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Dropping my head - ideas to cure?

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285wannab
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Dropping my head - ideas to cure? Empty Dropping my head - ideas to cure?

Post by Aprilian 8/29/2018, 7:16 pm

Last week I was dry firing and carefully watched the dot move as I was holding on target.   I had always thought (wrongly) that my arm was getting tired and so that was the focus of my strength training.   What I now realize is that it is my head dropping slightly.  Here is an abbreviation of my process;


  • settle into position
  • straighten spine
  • raise pistol purposefully above center
  • lower into center while moving trigger
  • dot is in center of tube without adjustment
  • dot starts to move in tube as head moves forward and down (pivoting on base of neck)
  • mind is distracted from my process by the moving dot


It seems to me that there is something going on mentally or physically between getting on the trigger and keeping my head in same position.  I admit to having a stoop from working on the computer all day but can sit upright when I remember.   

Does anyone have any thoughts about how I can train myself through this issue?

Thanks!!!!
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Post by Chris Miceli 8/29/2018, 7:22 pm

You’re trying to focus harder so you end up lowering your head I imagine. Does your shooting position allow for you to anchor your chin against your shoulder?

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Post by Jack H 8/29/2018, 7:46 pm

I find getting a mental feel of raising my wrist and keeping a connection with head position  works wonders for stability and posture
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Post by cdrt 8/29/2018, 9:43 pm

This may seem silly, but try wearing a ball cap.  If you drop your head, the brim will obscure the sight.
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Post by 285wannab 8/29/2018, 11:22 pm

Try using an eyepal or  aperture on your glasses.

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Post by Aprilian 8/30/2018, 4:26 pm

Currently working on trying some of the good suggestions, I'll post back later after I see some consistent improvement.   Thanks.

Interestingly, this morning it occurred to me that if I tightened my core muscles it became harder to drop my head.  Hmmmm.
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Post by BE Mike 8/31/2018, 4:35 pm

This is going to sound way out there, but someone I know (an accomplished competitor in the past) recently advised me of his cure for head movement when shooting. He puts his non-shooting hand behind his neck. He said it steadied his head and his groups got better. It probably isn't practical for long training sessions, but like a lot of things, it may focus your attention on the problem and result in a solution, sort of like putting a mark on your front sight.
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Post by Tim:H11 8/31/2018, 5:11 pm

I took six years of piano lessons when I was a boy in grade school. I continued with trumpet through out grade school and into high school and then guitar in the high school jazz band. In all the instruments I’ve learned how to play and some that I still play today, a proper sitting position or posture was important for playability reasons in piano, breathing in trumpet, etc. In all instruments posture is important for one reason or another. But there’s no way to support the body and force it into position while playing. It’s something that has to be learned, and something that you have to be strict with yourself over.

I see shooting the same way. You have to learn to force yourself into a position and stay there. If you’re dropping your head you have to learn to keep your head up. Proper posture. Keep your back straight. Or if you lean into your shots some then still make sure as you’re holding your not letting your head drop. 

One thing I try to do is I center the dot in the tube, before I raise it. As I raise it I watch the dot and make it stay centered. Keep your movement in the shoulder only. Then just before you come down into target look to the target and lower the dot into your line of sight. Then if you’re a dot watcher or tatget watcher do what you do and carry on with your shot. 

Over time you’ll learn to keep your wrist and arm in position so you don’t have to watch the dot all the way up and down and it’ll be more of a reflex. Then you can start the raise of your arm as you look at the target setting up your position, and focus on keeping that position as the gun comes into play. If your applying pressure and keeping the trigger moving then you won’t end up holding too long where you bear down on the shot and end up lowering your head. The shot will break sooner rather than later and you’re good.
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Post by dronning 8/31/2018, 5:32 pm

285wannab wrote:Try using an eyepal or  aperture on your glasses.
I did this at my Optometrists suggestion and it does tell me when I change my head position either up/down or side/side (the field of view darkens). 

Shifting position.
What has helped the most is now part of my shot process.  When I get into my stance I focus on how everything feels.  Starting with my feet and working my way up to my ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, arms, neck and head.  I do a rise before the commands start and I visualize being attached to a metal frame and really focus on how it feels.  After the shot as part of my follow through I check how my position feels.  This process has caught me shifting weight, moving my shoulders/arms as well as moving my head.
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers 8/31/2018, 6:38 pm

Aprilian wrote:......What I now realize is that it is my head dropping slightly.....

Just thinking out loud.....     just like a "natural point of aim", maybe your head is settling into its own "natural position", and could use that position, rather than fighting it?
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Post by Tim:H11 8/31/2018, 8:12 pm

mikemyers wrote:
Aprilian wrote:......What I now realize is that it is my head dropping slightly.....

Just thinking out loud.....     just like a "natural point of aim", maybe your head is settling into its own "natural position", and could use that position, rather than fighting it?

