable to achieve specific standards in practice like breaking five straight pairs before moving to the next station. While you can’t replicate the mental conditions of competition, you can get close. Compete for score against a shooting buddy who is of equal or higher skill level. In the coaching field, we call this form of mental practice “game play”.

4) Practice repetition. After the tournament is over, it’s the easy targets that we missed that haunt most. For honing your mental game, practice “high reps” on a skeet field or on targets of only moderate difficultly (see Skeet for Practice). Concentrate on flawlessly executing your pre-shot routine. Repetition is the key. Shoot well!

Link to article “Skeet for Practice”

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