Is missing a frustrating and aggravating experience? Of course it is.
When we miss, we feel let down, wonder what happened, and sometimes go so far as to dislike a particular target because we miss it frequently.
Missing is a fact of life – even the greatest shooters miss occasionally. They just don’t dwell on the miss while still competing but wait for the proper time to analyze and fix whatever the problem may be. Sometimes they seek help from other skilled shooters and/or instructors.
You can easily look at missing as a bad thing; after all, you may not shoot the score you wanted to shoot because of that miss.
During most of your formative years you were taught that missing was bad. If it was your turn at bat in Little League and you struck out, you were taught that it was a bad thing.
Well, your batting skills may not have helped win the game, but there were good points to learn from your missing. Your miss probably got you and your teammates out to more batting practices, and you learned how to bat correctly. You may have learned to keep your eyes on the ball as the pitch was thrown. Your teammates may also have learned from your missing by seeing and understanding what you had done incorrectly. So, in the big picture, missing may not have been all that bad. It was a learning experience.
With shooting, you can and should learn from your misses. If you break down the missed shot into all of the elements it took to shoot the shot, you can, for instance, see that you executed almost every part of the shot correctly. You had one hiccup in your execution of the shot that caused you to lose that target.
This is where you need to see the positive of that missed shot. Up to 90 percent may have been executed as you wanted. You may also be able to identify the element of that shot that wasn’t executed properly.
If you miss during a practice session, you can analyze the shot at that specific time and figure out how to make sure it never or seldom happens again. This may be where you need an NSSA Certified Instructor to help identify and troubleshoot your problem.
If, however, you’re shooting in a competition, file it for entry in your shooting journal and analysis when you are off the field and make a conscious effort to continue shooting at the level you aspire to shoot. Go back to basics.
Missing should be a learning tool and seen in a positive way. It’s up to you and your instructor/coach to analyze your technique and repair it.
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.