Sometimes I shoot lights-out and other times, not so much. It’s aggravating to know my potential when I fall short of my potential 80 percent of the time. What’s the solution?
Consistency is the Holy Grail for competitive shooters, but it’s elusive for many.
Consistency is the number one goal of competitors that come to me for first-time lessons. For students whose goal it is to reach and remain at the top of the leaderboards, I coach them on three pillars of consistency: 1) Commitment to break point, 2) Planning and executing to plan, and 3) Commitment to your process.
The essence of consistency is breaking a given pair of targets in the same place and in the same way every time. Failing this, you will be shooting a different target or pair of targets each time you call pull. You might think that “plan and execute to plan” is the same as commitment to break point, but it’s not. Yes, selecting your break points is certainly a vital element of your shot plan, but a good shot plan involves much more. Proper pre-shot planning also involves strategizing your stance, body position, hold point, muzzle angle, visual pick-up point, insert point, engagement technique, moment of initiation and your transition between targets of a pair. This might seem like a lot to think about, but all this planning work should be completed and rehearsed before you step into the shooting stand. The more you do it, the better and faster you get at planning and the more natural it becomes. Then there is your “process” or pre-shot routine. Process involves everything you do and think about from the time you step into a shooting stand to shoot the targets and the moment you step out of the stand after shooting the last target at that station. As a shooter’s proficiency improves, lack of process or process control is to blame for a greater and greater percentage of misses. If consistency is eluding you, look to these three pillars of consistency for answers.
Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com.