View Full Version : I get some coaching....

Dave McC
June 25, 2002, 10:34 AM
Since circumstances caused me to unretire and return to the fold of the gainfully employed (Ptui!), I've been doing most of my shooting on weekend mornings, for the usual reasons.

I struck up an acquaintance with a local legend, one of the folks who stand there on the 27 yard line and mske straight after straight.

His SUV is set up for trap, with builtin cabinets for tools, ammo, guns and paraphanalia.

Anyway, having two days off in the same weekend left me a little giddy with all that time off, so I went trapshooting.

The L/L and I had been on a squad before, but we struck it off this last weekend and shot about 6 rounds together. L/L missed about 3 birds out of that.I was down a few more. Like maybe 11.

Anyways, he and I were waiting for the trap to be replenished on Saturday. I threw caution to the wind and asked him what advice he could give me, since I was fairly new at trap and have plateaued at 23 or 24 out of 25 most rounds.

Well, I must have great Karma, or been a very good boy, because the L/L took me under his wing and I received some coaching. It took place over 2 days and a few rounds of trap, and I saw some improvement already.

Here's a few things the L/L preached. Some are paraphrased and edited for content as they say.

Some may sound familiar, the L/L and I think alike on some things...

It's not the gun. Stick with the same gun and stop trying to buy birds. Spend 3X times as much on ammo than on gimmicks and you'll do better.

When I miss a bird, I know exactly where the bbl was when I shot. Same when I hit a bird. So, learn to repeat the hits, not the misses. The difference is mental.

If you don't know why you missed, first it wasn't the gun or ammo or trap boy or the wind. YOU missed, and it's up to YOU to find out why.

And if you don't know why you missed, it's either headlifting or loss of concentration. (In my case,both at once).

The big difference between the winner and the lowest score is usually committment. Either committment to practice and improvement, or committment to making the shot.

Try to be on squads where everybody else shoots better than you. You'll shoot better.

If you want to know what stress is, shoot on a squad going for a perfect 500X500. You DON'T want to miss that first bird.

If you're like some trapshooters, and little things on the line ruin your focus, spend less time b!tching about that and more time on fine tuning that focus until the whole squad could be pelting you with empties and you still make the shot. Distractions do not cost you birds, letting yourself be distracted does.

Never turn shooting into a job. Have fun, relax and talk in between rounds, but be nothing but business when you call for each and every bird.

The difference between a top shooter and a moderately good one often can be the top shooter has figured out the best training schedule and shooting rythym for himself and gone after it.

Hope this helps, and L/L,if your reading this, thanks...

June 25, 2002, 10:47 AM
Good (as usual) Dave.
Short, sweet and loaded with the finest of information.


June 25, 2002, 10:51 AM
Great advice. Wish it was as easy to take as to read. :o

June 25, 2002, 02:13 PM

It's very easy to take. Much more difficult to do! ;)

If I could DO all of the advice that's been given to me, I'd be running 100 straight every time.

June 25, 2002, 02:20 PM
:D Yo, bro!

Dave McC
June 26, 2002, 06:30 AM
Thanks, guys. I hope everyone can benefit from this....

June 26, 2002, 11:31 AM
I'm going to re-read your post a few times, as I'm out to the club for our work's trap leauge this evening. I'm hoping to see if I can break more than 22 clays (my personal best out of an 18 average) tonight.

We'll see.

Also, I was told that it's a sign of improvment in a new(er) trap shooter when the straight aways become harder to hit, and the extreme side flyers become easier. Has this been true for anyone else? It has been for me. When I was starting out last year, I found the straight-aways to be "easy" and the clays flung at the most sideways angle the hardest, and as I went into the second half of last year's season, it reversed, and now most all of my misses are the straight-away birds.

I have found the greatest satisfaction in when you suddenly get that "Eureka!" moment and you realize something you're doing wrong, correct it, and see immediate improvment. Last week I was missing straight-aways as usual, and I realized when replaying my last missed shot in my mind, that I was slightly over shooting all the straight-way birds. I made a concious effort to keep the rib under the bird and I stopped missing. The revalation came just in time to salvage what would be an embarrasing score of 13 to a more respectable 18. (Which is good for the duffers all my co-workers and I are)

June 26, 2002, 12:12 PM
The L/L shared with you, and that's helping all of us. Let him know we say "Thanks for the tips and Molon Labe" when you see him.


Dave McC
June 26, 2002, 02:34 PM
Andrew, I usually miss straightaways by overshooting. And IIRC, this started about the time I started nailing angles well.

If a particular shot is hard to master, hit the range when it's empty, and give the trapper a small token of your appreciation, something with a dead president on it, for instance. Oft the trapper will lock down a trap to throw only one angle bird. Then stand so it's a straightaway and use up some ammo grooving it in. This is exactly how I learned to get those hard right screamers from Post 5.

You're very welcome, Led.

June 26, 2002, 04:23 PM
So it looks as though that is the common wisdom then. Thanks, it's good to be able to separate the truisims of the sport from anything that's just B.S. Trap folklore...

As to getting the trap locked down, I probably could do that. But they're busy enough at the club that I'd have to probably offer to pay for a round that way, instead of just sneaking it out of the trap boy. But for members it's only $5 a round. (is that a good or bad price, BTW? I've nothing to compare it to...)

But then, they'll probably do most anything for a donation to thier youth leauge there, including lessons from the owner who's an accomplished ATA champ. So I could probably work that out. Maybe even ask around the members of our work leauge if they're interested in a "straight-away" or an "angle" shooting clinic, and divy up squads acoordingly.


Dave McC
June 27, 2002, 04:24 AM
Andrew, PGC costs $3.20/round, AGC costs $3.50 for non members, members pay $2.50.

If you can get some coaching, fine. Just remember that not all good shooters are good instructors.