Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Focus, Precision, and Accuracy:
Developing the Ability to Call Your Shot
I participate on some other forums that surround some of my other hobbies. One of them is the Toyota Territory Off-roaders Association or TTORA for short. One of the members happens to be Jamie from the History Channel's "Top Shot." Not only is he a stand up guy on the show, he's a stand-up guy on the forum and from what I understand, in real life, too. On the forum, we've had a lot of conversations about the show. Today's was more about why they are throwing tomahawks and playing with blow guns on a show about shooting.
When I thought about it, it made sense to me that the show would step professional shooters outside of their comfort zone as way to see who had what it takes to shift their focus and still be able to visualize their shot in order to deliver that precision and accuracy. This, my motivated readers, is what becoming a better shooter is all about. First, we apply the fundamentals. We make sure our firearm is empty. We remove the live ammunition. We aim safely into a direction where we can be sure of what lies beyond it.
The rest is about developing the ability to call our shot. We focus on the target, then shift to the front site tip. We breath consciously, noting the rhythm and pacing ourselves for the hold. When the time is right and the site picture agrees with our breathing pattern and our stance, we slowly squeeze the trigger. The drop of the hammer, the strike of the firing pin, slightly startles us. We embrace the follow through focusing our eyes solidly on the front site tip. Where is it facing? Where the tip lands on follow through is generally where your shot ended up.
That's two paragraphs worth of focus that leads to better shooting. It is those same two paragraphs worth of focus that make us more precise and more accurate and tightens groups no matter what the weapon is. It leads to smaller spreads with rifles, handguns, or more shattered clay pigeons with shotguns. It's the same focus that allows precision marksmen to move from their area of expertise to throwing a tomahawk or blowing a dart out the end of a blowgun.
The truth is, being able to focus and visualize are two key elements of success in any field. Pilots are taught to visualize take-off's, landings, and complex maneuvers. Chemists are taught to focus and visualize their procedures so that their measurements are more precise and their experimental results more accurate. In any part of our lives where success is imperative, focus and visualization, the primary elements of being a couch sniper, or a REAL sniper, will be a huge benefit to you. You never know when you're going to be out of your element and asked to be good at it. Just step back, repeat the steps, focus on the task at hand and visualize the outcome. Then step up and call your shot!