Outdoor Articles

The Genius Factor In Trap Shooting

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Competition Shooting

“Everybody knows everything except for those who know nothing.”

  • Shooters tend to believe the pros are geniuses with special privileged talents, and it’s true, but so have you the inner genius within. It only needs coaxing and development to bring it forth but you must mentally be open to it.
  • Genius is not just knowing more than everyone else nor is it a matter of privileged natural high intelligence. It is purely the ability to break out of the rut of closed-cycle thinking and generating ideas. This breaks the old bad habits and allow you to begin to learn through experimentation. Example: To find a better way to break the target for there is more than one way to do so.
  • Genius thinking is not rigid, it is flexible and will readily leap from one idea to another. In this way you begin to make connections other shooter’s cannot see. Experimentation of trying new techniques expands the thought process which allows you a deeper insight to the game. Suddenly, you begin to see valid solutions where you saw no way out of the problem before. Practice sessions now become technically oriented and experimental. You begin to see what you are doing right and wrong.
  • Geniuses do not think small, but go beyond the tried and true to develop a new way of doing things. They even question “conventional wisdom” and find much of it myth and in error fundamentally. Begin to question what you have been told for many years and look at the flip side of the coin, “Is it possible I have been mislead?” This will open a new dimension of thinking for you and from this point you learn the inside truths.
  • Practice tip: Go to post #3 and break the target a different way than you always have. You will be convinced there is a better way! Try shooting it faster, slower, put more or less distance between you and the target before pulling the trigger, see if you can put the sight bead on different locations and still break it. Can you still break the target using the sight beads? Try eye pre-focus techniques before calling for the target. Try different eye and gun hold points. Which of these experimental techniques make it the easiest to kill the target? Try various combinations to discover the formula for that post! Write it down on paper as “Plan Post #3” and reflect on it before shooting that post again.
  • You can’t add ideas to a mind that already knows it all! A closed mind knows nothing but what it sees. It has no ability to see within or beyond that which is hidden from view. Genius is simply opening up oneself to “new ideas” and “new concepts” and be willing to explore them to see what develops. Thinking without action is useless.
  • Thinking like a pro is simply becoming an expert novice. Read that again. Be willing to learn the basics all over again. Have the courage to question all that you see and all that you do. Be willing to allow the myths you have learned over the years to pass away in order to discover what you don’t know. Learn a new way to do things. Break out of the slump with new knowledge!
  • Since you have read this article everyday you have had small ideas pass into your mind. These are moments of insight and they must be captured before they vaporize. Carry a pen and paper with you or tape recorder and record these jewels of wisdom. Every genius who ever lived and modern day inventor carries a pencil and paper! Inspirations are wispy thought-energies floating about in the Universe. It’s why two inventors will invent the same product in opposite parts of the world simultaneously. The patent office is full of such coincidences. The knowledge is there to those who listen to those small insightful thoughts. Most people simply let these thoughts pass them by. Harvest your flashes of brilliance! When an idea surfaces, jot it down and put it to practice and see how you can apply it.
  • Be prepared to work. Your ideas will require hard work and may likely take years to master the final form.
  • Be stubborn and single-minded and unswaying in your belief of your idea. If the idea makes sense you can make it work. Example: Canting a shotgun is frowned upon in trap shooting but you an make it work! Be willing to challenge conventional wisdom and prove it wrong. Example: Using the shotgun’s sight beads to shoot targets is also frowned upon, but ask yourself, “How can precision be developed if nothing is being aimed?” “Certainly, something is being aimed for if there were no aim shot/target alignment could never intersect.” “What is secret to aim the shot so I can break the target with mechanical efficiency?” “Is eye/hand coordination truly the secret or the demise of many?” “What are the secrets the pros use?”
  • When something does not work do not simply discard it. Explore further to find the reason why. Perhaps the theory is correct but the application is wrong. Try a new technique to see if it can be incorporated into another idea. Keep working on the problem until the solution is found to make it work!
  • Ask for advice from knowledgeable sources. Geniuses always ask for advice. They explore the ideas of many and formulate new ideas from this pool of knowledge. Example: If you are experiencing problems in your shooting ask professional shooter’s questions. Don’t be shy and reserved. Ask you you will receive.
  • Give your knowledge freely and more shall come to you. Hoard it and it will consume you with frustration. What goes around comes around so be helpful to other people, and people will come to your aid. The pros share there knowledge between each other and among close friends and some give formal shooting lessons. The law of give and take is a real law with real power that can produce real results…good or bad! Giving gives more. Taking takes all then leaves you with nothing in the end for there is no one left to give.
  • Stop being a pessimist in your thinking and guard your words. Doubt creates more doubt and it will show up in your shooting performance and scores. Be realistic, yet positive. If you keep saying, “I am ill” or “I am going to miss targets as usual in this big event” it will happen as you have decreed! The pro understands the power of his/her thoughts and takes great caution to correct negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
  • The solutions to your shooting problems are already within you. The answers are there and only need be explored with an open mind. The more ideas you shut out the less genius you will experience. The saying, “It doesn’t take a genius to shoot trap targets” will have to be revised. It does require genius thinking.

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