Thoughts for the Day

Discussion in 'General Airgun Chat' started by Strokebloke, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Strokebloke

    Strokebloke Mk3 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Northampton UK
    Club:
    SYWELL NTSC : FT : Greyhound : Kibworth
    I suspect that I'm not alone in thinking about ways & means by which I may improve my scores in comps.
    And my performance in general, in terms of consistency and raising my performance.
    I know that the more you practice the luckier you get. And that the inverse is probably equally true.

    However, I know from experience [of 50years of bike racing] that if you don't know what you're doing, then practice only makes you more proficient at being inept [not much good].
    If you're going to practice, it must be the practice of a programme of identifiable improvement.
    Practice, for the sake of practice is an utter waste of time.
    I know of people who have practiced [gone out training] for 400 miles a week on their bike. But when it comes to the race, they have no tactical understanding of what is required of them and no strategy to enable them to stand a chance of winning. They're as much use as a dentist in a maternity ward.

    And practice, without aptitude, seems to me, to be similarly ineffective. I don't put a lot of credence upon 'talent'. I'm sure that there are 'talented' people in all forms of sport, but my experience again tells me that those who are most 'talented' are also those who work hardest and practice most effectively.
    I have known genuinely talented junior bike riders. But everything has been easy for them. Winning has been easy. But for the majority of them, because the success has come without hard work, persistent practice, and determination to improve, they've become bored - discovered girls/beer/ciggies/cars etc. and are no longer the potential bright star in the sport.

    But there must be some basic aptitude. Otherwise you are practicing to develop something which isn't there.

    There is no doubt that much can be learned by experimentation. Trying something to see if it works.
    If it does, adopt it. If it doesn't, dump it.
    But sometimes it needs someone else - someone who knows - to suggest; to advise; to provide direction; to illuminate with a few subtle hints. To turn you from merely pointing at the target, to concentrating your focus upon the kill zone. To helping you to not only be set-up properly, but also helping you to be sufficiently relaxed to allow the gun to place the pellet in the kill zone and knock the target over. To enable you to see that it is not all about 'just' knocking the target over ~ that the crucial issue is 'was it a good shot?' And have I done my best today? And if I could have done better - what could I have done better?
    It's more about what is between my ears, than what is between the breech and the muzzle.

    After twelve months I'm beginning to believe that there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
    Until a couple of months ago I was so totally surround by darkness that I didn't even know that there was a tunnel. :D
    I'll never be a good shot. But I do enjoy the shooting fraternity.
    I am looking forward to 2014 and the comps to come.
    I have enjoyed the Midland Winter League comps. But that's understandable. MFTA is the tops. :)

    Be tolerant: when you're as old as me, you'll probably be a rambling loon too. :rolleyes: :eek:
     
  2. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    12,195
    Location:
    Poole, Dorset
    Club:
    Parkstone Gun Club, South Dorset FTC, Southampton Buccaneers
    Sounds like you've worked out a coach is handy.

    As you say, you can practice a bad habit and learn to do it quite well...but training is a different thing.

    If we get if off the ground, you'd be more than welcome on the instructor's course. 90% of people go on it for themselves as much as for others, and experience isn't a qualifier.
     
  3. Strokebloke

    Strokebloke Mk3 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Northampton UK
    Club:
    SYWELL NTSC : FT : Greyhound : Kibworth
    Excellent Rob, thanks.
    I would jump at the chance to do that. :)
     
  4. bre

    bre WTID

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Bracknell
    Club:
    B.F.T.O
    Cheers, I enjoyed that:)
     
  5. fudge-1200

    fudge-1200 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    South Wales
    Club:
    Castleton, FTC
    Excellent Jack. Very articulate as usual.
    Gary.
     
  6. holly

    holly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,857
    Location:
    ISLE OF WIGHT
    Club:
    carisbrooke rangers
    Mfta ?

    Yep it takes about three years of struggle jack to start to come out of trhe woods , shooting wise . you can shorten that to a year if you latch onto some one who can help you . you only made one wrong assumption jack , MFTA are the tops . nice boys but hardly the tops .??? HOLLY:):D:eek:

    PS give little kev a kick up the bum for me .:cool:
     
  7. simona

    simona Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Lowestoft
    Hi Jack

    The most important thing you can have is enthusiasm. This currency can be traded for improvement.

