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Old July 23, 2011, 08:04 PM   #1
LSnSC
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Focus Interruptus....

I'm fighting it bad!!! I shot the first shoot of our state sporting clays circuit today. Started off great. Cleaned the first three stations and was wishing I had entered the long run option. Dropped one on the fourth, then one on the fifth, then the wheels came off. We had a chondelle that came from out of your field of view from the left then skipped off the water. A difficult but entirely doable shot. It was followed on report by a quartering away gimme. I broke the first pair solid. then proceeded to drop every chondelle. It was up and down through the middle of the course, with me hitting the long crossers tower shots etc, and dropping the easier stuff. Had a really hard time getting a sharp focus on the fast crossers or anything in a broken background. I finally got it together and cleaned the last two stations. Finished in the middle of the pack . It was a long hot week at work and really hot today, Im wondering if fatigue was at play. My shooting has been up and down for the last month or so. Any ideas? Any good focus exercises?
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Old July 23, 2011, 08:47 PM   #2
oneounceload
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What Kim Rhode does is try to run 25 straight at one skeet station - if she drops one, she starts over. You could do the same where you shoot sporting on an off day - shoot some many pairs straight, and repeat until you do so you can get a feel for how to see that target

Good luck and welcome to the addiction
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Old July 24, 2011, 09:23 AM   #3
LSnSC
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Thanks,
Ive actually been shooting sporting for a while, and Im usually a high 80's low 90's shooter. This is just the first shoot of the upcoming season. My lackluster performance and not being able to maintain focus caught me off guard.
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Old July 24, 2011, 05:48 PM   #4
BigJimP
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Assuming you have no physical issues ( poor vision, etc ) ....I think what you're realizing is how tough the mental side of this game can be / especially if its hot and you may not have hydrated enough.

There are a lot of books / coaches - that talk about the mental side of any number of sporting pastimes.../ but look at your diet ( eat well / maybe a small meal about an hour prior to your start time ) -- Donuts or a heavy, greasy meal for breakfast are really bad ideas/too much coffee or espresso is not a good idea... ----...keep really well hydrated with water ( not gatorade, etc ) and I'd say drink twice as much water as you think you need - especially when its hot...keep some energy bars, etc in your bag ...( cycling stores have a number of fast absorbing energy products ) ..../ don't watch too many targets from your squadmates ...( you need to shoot 100 targets / not 600 ...and come up with some plan to relax your nerves ...( count backwards from 100 to 80 or something to get your focus off the targets....

try a lot of things ...shoot for something in practice ( winner on squad gets a free coke or something ) ...put a quarter in a jar for every target you miss...( let your spouse or partner spend the money ) ....

If you're breaking 90 on a regular basis - you know how to shoot ...its just focus - the mental side.../ and good luck !
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Old July 24, 2011, 06:15 PM   #5
zippy13
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"Cleaned the first three stations and was wishing I had entered the long run option."
Sounds like a classic case of Concentration Interruptus. Just about every shooter has ruined a match by thinking beyond the next target.

Say it takes you 90-minutes to shoot 100-targets and each target takes 2-seconds. That's 200 seconds in 5400 or 3.7% of the time. It's amazing how many folks have trouble focusing for only 3.7% of the time!
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Old July 24, 2011, 06:16 PM   #6
LSnSC
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I think my vision is changing. I wear glasses and Im due for a checkup. I had a really hard time getting a hard focus on the fast movers. Had to move my hold point farther out than normal.
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Old July 24, 2011, 07:59 PM   #7
zippy13
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As I got older (I'm now 66), I found it necessary to alter my routine to avoid asking my eyes to change focal distance rapidly. If you can't see 'um, you can't hit 'em. Beyond a correct prescription, what are you doing for your eyes?
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Old July 24, 2011, 09:28 PM   #8
LSnSC
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Nothing really. Never been an issue. My vision is corrected to 20-20. I bought a new set or prescription shooting glasses a little over a year ago. Ive noticed in the last couple of months its taking me just a little longer to get on the birds. Ive been working alot of hours for the last several months, and attributed it to fatigue, but now I'm not so sure. I was rested and relaxed and the course was a familiar one.
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Old July 24, 2011, 10:46 PM   #9
zippy13
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Try to keep your eyes focused at target distance. Load by feel and resists the temptation to look at the beads, to verify your mount, right before calling for your target. If you must look at something in close, make sure your eyes have plenty of time to re-focus at target distance before you call. You don't want to trying to focus once the target is already in flight.

Also, try to use the lightest glasses you're comfortable with. The darker the tint you use, the more your eyes will dilate and the shorter your depth of focus.
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