The practice vs perfect practice technique
The purpose of these blogs are to give you information worth researching, trying out and implementing into "your recipe". Please understand every bodies recipe is different, if you try anything mentioned in our blogs that doesn't work for you, feel free to go back to your original shooting style.
Best of luck shooting!
Practice vs Perfect Practice
You've heard it all the time..."practice makes perfect". What if I told you "Perfect practice makes practice MORE perfect!"
When starting out trapshooting, Matt and I were taught practice on a measurable and quantifiable number.. 100 shots a day, every. single. day.
Rain, wind, sleet, sunny, cloudy.. it didn't matter. We followed this style of practice for a over a month. It worked o.k. as our scores improved from muscle memory and repetition. But we hit a point where our ability/scores almost plateaued, as our mental approach was not refined, and the routine was different each time we would go out shooting. Sometimes we would have large swings where we would shoot really good one night, and not so much the next.
What if I told you to try another approach? Perfect practice.
We have been developing the "perfect practice" routine for years, tweaking the concept by things we notice in ourselves and other shooters.
To define: Perfect practice takes an approach on developing a very consistent, very dialed in routine that will start (at a minimum) from when you make your way to the trap club to shoot, to getting your shooting glasses on early to allow your eyes to get adjusted, watching targets of squads before you, stretching early, focusing or meditating before you shoot, all the way through shooting on the line and then after when you come off the line. Rather than a quantifiable number of shots (100 shots a night, etc), we switched our shooting style to quality. Going out and shooting 25 or 50 shots 100% focused with a purpose to destroy every target will make you a better shooter over shooting 100 or 200 shots unfocused, unprepared, and without determination.
Transitioning "perfect practice" with "your recipe":
This approach will then be used anytime you go out trapshooting. Perfect practice will then be blended into "your recipe" by following the same routine as you shoot in practice because everything that you do prior to and on the line is the exact same consistent routine. Whether you're shooting 25 shots in practice, at a local marathon shooting 500+ registered, at a state event, or in the shootoffs at the world competition...what you do getting ready will always be the same.
Matt and I will now go out using the perfect practice method, shoot 1-1000 rounds a day, but with a purpose each and every shot. Perfect practice helps focus your mind, make a more structured mental approach, and develop a routine that will be followed more consistently.
Have you ever been out and watched someone get to the line that forgot their shells, glasses, gun, or gear? To which they have to go back, grab these items and then hurry back to their starting post. They get set, still flustered or not thinking about shooting (still on their mistake)..and miss a clay or two within the first 5 shots? Ask yourself.. if they had a routine, would that have happened? Probably not...
Part of "perfect practice" and "your recipe" is getting things ready before the practice round or competition event, when you follow the same routine every single time, that routine turns into the norm without thinking about it.
We understand the importance of muscle memory and learning from repetition while training, and don't want you using the perfect practice technique as an excuse to shoot less and expect more.
Using the Perfect Practice technique requires more time and dedication, because this process begins when you leave the house (or RV).. what music you listen to for getting in the zone, stretching your muscles and eyes out, and your step-by-step process before getting up on the line is crucial to developing a consistent recipe.
Ultimately, you have to find a style that fits you. It might be shooting 25 a day, it might be shooting 100+ shots a day.. but if you follow the "perfect practice" method in developing "your recipe", you'll notice a much more effective routine that will translate into more targets being broke at the end of the day.
Thanks for reading!