    I happen to agree about what you say about talent. It s nonsense. Mathew Syad s book ‘Bounce makes a particularly compelling argument against the existence of talent. One example is that of a writer who made a bet that both of his (yet to be born) children would be chess grand masters. They were. In another example he explains that 20-odd years ago almost all of the England table tennis team came from the Reading area. This was because there was a great club there with good coaches, one of whom worked at a local school. Nothing to do with talent. Perhaps most convincing was a study on musicians at a very large Chinese conservatory. Whether players ended up as soloists, players or teachers depended absolutely on how much they had practised. Those who had played the most were, of course, regarded as the most talented.

    Talent is a word that gets used to describe skill. Skill is hard won, the outside observer doesn t see the work, they see the skill, which can have a magical quality, and the skill is then called talent.

    Ronnie O Sullivan is continually called ‘ naturally talented . What absolute rubbish. He s devastated when he misses a ball after back to back centuries. He s almost literally mad for it. He is still trying to improve, he used to practise so hard that he would play all night. To say he s naturally talented is to short change the effort he s made over the last 30-odd years. He s driven and sets his own standards. He s un naturally talented. His real gift is in his love for the sport and his insatiable desire to play a perfect game. He wasn t born with that skill. We all get to enjoy the fruits of his labours when we watch him tear it up, marvellous.

    For our little hobby I d say try to find a place where you can shoot indoors at 25 plus yards and develop a baseline position from which you can shoot very tight groups. The perfect conditions will filter out other influences and allow you to concentrate on the arrangement of your limbs and the adjustment of your gun. Concentrate on finding effortless stability. Take this position outside.

    Once you get outside you can never be certain of the right place to aim or the precise range of the target. What you can do is utterly commit to a (uncertain) choice. So far shooting outside is just like marriage as some factors (ladies) are unknowable but you have to commit and try your best.

    Compounding an uncertain choice with a lacklustre shot will not help. Absolutely commit to going right edge/50 yards (or whatever) even if you are far from certain whether that s the right thing to do. Even if you miss (be it high, low, left or right) you will have a crystal clear notion of what you did, something to work backwards from; just having a vague punt when uncertain will seldom improve your chances on the next shot. And when you do take the shot shut out the uncertainty over your choices; just execute.

    The positions are another kettle of fish. Perhaps be content just to shoot a lot of easy targets at very close range. This may allow you to develop a feel for each stance rather than just busting your backside all the time.

    Keep trying and keep thinking.
     
  8. Strokebloke

    Strokebloke Mk3 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Northampton UK
    Club:
    SYWELL NTSC : FT : Greyhound : Kibworth
    Thank you Simon. Particularly for the second half.
    I do have the facility to shoot 25yds indoors at Sywell. As well as belonging to the FT section, I also belong to the indoor target club. It is predominantly populated by small and full bore shooters, but air rifles are well received too. And I have recently negotiated, with the club secretary, the acceptability of my shooting from a seated position, upon a seat bag, instead of from the bench, which is the norm. The benches are hinged - so will not impede any assumed position within that lane.

    The advice to 'commit' [to continue your marriage theme] for better, for worse, has been impressed upon me by Steve and one or two others. And at the moment, for me, the primary issue is getting it right and learning correctly, rather than merely knocking targets over. Satisfying though that may be.
    I am still sufficiently flexible to learning that the only things I am resistant to is obviously poor advice.
    So it is no effort for me to try something new - discuss it with Steve - see if it works for me, or not.

    And what is alarmingly apparent to me, at the moment, is that though I have committed in my mind to 'a routine', so often I am aware of not following 'my routine' when I'm sitting at a lane, in a comp.
    I do need to gain control of my mind when I sit down. I have a quite unnecessary mind-set which says that I have to 'try-to-emulate-others'. Instead of just doing my best and enjoying myself.
    My head and my expectations are something of a tangle at the moment, but I'm sure that they will unravel, as time goes by and confidence in myself increases.
    There's much still to be done, but I'm enjoying the learning. :)

    Holly - your birthday celebratory consumption is distorting your perception. Of course MFTA are the tops. :D
     
  9. plattitude

    plattitude Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    379
    Location:
    sheffield
    Club:
    Anston
    Almost as much as SWFC 6 v leeds 0:D:D

    Paul
     
  10. DaveRobinson

    DaveRobinson NEFTA Chairman

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    Killamarsh
    Club:
    Anston FTC
    I had a thought today................It realy hurt
     
  11. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    12,195
    Location:
    Poole, Dorset
    Club:
    Parkstone Gun Club, South Dorset FTC, Southampton Buccaneers
    Say it out loud as your doing it. When practicing, make it your mantra. If you feel odd doing it a comp, say it in your head.

