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Trigger Pull Speed

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Post by sbtzc Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:24 pm

So as to not highjack bpettet's thread on tips & tricks,....


How fast do you pull the trigger?

Some days it works for me to drag the pull time out. Sloooooooooow. Up to 4 seconds. Other days this leads to holding too long.

Some days, especially with the 45, it works to romp on it. Like maybe a second at most. No dragging wood. Just do it with certainly.
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Post by Arthur Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:00 pm

"Deliberate" is what I put in my notes recently for a couple of good targets. Waiting too long fussing with it seems to lead to shots that are very well centered, or way out of the group. Getting reckless with the trigger is a sure way to fail too. 

Best 
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Post by bpettet Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:01 am

When I talk to masters and HM's about trigger speed, they refer to slow, medium and fast and being able to use any of them depending on the day.  The big thing, as I understand it, is not stopping the pull.  If that happens in SF, lower and start over.

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Post by mspingeld Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:15 am

I'll defer to the better shooters on this forum but, for me, it's a speed where you can feel it moving. That speed can be slower or faster but if it's too fast, you can't feel it moving and if it's too slow you can't feel it moving (you're likely trying to stage it). Constantly building pressure. I've heard it described many ways.

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Post by CrankyThunder Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:24 am

Hey Sbtzc:

Trigger pull is a subconscious act whereas if you are thinking about it, you are not doing it right.  Have you ever had a shot in slow fire where the dot (or sights) automatically align with the bull and the gun goes off and it is a X?  How about when the dot is wandering over the bull and the gun automatically goes off when the dot is centered and you get a X?  That is your subconscious firing the gun.

Here is a exercise to try and demonstrate.

first off, do a gazillion trigger pulls, actually a hundred or so a day, you can be sitting on the couch watching tv but the intent is to get to know your trigger backwards and forwards.  Become intimate with your trigger.  Quality trigger pulls where you feel it in your bones, not pulling the trigger to get x amount of pulls in.  

Then, when you get to the range, put up a slow fire target and load your firearm.  Raise the gun to the target and align the sights like you would in a match, and pull and HOLD the trigger to just before firing with the dot on the bull for ten seconds.  After ten seconds put the gun down, take a breath or two, and repeat.  Sooner or later, one of two things is going to happen, either the dot jumps to the center of the bull and fires and you get a X or when the dot is centered in the bull the gun fires automatically.  Do this exercise to train your subconscious to fire the gun.  

I cannot say that this exercise works for everybody but most shooters will benefit and learn a technique that will be the basis for their slow fire shots.  Master the slow fires and the timed and rapids will come naturally.  

Another technique is that if you are in a match and develop "Chicken Finger" on your slow fire target, bail on that shot (you got plenty of time it is slow fire) and try again.  If you have to bail the second time, approach the shot like it is the first shot in rapid fire.  

Let me know if this helps will ya?

Respectfully, 
Cranky


Last edited by CrankyThunder on Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Misspellings added to verify authorship by engineer)
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Post by SteveT Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:46 am

As fast as you can without disturbing the sights.
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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:56 am

CrankyThunder wrote:Hey Sbtzc:

Trigger pull is a subconscious act whereas if you are thinking about it, you are not doing it right.  Have you ever had a shot in slow fire where the dot (or sights) automatically align with the bull and the gun goes off and it is a X?  How about when the dot is wandering over the bull and the gun automatically goes off when the dot is centered and you get a X?  That is your subconscious firing the gun.

Then, when you get to the range, put up a slow fire target and load your firearm.  Raise the gun to the target and align the sights like you would in a match, and pull and HOLD the trigger to just before firing with the dot on the bull for ten seconds.  After ten seconds put the gun down, take a breath or two, and repeat.  Sooner or later, one of two things is going to happen, either the dot jumps to the center of the bull and fires and you get a X or when the dot is centered in the bull the gun fires automatically.  Do this exercise to train your subconscious to fire the gun.  


Another technique is that if you are in a match and develop "Chicken Finger" on your slow fire target, bail on that shot (you got plenty of time it is slow fire) and try again.  If you have to bail the second time, approach the shot like it is the first shot in rapid fire.  

Cranky,
What are you focusing on while letting your subconscious mind perform trigger pull?

What are you focusing on when the dot "jumps" to the center of the bull?

Why is RF trigger squeeze different than SF squeeze? What are you focusing on?

Jon
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Post by DA/SA Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:12 am

CrankyThunder wrote:
Then, when you get to the range, put up a slow fire target and load your firearm.  Raise the gun to the target and align the sights like you would in a match, and pull and HOLD the trigger to just before firing with the dot on the bull for ten seconds.  After ten seconds put the gun down, take a breath or two, and repeat.  