My experience is when the head drops the dot appears low in the tube so I start fighting to push it up to center it again. Shots can break high for me here. Or if the dot falls back down, shots can go low. And for me, my head will lower some when I’ve been holding too long. And when I hold too long I force the shot. If that happens, then it won’t matter where I think it went; only God knows where I’ve launched that one.
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Post by Jack H 8/31/2018, 9:02 pm

Try this.
Stand tall with arm up in position, no gun, reach across with other hand and place two fingers on the shooting wrist.  Watch out for your elbow and press just a little downward.  Just enough down to feel a little arm support at the shoulder when you lift up at the wrist
And this
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/core-exercises/art-20044751
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Post by Aprilian 8/31/2018, 10:23 pm

Jack H wrote:Try this.
Stand tall with arm up in position, no gun, reach across with other hand and place two fingers on the shooting wrist.  Watch out for your elbow and press just a little downward.  Just enough down to feel a little arm support at the shoulder when you lift up at the wrist
Jack, that's very interesting!   A few shoulder muscles fired which I didn't recognize as being previously used in my shot process.   Thanks.
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Post by Chris Miceli 8/31/2018, 11:09 pm

mikemyers wrote:
Aprilian wrote:......What I now realize is that it is my head dropping slightly.....

Just thinking out loud.....     just like a "natural point of aim", maybe your head is settling into its own "natural position", and could use that position, rather than fighting it?
actually not a bad idea. A marine HM comes to mind who always fought try to get the dot in the center. He ended up just shooting with the dot in the bottom of the tube. Once you have a good zero and do everything the same all the time it really doesn't matter....if it works

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Post by dronning 9/1/2018, 5:48 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:
mikemyers wrote:
Aprilian wrote:......What I now realize is that it is my head dropping slightly.....

Just thinking out loud.....     just like a "natural point of aim", maybe your head is settling into its own "natural position", and could use that position, rather than fighting it?
actually not a bad idea. A marine HM comes to mind who always fought try to get the dot in the center. He ended up just shooting with the dot in the bottom of the tube. Once you have a good zero and do everything the same all the time it really doesn't matter....if it works

Perfect form isn't always perfect for everyone, it's a starting point.

World Champion Free Pistol Moritz Minder comes to mind:
Dropping my head - ideas to cure? Moritz10
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Post by Aprilian 9/9/2018, 5:34 pm

I shot this week and had some great shots.   Here is what I did.   Everyone is different, so this is not my recommendation for every body.  Not all my steps are written out.

I made sure my hips were square to my feet.
Engaged core muscles.
Pulled in my chin.
Rotated upper body and head to target.
Lifted above target.
Held breath, lowered pistol, started trigger.

I found that I only had one time where I felt the dot was moving in the tube and I realized I had not started the trigger (as above) and was waiting on the dot.
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Post by Jack H 9/9/2018, 9:42 pm

When you all say "lower into the black", are you moving only at the shoulder? 

I think the shoulder is one of the weakest links in supporting the pistol.  I like to think solid triangle with points being the shoulder, wrist and eye.  Lowering into the black should keep that as a solid unit.
Some of the things I believe about shooting I never hear now or ever.  Maybe it's the way we say it.
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Post by Aprilian 9/11/2018, 3:23 am

Yes Jack, arm is straight, wrist is in fixed relationship to arm, and only shoulder movement to get to center hold.
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Post by Jack H 9/11/2018, 6:23 am

Aprilian wrote:Yes Jack, arm is straight, wrist is in fixed relationship to arm, and only shoulder movement to get to center hold.
That I believe is a problem if you depend on just the shoulder for overall stability at the gun
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Post by Aprilian 9/11/2018, 4:51 pm

Jack,  I am fixing everything but my shoulder to my "rigid" hold position (legs, hips, core, arm, wrist, neck, etc.) before I lift.  Then I am just adjusting my arm's vertical position with my shoulder.

Am I missing something?  Going back to your Sunday post, it seems like you would have me fix the relationship of my eyes, shoulder and pistol.  If that is so, would I raise the pistol with that "triangle" in place?  Wouldn't  I also need to move my neck with that system?

I did play last year with lining up the dot before lifting, but found that caused a wrist adjustment during lift to keep the dot centered.
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Post by Jack H 9/11/2018, 9:40 pm

Aprilian wrote:Jack,  I am fixing everything but my shoulder to my "rigid" hold position (legs, hips, core, arm, wrist, neck, etc.) before I lift.  Then I am just adjusting my arm's vertical position with my shoulder.

Am I missing something?  Going back to your Sunday post, it seems like you would have me fix the relationship of my eyes, shoulder and pistol.  If that is so, would I raise the pistol with that "triangle" in place?  Wouldn't  I also need to move my neck with that system?

I did play last year with lining up the dot before lifting, but found that caused a wrist adjustment during lift to keep the dot centered.

My  point is you should not know what you do physically for the final fine stabilization and alignment in area. If you even sense your shoulder moving the gun, your mind is not on the gun (sights)
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