Have you ever wondered why you can shoot well at one event and not at another? You can shoot a competition every week and not perform at each shoot as you think you should.
Your practice seems up to par, but for some strange reason you can’t seem to be consistently competitive at your shoots.
One of the things that I tell new shooters that show an aptitude for competition is to keep a journal or, as some call it, a diary. Whatever you call it, it will help you to know why you shoot well at one venue and not at another, or at one time and not at another.
There are many things you can write in your journal; here is a short but meaningful list:
- what the weather was like
- where you shot
- things you need to practice or get coaching to perfect
- what you had for breakfast/ lunch
- who you shot with
- what time you shot
- Did you sleep well?
- Did you let extraneous thoughts interfere?
- what position you shot in
- outside influences
- positive thoughts that work for you
- new ideas you want to try
- if you need to do more work on specific targets
The list can go on and on, but—as you can see—there are many things that can affect your shooting. Keeping a journal is a basic tool for members of our Olympic shooting teams, as we saw when the Tulsa Gun Club hosted the Olympic trials a few years ago. I watched as one of these shooters looked in his journal just before walking out to shoot. He may have been reminding himself of some changes he had incorporated or what his shooting plan was.
We all can use this tool to help improve and maintain our shooting capability.
Your journal is not for anyone other than you to look at or make entries into. It is a reflection of you and your thinking.
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who can help you improve your skills at American Skeet and wingshooting. To contact Barry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (918)803-2393.