Is this a bench rest exercise holding on the X for ten seconds? (valid question, not meant as a derogatory remark)

My wobble is the size of the black.
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Post by CrankyThunder Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:31 am

Jon:

I am trying not to think of anything, trying to make my mind go blank.  

If that doesn't work, even though I am not a big star wars fan, say to my self "let the force be with you".   Cheesy?  yes, works pretty good for me.  Another thing I say to myself is "Watch the dot, wait for Bang!"

Then again, if it dont work, approach the shot like a timed or rapid fire.  

for me SF trigger squeeze is not different then tf or rf.  

This is a standing at the bench exercise.  Give it a try, if it works for you great.  let me know.  If it does not work for you?  well, you tried something that does not work.  

Regards, 
crankster


Last edited by CrankyThunder on Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:46 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Misspellings added to verify authorship by engineer)
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Post by CrankyThunder Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:43 am

For what it is worth, I am friends with and shot with a number of high masters in the sport, have taken classes from the best, and honestly think that the high masters let their subconcious take over without realizing what is happening.  

I have mentioned this exercise to a handful of shooters, mostly expert rating, a few of which are on this forum, and most of them say that they have seen significant improvement in their scores.  

I put this together after taking Brian Zins class last fall and he mentioned something that when his hold was good, the bullets seem to magically jump into the x ring.  

Put together with what I discussed with Dennis Willing couple years ago that the dot (or sights) seam to jump to the center of the bull unconsciously and I started thinking about how to create a exercise to replicate that in practice.  

At that time, I was shooting a solid consistent 810-820 expert scores in the 900 point matches.  Last couple of  matches I pulled down a 852 and 846.  (well, lets not talk about the 830 that I wuffed on since then but..........I am still excited about the 830!).  

Personally, I think that I am on to something and the few people that I have shared this with agree.

Sincerely, 
Crankster
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Post by mspingeld Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:47 am

I shoot expert scores. Slow fire typically high 80s, low 90s. Timed in the high 90s and rapid...Well...depends on the day.

My wobble at 50 yards is the black with occasional movements outside the black.

What's been working for me lately is concentrating on the trigger pull. I know it should be subconscious but that just hasn't happened yet.

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Post by sbtzc Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:34 pm

mspingeld wrote:I know it should be subconscious but that just hasn't happened yet.

Ditto. The subconscious shot is elusive to me as well - it's PFM.

I will definitely try Crankster's exercise though. Maybe something will sink into this pea brain of mine.

Brian
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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:50 pm

There is a large distinction between the classifications. There are those who have reached a higher classification but rarely shoot their classification and those who shoot at the top of their classification. Also those who are about to break into the next classification. Having said that, there is typically a big difference between an expert and a master ability wise. There are techniques that a master can get away with, that experts and below will not have good results with. What Zins can do, many others cannot....most cannot. Lanny Bassham proved that we should train the subconscious mind and focus on one thing! The majority of shooters should in fact focus on trigger pull, not Zen them into the X.

We have 5 basic fundamentals; stance, breathing, grip, sight alignment and trigger pull. The first 4 can be so so and still shoot a 10. But if trigger pulling skill is lacking it will not be a 10. Developed fundamentals will be controlled by the subconscious mind if we consciously build and refine them. Masters have done this, typically the lower classifications have not and are still working on them. So for the dot to make its way into the X ring is more about repetitive training and subconscious response than pulling the trigger. Pulling the trigger faster only works when hold is better and you have the confidence to pull it that fast. 95% of the shooters out there do not have that ability. When they execute faster shots the results in my observation and from countless conversations training shooters are regularly not good shoots. Not until certain processes are in place, but these processes typically are not there until master classification is obtained.

So meaning no disrespect to you, I don't believe your recommendation is fruitful for the masses. Many shooters also over think and interfere with the shot process. From The Inner Game of Tennis I learned a phrase; the quiet mind. The quiet mind with single focus ( the trigger squeeze) will shoot more 10's than any thing else! Its been proven over and over again by champions past and present.

My 2 cents


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Post by mikemyers Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:36 pm

CrankyThunder wrote:.......first off, do a gazillion trigger pulls, actually a hundred or so a day, you can be sitting on the couch watching tv but the intent is to get to know your trigger backwards and forwards.  Become intimate with your trigger.......
Cranky, that was your advice to me, and it worked quite well - allowed me t greatly improve my trigger actuation.  But it did more than that.

As you suggested, I would sit for hours, working the trigger, then taking a break, then back to the trigger.  I came to notice a few things I must have missed before.

