Crossing targets:
Based off the first lesson it was clear to me that the idea of shooting a crossing target was going to be a lot easier than I had thought.
Well let’s just say that I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Shooting the incoming targets was to ensure that my line was correct in relation to gun fit.

We started off going through what I had previously learnt, shooting your basic incoming target/going away target. With these targets the concept were to (point at the clay) to ensure that the fit of the gun were correct. It was then explained to me that pointing at the clay will only get you so far in your shooting and the next step was to move on to (watch the clay). By watching the clay it will tell you the three things that will allow your brain to comprehend its ability to hit the clay. The three key facts to naturally hit the clay are Line, Speed and Distance.

My first 25 shots at a crossing target were all missed either behind from me stopping the gun as I went to take the shot, or missed in front as I was gauging the distance to hit the clay. Another issue of mine was I stated to look at the bead on the end of the barrels, which also caused me to take my eyes off the clay. As I endeavoured to calculate how far ahead of the clay I needed to be, this proved to be a challenge; I couldn’t stop myself from gauging to far in front. My brain was telling me one thing and so I thought that I knew better than the person standing behind me. Until I started to relax and stop being so uptight when I was shooting, then I started to listen and began to shoot naturally. In everyday life our brains are always trying to work things out whether or not that was in feet and inches or just guessing to hit the clay. Cyril then told me to “watch the clay” and get in front. The next 10 shots spoke for themselves as I went on to hit every clay that was released from the trap. We then proceeded to get closer to the target until I was shooting faster to demonstrate the limits you can push yourself by simply watching the clay. Once my brain had all the information that it needs and had built up enough pictures, I proceeded to hit the clay naturally. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you how far my barrels were in front of the clay, as we all perceive these pictures different when shooting the clays. Using measurements is a standardised form of communication, in reference to everyday life observations.

It had taken me a few shots to get out of my bad habits of gauging and looking at the barre ls to trust my eyes when I’m shooting. Once you have done this several times you then apply the same principle to different targets by watching the clay and also factoring in; visual pick up points, gun hold, stance and many other things that contribute to you hitting the target. Practicing all these thousands of times will help you to be come a natural shot. I am so pleased to have made these mistakes, as I will never be able to forget what I went through shooting crossing targets. It helps me to understand what my clients are now going through and experiencing over their shooting journey, as I have been through all these mistakes on my own multiple times.

The next chapter will go on to talk about how we approached quartering targets and also driven targets.

To be continued…

D Ryan-Careless


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