By Erin Lewis, TWF intern
Just like in many other sports, the best trap-shooting techniques are often the most difficult to master, just as some of the easiest bad habits to develop are the most difficult to break.
Here are the Top 3 negative shooting habits that must be broken to achieve long-term success, according to Andrew Peercy, a trap and skeet coach for more than 10 years and manager of the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP).
“When you break a target I can’t tell you what you did right,” says Peercy. “But when you miss a target, I can tell you what you did wrong.”
1. Aiming rather than pointing
It’s imperative for young shooters to get out of the habit of aiming, Peercy says.
“In shotgun shooting, there is a moving target that requires the shooter to point – not aim,” he explains. “Shooting should be instinctive not calculated. Pointing at the target will subconsciously cause you to aim. All you have to do is point and shoot.”
2. Stopping the gun
“Most shooters already know to follow the target with the front of the shotgun and as soon as the muzzle covers it to pull the trigger,” says Peercy. “But that’s not all. You want to make sure the shotgun keeps moving after you fire. There is a tendency to swing to the target and then stop, shoot, and try to follow it again. If the muzzle stops, you will shoot behind the mark every time. “
Peercy adds that the key is the follow-through. Continuously follow the target with your shotgun even after you fire.
3. Taking your eyes off the target
When you throw a baseball you don’t watch your arm throw it, you focus on the player to whom you are throwing the ball. Peercy stresses that when shooting, you want your eyes focused out in the trap field, not on the barrel of the shotgun.
“As soon as you see the target get clear and disappear behind the muzzle, shoot it,” he says. “Once you master following the mark with your eyes, the pointing instincts will kick in. Remember: your eyes must see the target before the gun moves to it, so never take your eyes off the target, from moment you first see it until it lands.
And one more…
Peercy has one more “bonus” piece of advice that may be the most important of all.
“Have fun!” he says “If you aren’t having fun then it is not worth shooting.”