Footwork is crucial to being a good shot. Here Tony Bracci highlights what you need to do to get this right and bring consistency to your technique, with tips for both the left and right-handed shooter.
As with any sport, when you want to get better at it you have to go back to basics to ensure that you have a good enough grounding.
Shooting footwork tips
- A crucial point with shooting is having your feet in the right place.
- The reason for this is so that the rest of your body can move smoothly to where you want to go. Without moving your feet, you will limit the rotational movement in your body.
- This movement can come into effect when taking driven targets to the left and right or moving between targets in sporting and FITASC (International Federation for Shooting with Sports Guns).
- Let’s look at a game shooter stood on the peg waiting for birds to flush.
- Both left and right-handed shooters should be waiting in a neutral position with their weight evenly on both feet.
- If a straight-driven bird presents itself, the lead foot should be moved forward to take the shot.
- If the bird is presented to the left or the right the shooting footwork is different, depending on whether you are left or right-handed.
If the bird is presented straight, the lead left foot is moved forward then the gun mounted. If the bird is presented to the left, the left foot should move to the left where you would want to take the shot. If the birds are coming to the right, the right foot should come back and the left foot takes over to point where you want to shoot.
If the bird is presented straight, the lead right foot is moved forward then the gun mounted. If the bird is presented right, then the right foot should move to the right where you want to take the shot. If the bird is presented to the left, the left foot should come back and the right foot takes over to point where you want to shoot.
The gun hold point
You should stay with the bird as you move your feet. Try not to take the gun with you as you do your footwork. Hold your gun on the line the bird is travelling. Then as the bird comes into your kill zone, count and swing efficiently to your target. Although it seems like a lot to do, it will buy you time. The shooting footwork will eventually seep into your subconscious and you will move your feet without thought. This footwork will keep you balanced and give you control in your swing to make you a more consistent shot. You will not longer have your feet ‘set in concrete’ once you learn the shotgun two-step.
The correct ready position when shooting increases your chance of hitting more clays.
You’re probably very frustrated by the fact that you can’t go out shooting at the moment. However, you can use…
- Move your feet, otherwise you limit rotational movement
- Your feet should point to where you take the shot
- Hold your gun on the line of the bird