Tuition
JOHN BIDWELL: Phew…that’s not an easy one to answer – after all, good shooting is about getting each constituent part working in unison, and without conscious effort. This means every bit of our concentration needs to be on the target and not split between, say, doubts about our grip being right or whether we’re addressing the target correctly.

But it’s not just the physical aspects that need to be in tune here – your mental approach also needs to be taken into account. Both are part and parcel of the same package.

Wondering (just before you call for the target) whether you put the cat out before coming to the shoot is a break in concentration you can well do without. So too is wondering if you’ve got the right chokes in just as you step onto the firing point.

You’re the only one who can effectively deal with the mental side of shooting. Which leaves the physical side to me…

In my view the most important thing in shooting is to ensure your stance and foot position is correct for each and every target that you shoot. A good stance allows you to move the upper body correctly which, in turn, produces a smooth, unhindered, gun mount and swing. A bad stance, on the other hand, will put you off balance, reduce the effectiveness of your gun mount and lead to a poor, erratic, swing. Get it totally wrong and it will even pull your gun off the line of the target and either slow – or stop – the swing just as you squeeze the trigger.

In short, sort your feet out first and let the head take care of itself!


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