Depending on what I was doing, sometimes the trigger went 'click' but the sights remained steady.  Or, the trigger went 'click' and the sights moved slightly.

I spent a lot of time trying to find things I could improve, so the gun remained steady.


On some guns, such as my Model 52, the gun remained the most steady when a lot of my trigger finger was pushed through the trigger guard.  Brian Zins suggested the first joint on my finger is preferable, but that didn't work for me.  With lots of finger through the trigger guard, stretched out to my left, and pulling straight back, I got the highest percentage of "good pulls".

BUT

When I switched over last weekend to revolvers, I found what worked for my Model 52 was terrible with the revolver.  Eventually I found where people I trust suggested I use the tip of my finger (for single action firing of my S&W revolvers).  Worked like a charm.  It fired the gun, but there was no extra energy left over to overpower and disturb the gun.


Of course, what I just wrote doesn't seem to make sense to me - but when I tried my High Standard X-Series, and also my S&W Model 17-2 revolver, what I just wrote up above made a big difference in the resulting target.  

I shot six targets with the revolver, which were pathetic.  Then I used the tip of my finger and got this, from 20 rounds.  All targets were shot one handed.  Finger tip on trigger, both in dry-fire, and at the range, cured or minimized what I was doing wrong.  (But if I try this on the High Standard, results are awful.). The hole in the 8-ring is part of my group.  The hole up on top was unintentional - nerves?

.....Oh, and I'm trying to shoot the gun as you suggested to me, and how you posted up above, in that I'm NOT trying to shoot at all, it just "goes off" when some part of my brain decides it should.  But using my subconscious to help me shoot won't  cure a problem of my applying trigger pressure in a way that disturbs the gun!  I was going to write you about this, but figured I'd just post it here, as it fits into what you are suggesting.

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Post by CR10X Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:49 pm

Trigger press (not pull) speed should be as progressive as you can be without messing up your natural wobble area.  Nothing else to add.
Its the same amount of time, SF, TF or RF from the time you decide to start.  Anything else is just the beginning of a potential disaster that you don't see coming.....

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Post by bruce martindale Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:08 pm

Fast enough to prevent stall, slow enough to be controlled.

See Leathams youtube "Aiming is Useless"

Your starting point should be on te slower side, speed comes later.

HMs at the SAFS couldn't answer the question because they have the ability to make it go, and go well. That's how they shoot in the wind. Poppe and Zins will tell you that. But, you can't do it. You need to learn  to walk before you can run.

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Post by Vociferous Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:15 am

In my opinion, for me, I have better results when focusing on slow trigger. Maybe not slow, but controlled. I often find, however, when I do let a shot off quickly, it is a reaction, and is usually a 10. Most importantly, after recoil, before I reacquire the target, slack is taken up; that trigger must be moving, or at least I imagine it's moving. I find that gives me plenty of time for rhythm and careful, controlled trigger.
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Post by sbtzc Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:02 am

It's been years since I read Basham. No disrespect, but what I recall coming away with was focusing on the front sight. The trigger pull/squeeze/press was to be the subconscious part. The goal was a surprise shot.

I tried Cranky's exercise. It's very hard. Lots of aborted shots. Lots of trigger jerks trying too hard. And occasionally, floating out of the black as the shot goes off. But I did see the 'pure f'ing magic' a couple of times. A surprise shot just as the dot slid into the 10 or stopped centered in the black. Oddly, when it happens, it feels easy.

This exercise may not be for everyone, but hey, why not give it a try. Nothing to lose. Anything positive is worth consideration and there's always something to learn.

Thanks to all for your suggestions and ideas.

Regards,
Brian
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Post by mikemyers Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:30 am

From my little corner of the world, what we're talking about is neither trigger press or trigger pull - the trigger pretty much doesn't move.  What's going on is trigger pressure.  This is for single-action shooting and when the pressure is high enough, the gun fires.

Again, for me, moving the trigger isn't causing the gun to move - the movement seems to be from two things, trigger pressure, and just as importantly, what happens in the split second when the gun fires and I can "feel" it in my trigger finger - often accompanied by movement in the sight.

I can test this - add pressure to the trigger, and a split second before the gun goes CLICK, quickly remove the pressure on the trigger.  If the sights wiggle, that tells me that I wasn't applying pressure straight to the rear.  

That's where Rob Leatham's video about aiming being useless pops into my mind - I need to find a way to work the trigger without disturbing the gun while applying that pressure, and ALSO when the hammer drops.