    The routine is the thing the brain falls back on under pressure. In full flap panic mode it can be the branch for the mind to grasp on as it falls through the tree.
     
  12. AIRFIX GILLY

    AIRFIX GILLY WFTA World Champion 2012

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    936
    Location:
    Heanor, Derbyshire
    Club:
    Castle
    It will be dark

    If Strokebloke sits on the lane chuntering his mantra it will really be dark when we get him off the course.:D
     
  13. Strokebloke

    Strokebloke Mk3 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Northampton UK
    Club:
    SYWELL NTSC : FT : Greyhound : Kibworth
    Brilliant. Love it. :D :D

    I'll take that on-board Rob. It sounds like good essential advice.
    But if people complain about the 'Muttering Moron' to the BFTA, just remember that I'll blame it all on you. :)

    Oh, I DO hope I get to partner Gilly this Sunday at Woodend. :rolleyes: :D :D :D
    I'm shooting the morning session Gilly, so it shouldn't be totally dark by the time I finish
     
  14. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,193
    That's a great post Simon and I've read the stuff about the chess players etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  15. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,193
    Jack

    Lovely post as usual.

    Keep enjoying fella.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  16. Strokebloke

    Strokebloke Mk3 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Northampton UK
    Club:
    SYWELL NTSC : FT : Greyhound : Kibworth
    I had my first evening sitting on a seat bag at Sywell indoor range this evening, instead of at a bench or standing.
    The first dozen shots left me thinking 'what is the point?' At 25 yds it requires no great skill or effort to place pellets pretty well on top of each other.
    Then I woke up and remembered what Simon had suggested. I wasn't there to try to get 30 pellets into the same hole.
    The purpose of the exercise was to find, and consistently assume a comfortable position, by which I could repeatedly put pellet on pellet at 25yds. Not put pellet on pellet, regardless of how it was done, and just for the sake of it.
    So the 2nd detail was shot with a lot more care about position, comfort and alignment with the target, so that I wasn't searching for it through the scope. And because I was concentrating upon positional accuracy, the pellets, inevitably, no longer landed accurately.
    The 3rd detail was shot attempting to combine the two objectives - with moderate success.
    But the fact that it was only moderately successful served to demonstrate just how lacking in co-ordination I am, when considering that the second objective should be the result of the successful application of the first.

    It also, significantly, illustrated exactly what Steve spoke to me about on Sunday, at Woodend.
    I have a lot to learn. And much practice to do.

    So, I'll be back to Sywell on Wednesday ~ & Thursday - in fact I might set up a tent there :eek: :eek:
     
  17. Yorkshiretea

    Yorkshiretea B Grade Bandit

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,986
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Club:
    Anston FTC
    Great posts as ever Jack, I think it takes a while for your mind to shut up and get "mechanical" or in a state of "neither neither" where the mind stops chattering enough for to do what you know, pretty much like when you're driving a car.

    You'll get there, took me 3 months to actually learn to sit half decent if that helps any. :)
     
  18. holly

    holly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,857
    Location:
    ISLE OF WIGHT
    Club:
    carisbrooke rangers
    Problem

    The Problem jack is to do enough shooting to keep you interested and going forward BUT not bored . once you have found a good position , then extra support through a shooting Glove and Jacket will also help . problem with these two is they are good in the winter but can be hard work in the summer . all depends on how much you want it ??? HOLLY:):D
     
  19. FPoole

    FPoole Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Plant City, FL USA
    talent?

    My uncle was born with whatever it took to run very fast over short distances. Talent or just the right physical makeup? He held the SEC record in the 100 yard dash back in the mid 60's for a short while. He's a small fellow about 5'6" tall and certainly didn't look fast. The one thing he had was that from a very young age, he really wanted to be the fastest. I just don't have the drive to be the best, I just don't care if I win or lose and never have. I try to want to win, but even when I do win I'm not too excited. I still enjoy every minute because I just like shooting airguns. For me, that's enough.
     
  20. swiftysue

    swiftysue A sip of tea in the ocean

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    611
    Location:
    Polesworth,& New York
    Club:
    Greyhound
    thought

    My dad's favorite quote to me was
    "success only comes before work in the dictionary "
    He was correct I suppose but if you have some great chummies to help and guide you on the way it comes quicker :-D
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice