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helping others

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Aprilian
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Post by jmdavis 10/16/2018, 9:50 am

Some of you know that I really got into shooting pistol because I was a rifle shooter who kept seeing members of the Marine Pistol team win Leg Matches. I surmised that they knew something and I wanted to find out what it was. 

I discovered that a retired couple who were both Pistol Distinguished was offering coached practice at a club 65 miles away on the first and third Wednesdays. I contacted them attended one of the sessions and was hooked. I joined the club and began the trek there twice per month. After a few months of that they decided to start evening matches on the second and fourth Wednesdays and I was there too. 

Fast forwarding a few years the husband has health issues which make it difficult for him to get out. Last year I took over the 2nd and 4th Wednesday matches and both run and shoot them. I try to be there for the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays to help with gun issues and offer additional coaching. I've learned a lot and worked with a lot of shooters including people with mobility problems, essential tremors, eye issues etc. 

Now for the question part. We have one shooter who has been coming to the sessions for over a year. He is genuinely interested and is a regular for the matches as well. The problem as I see it is that we have not been able to teach him to call his shots and he never has any good idea where they are until he looks at the target. 

More information is that he doesn't want to seem to want to dry fire because the gun has a magazine safety. He also doesn't want to shoot drills. He basically wants to shoot National match courses for practice and then shoot matches. But he isn't happy with his match performance. 

Does anyone have any advice on how I can get him to learn to call his shots and convince him to do something other than just shoot NMC's? I think that he has potential, but the problem may be that he isn't hungry. I shoot with a number of people like that in my other league (65 miles in the opposite direction). I have suggested the USMC workbook, I have let him see me shooting blank target, one shot and two shot drills. But I haven't been able to get him to do any of those things and invariably he will throw a few shots off the target in Rapidfire over the course of a match. 

I want him to succeed.  I want him to be competitive with the other league shooters. But, I haven't found a method to help him.
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Post by weber1b 10/16/2018, 10:10 am

One convinced against their will is of the same opinion still. You can't make someone want something no matter how hard you try. Either the desire will rise up within them, or it won't. Don't take it personal if they don't get there.

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Post by Chris Miceli 10/16/2018, 10:28 am

Remove mag safety

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Post by bdas 10/16/2018, 10:30 am

Obviously dry fire is incredibly helpful, and the USMC book and 1-shot and 2-shot drills are tried and true.  But if those aren't working, maybe try a different approach, and talk to him about (and help him develop) his shot process / shot plan for rapid fire?  That might get him thinking about what he needs to do to improve.

I'm also interested in advice on helping novice shooters call their shots, since I'm a coach for a junior pistol program.  The only thing I've ever tried is a combination of initially just telling them where their shot went, so they can get a feel for it, and eventually asking them to tell me where they think their shot went.  But if anyone has advice on teaching people how to call shots, I'd love to hear it.

Dave

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Post by jmdavis 10/16/2018, 10:41 am

Calling his shots is a big part of the problem.
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Post by Aprilian 10/16/2018, 12:06 pm

Deep down the issue is that once he starts the trigger pull, he doesn't process any information about the sights.   He needs to want to improve - as others have said.   I like the Go Mad framework at https://www.gomadthinking.com/accelerating-results/coaching-facilitation/ for helping people who are stuck.

Once he has demonstrated to you that he wants to break through his plateau, find out what small items will motivate him.  If you can find out whether it is a couple bucks or snack food or a minor trophy, use that info in the following way.

Print off small versions of the std. target. I made some with 6 per 1/4 sheet (of 8.5x11).  
Have him use his .22.
Have him dry fire at the range to watch the sights/dot and tell you which direction the shot would have been from the X and how far, "i.e. 7:00 by a few inches".  Ideally you would ask him, where was the gun pointed just before the trigger fell and just after?  When he can see and identify something with dry fire, have him move to live fire.
Throw a piece of tape of the eyepiece of his scope.  
After each shot have him draw a dot on the reduced target.  I number my shot numbers so that I can see if there is a pattern, like losing concentration.
When he can roughly call the location of his 5 shots, he wins.

Repeat with tighter requirements until he can call each shot.

Again, he has to want to move through to better execution.  I had one student in my advanced riding class (motorcycles) who asked me to help break through her plateau.  I easily identified the issue, and told her.  Her reply was interesting. "But you don't understand, THAT is how I ride".
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Post by kidneyboy 10/16/2018, 3:33 pm

The guy wants results without putting forth the effort it takes to get them. It sounds like he is an adult not a child who needs handholding. Show him the correct steps to take and leave him to figure it out on his own.