Only when I have that right, Cranky Thunder's explanation applies.  If I do anything at all, anticipating the shot, that is always a bad thing, never a good thing.  I figured if I did this for hours on end at home, dry-firing, everything would work out fine, but I have recently found something ELSE to ask Cranky Thunder about - knowing how to do this properly with one of my guns does NOT apply when I switch to a different gun!  What works on my Model 52 does NOT work on my revolver, and it's not really completely applicable to my High Standard and my 45 wad gun.  (Maybe this is a good reason to get my Nelson kit going.)

On a much more positive note, I do my best with any of my guns if the day/night before I dry fire on and off for a couple of hours.  Each gun seems to have its own desire for grip, how much finger goes through the trigger guard, and how I apply pressure to the trigger.  

Still, what I see as the main point of Cranky Thunder's advice is always true - for me, the most damaging cause of poor shots directly relates to ANTICIPATION.  If/when I accomplish Cranky's goal, of allowing my subconscious to fire the gun, that will not be a problem, and I'll probably get a hole in the target within my "aiming area" (wobble).  That is all that I want to accomplish for now.  Once in a while, I'm better.  Once in a while I'm worse.  For now, my goal has been, and still is, to get all the holes inside the black.    

(For people who are more skilled than I, maybe their goal is the 10-ring, or even the X-ring.)
(For people who are less skilled than I, maybe the goal is to simply get all the holes on the target.)
(Everyone has their one level of ability, and I'm pretty sure all of us would like to improve it.)
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Post by rich.tullo Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:30 pm

mikemyers wrote:
CrankyThunder wrote:.......first off, do a gazillion trigger pulls, actually a hundred or so a day, you can be sitting on the couch watching tv but the intent is to get to know your trigger backwards and forwards.  Become intimate with your trigger.......
Cranky, that was your advice to me, and it worked quite well - allowed me t greatly improve my trigger actuation.  But it did more than that.

As you suggested, I would sit for hours, working the trigger, then taking a break, then back to the trigger.  I came to notice a few things I must have missed before.

Depending on what I was doing, sometimes the trigger went 'click' but the sights remained steady.  Or, the trigger went 'click' and the sights moved slightly.

I spent a lot of time trying to find things I could improve, so the gun remained steady.


On some guns, such as my Model 52, the gun remained the most steady when a lot of my trigger finger was pushed through the trigger guard.  Brian Zins suggested the first joint on my finger is preferable, but that didn't work for me.  With lots of finger through the trigger guard, stretched out to my left, and pulling straight back, I got the highest percentage of "good pulls".

BUT

When I switched over last weekend to revolvers, I found what worked for my Model 52 was terrible with the revolver.  Eventually I found where people I trust suggested I use the tip of my finger (for single action firing of my S&W revolvers).  Worked like a charm.  It fired the gun, but there was no extra energy left over to overpower and disturb the gun.


Of course, what I just wrote doesn't seem to make sense to me - but when I tried my High Standard X-Series, and also my S&W Model 17-2 revolver, what I just wrote up above made a big difference in the resulting target.  

I shot six targets with the revolver, which were pathetic.  Then I used the tip of my finger and got this, from 20 rounds.  All targets were shot one handed.  Finger tip on trigger, both in dry-fire, and at the range, cured or minimized what I was doing wrong.  (But if I try this on the High Standard, results are awful.). The hole in the 8-ring is part of my group.  The hole up on top was unintentional - nerves?

.....Oh, and I'm trying to shoot the gun as you suggested to me, and how you posted up above, in that I'm NOT trying to shoot at all, it just "goes off" when some part of my brain decides it should.  But using my subconscious to help me shoot won't  cure a problem of my applying trigger pressure in a way that disturbs the gun!  I was going to write you about this, but figured I'd just post it here, as it fits into what you are suggesting.

Trigger Pull Speed Img_3020
Mike I have seen a couple of your targets now and it looks like you are dressing the target, never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Instead of focusing on the score, focus on reducing the size of your groups in TF and SF.
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Post by rich.tullo Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:04 pm

Here is my two cents. The trigger pull is the same for SF and Sustained fire. When I am doing it right in SF the wobble decreases as I am pulling the trigger. In the early part of SF if wobble is not in my aiming area cancel the shot. 

in sustained fire I am always do good when the shot breaks right when the target is faced. If that is called a 9 so be it because you cannot make chicken salad out of guano. 

If you listen to masters when they have an Alibi, they all sound like a metronome and most of them break the last shot in rapid fire just at the last moment before the target turns. 

If you can shoot in the 90's SF and have more x then 9's you have you have reached good trigger control. Rob Mango once told me the trick in sustained fire is flow. 