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Post by jmdavis 10/17/2018, 9:27 am

kidneyboy wrote:The guy wants results without putting forth the effort it takes to get them. It sounds like he is an adult not a child who needs handholding. Show him the correct steps to take and leave him to figure it out on his own.

I actually think that he doesn't understand the process. It's akin to one seeing ones scores go down before the go up. It happens often. But if you have never really been around competitive shooters or shot on a team, you often see magic where there is work. I am lucky in that some very skilled shooters and coaches have taken time to work with me. I want to try to do the same thing.
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK 10/17/2018, 10:18 am

Stupid tends to be forever, ignorance can be fixed.

Until this guy realizes that he needs help & that you (as a group) will help him, you're going to be frustrated.
You can lead a horse to water but until you've taught it the back stoke you haven't done much.
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Post by jmdavis 10/17/2018, 11:31 am

OK, so let's assume that he really wants to learn to call his shots. So far he has been unable to relate what he sees to what's on the page. I have thought that this might be because he is blinking, which also might explain the wild shots. 

I know that he is using progressive lenses. I don't have direct experience with that sort of thing because I and all of the shooters that I know well, use a dedicated lens for shooting. Does anyone think that could be part of the inability to call a shot?

I will try to get more data at the coached practice tonight. But I have some issues of my own to work on with a 1911 that has required some overtravel adjustment. 

Mike
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Post by Wobbley 10/17/2018, 11:50 am

Well the progressive lenses aren’t helping at all.  Way too many variables. 

Take away his spotting scope and have him start to plot his slowfire shots with you looking through a scope and plotting his shots.
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Post by jmdavis 10/17/2018, 11:55 am

Wobbley wrote:Well the progressive lenses aren’t helping at all.  Way too many variables. 

Take away his spotting scope and have him start to plot his slowfire shots with you looking through a scope and plotting his shots.


He mostly doesn't use a scope.
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Post by Aprilian 10/17/2018, 5:30 pm

Progressives will give a problem only if he moves his head as the shot goes off.   They have the ability to add a curved effect which for me was more pronounced at steep head angles.  I doubt that is his issue.  
Assume he can see the sights and line up the gun on the target.  He is then seeing before the shot.  If the gun fires without massive head movement then something else (mental or physical) is preventing him seeing (or remembering) after the shot breaks.  
Would changing the target to a white piece of paper, moving back to 25 yards (or less) and then telling him that you don't care where the bullet goes, just tell me what you saw the moment before and the moment after the gun went off?

I bet if you stand at the side and watch his head, he is dropping his head which moves the dot (perhaps more pronounced with a dot with parallax and progressive lenses) then he moves the pistol to the new perceived center - causing some shots to be way off.
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Post by Doug Tiedt 10/17/2018, 10:41 pm

Has the shooter asked for help or in any way indicated that he is open to suggestions?
Until he is ready to hear, its all noise.
It takes some of us (and I am/was one) a while to realize that shooting NMCs for practice isn't training.

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Post by bdas 10/18/2018, 3:09 pm

jmdavis wrote:OK, so let's assume that he really wants to learn to call his shots. So far he has been unable to relate what he sees to what's on the page. I have thought that this might be because he is blinking, which also might explain the wild shots. 

I know that he is using progressive lenses. I don't have direct experience with that sort of thing because I and all of the shooters that I know well, use a dedicated lens for shooting. Does anyone think that could be part of the inability to call a shot?

I have progressive lenses, and they can be an issue if you're not consistent with how you hold your head / look though them.  I actually index the earpiece to my ear muffs to ensure consistent placement of the lenses on my head.

As for blinking, can you have him try some dry fire at the range, or would it be acceptable to sneak a dummy round into his magazine for some surprise dry fire practice?  One of the juniors I coach was having issues with some wild shots, so I had her try a few shots of dry fire while I watched.  When I asked her what happened to the dot when the hammer dropped, she had no idea, because she was blinking in anticipation of the shot going off. Hard to call your shots when your eyes are closed.

Dave

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Post by weber1b 10/18/2018, 3:18 pm

One of the things Andy Moody does during his clinics is have the shooter hold the gun and he pulls the trigger. The shooter does not know when the gun is going to go off so cannot anticipate the recoil. It is a very enlightening moment. (I can say from experience)

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Post by jmdavis 10/19/2018, 10:04 am

An update, 

We worked with him on Wednesday Night and he is now able to call direction and has an idea about distance. That began with blank target for several targets. The results were much better than normal. He also started reading the USMC Workbook, which I think is a good thing. 




 At the same time I was working with another shooter and had him shooting blank target for 50 rounds. Before we put up a B16 and had him shoot slow fire.
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Post by Aprilian 10/19/2018, 11:42 am

Great to hear that.   Congratulations on figuring out the right recipe for his individual needs!!!
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