So to practice trigger control with live rounds , practice sf and do not shoot the shot unless you know it will call a 9 or better, If you are using 25 yard B8 then do take the shot unless you think it will call an x. do not worry about scores, I would rather shoot a 1 inch group painting the 9 ring in practice then to shoot a 5 inch 95 group. The goal ultimately is get better scores and that does not happen unless you shoot tighter groups. Process is the means to that end not an end in itself. 

Here is a good article: https://armyreservemarksman.info/2014/01/08/rob-mango-the-flow-of-shooting/.
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Post by mikemyers Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:47 pm

That's a fascinating read.  I added a bookmark - will re-read this again.  I can see a lot of benefit from WHY/HOW you say this works.

Your saying is:  “Aggressive, patience, reset.” 


CrankyThunder wants me think "Watch the dot, Wait for the bang".  That accomplishes what I read in the article, being focused on the dot, but not being in a hurry, and waiting until my sub-conscious gets to fire the gun, after which I immediately repeat.  There's a small problem in all of this, until my subconscious starts to do its part.  I've learned by now that I don't want to deliberately fire.  CrankyThunder says to keep practicing - it will come.


To follow your advice, much of what I've been doing up until now gets thrown out the window.  Start the trigger press after you see the target, and forget about "cadence", taking your time to fire at the appropriate moment.  Cecil writes about this a lot - but for me, reading about it is much easier than "doing it"......

I know my mind wanders all over the place while shooting.  By following that advice, I suspect everything should get easier.  As you suggest, my mind should be concentrating ONLY on that one line of thought - watch the dot, wait for the bang.



Just one question.  I think I've learned by now about "area aiming", and that it's pointless to try to shoot better than my "wobble zone".  Any time I do, I get a donut of holes around the bullseye.  When I follow the Area Aiming advice, the holes are spread out, with the majority near the center.  I suspect that by following this new advice, I'll automatically be "area aiming".
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Post by mikemyers Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:01 pm

(I wish many more people were posting here, explaining how this kind of thing worked, or not, for them!)
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Post by TonyH Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:04 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:
There is a large distinction between the classifications. There are those who have reached a higher classification but rarely shoot their classification and those who shoot at the top of their classification. Also those who are about to break into the next classification. Having said that, there is typically a big difference between an expert and a master ability wise. There are techniques that a master can get away with, that experts and below will not have good results with. What Zins can do, many others cannot....most cannot. Lanny Bassham proved that we should train the subconscious mind and focus on one thing! The majority of shooters should in fact focus on trigger pull, not Zen them into the X.

We have 5 basic fundamentals; stance, breathing, grip, sight alignment and trigger pull. The first 4 can be so so and still shoot a 10. But if trigger pulling skill is lacking it will not be a 10. Developed fundamentals will be controlled by the subconscious mind if we consciously build and refine them. Masters have done this, typically the lower classifications have not and are still working on them. So for the dot to make its way into the X ring is more about repetitive training and subconscious response than pulling the trigger. Pulling the trigger faster only works when hold is better and you have the confidence to pull it that fast. 95% of the shooters out there do not have that ability. When they execute faster shots the results in my observation and from countless conversations training shooters are regularly not good shoots. Not until certain processes are in place, but these processes typically are not there until master classification is obtained.

So meaning no disrespect to you, I don't believe your recommendation is fruitful for the masses. Many shooters also over think and interfere with the shot process. From The Inner Game of Tennis I learned a phrase; the quiet mind. The quiet mind with single focus ( the trigger squeeze) will shoot more 10's than any thing else! Its been proven over and over again by champions past and present.

My 2 cents


Jon
I am going through the Expert/Master transition in my own shooting development and every once in a while even shooting HM scores....what Jon describes holds completely true for me and in my own experience with repetitive training. As an example, repetitive quality blank wall drills have done more for my trigger control (regardless of the gun in hand) than zen could ever accomplish. Hard to explain, but Jon did a great job of putting it into written words. 
We are told about the fundamentals all the time, but I didn’t get it till I got it! I even coined a term for it....“Shooter evolution”
I like to think of the sub-conscious mind like a filing cabinet in which every piece of information experienced, is stored without any filtering, good, bad and indifferent. When it comes time for the sub-conscious to make a decision and then execute that decision (lets say trigger pull), it simply looks at all the entries in the filing cabinet on trigger pull and then executes on the majority entry. In other words, with repetition, one can simply program the sub-conscious mind to react a certain way (good, bad or indifferent). Properly executed, singularly focused drills work through repetition to program the sub-conscious mind.
Earl Nightingale said it best: 
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality”
TonyH
TonyH

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