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The Magic Finger

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Post by pfeathers 1/20/2022, 11:43 pm

Last night at league, I was doing slow fire and it happened again.   I normally I raise on exhale, let the wobble settle, begin the squeeze, gun goes bang.  All of this is done at a conscious level, each action is deliberate.  I was progressing along like normal, taking my time, I raised the gun to the bullseye and it seemed like the gun went off on its own, right dead center of the bullseye.  I do not recall beginning the squeeze.  It also happened quicker than my normal hold.   It was like I had a magic finger that worked on its own.   

This has happened in the past and and I have not paid much attention to it.  I explained it as over enthusiasm, or anxiousness.  But I wonder if there is something to this.  What I think happened is that I was so focused on the Dot that I did not recognize my squeeze, that maybe it happened subconsciously.  Am I losing my mind? Am I a danger?

If there is something to this, how do I make it happen more often, what can I do to encourage this kind of technique.

Last edited by pfeathers on 1/21/2022, 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total


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Post by CR10X 1/21/2022, 7:50 am

Something happened in the past that produce an acceptable outcome.
You were consciously trying to do things a certain way and seemed to indicate you disregarded the outcome (a better result on the target).

It has happened again and you now recognize that it produced an acceptable outcome.

It may be time to not think about the parts (training on the pieces) and begin to think about the process (training to put the pieces together to produce a more consistent shot process and outcome).

So now may be the time that you actually train to SEE the shot process (how it is unfolding) so as to begin to understand what an acceptable shot process looks / feels like.  Write it down in as much detail as you can. Memorize what it looks and feels like.  Review it in you mind before each shot (not just individual pieces like "grip" or "trigger" or "trying to  hold still").  

Then initiate your shot process and just do what you saw last (in your mind).  And as always, evaluate results EACH TIME.

Eventually, the most you have to think about is abort if it doesn't look / feel right rather than when to shoot.

Just my thoughts on the subject.


Last edited by CR10X on 1/25/2022, 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total


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Post by willnewton 1/21/2022, 7:53 am

No such thing as magic, so….

1. Luck
2. Skill

You don’t know how you did it, so it was luck.  Oof, the truth hurts!  Laughing

When you can do it on command, that is skill.

There is a book called “The Inner Game of Tennis”. It may guide you on what is happening.  Basically, you stop mentally talking and/or fighting yourself and just do the thing.

I used to just keep my air pistol sitting out and ready in the garage.  At times, I would just be walking past it, pick up the pistol, load and fire, then go on about whatever I was doing.  It was always surprising to see how often these were “good shots”.  I attribute this to not thinking so hard and just shooting.  This is not a real shooting drill, it is just giving your mind a chance to experience some ease and clarity while shooting instead of match pressure. 

Recalling this state of “not thinking too hard” is useful when you are feeling anxious during a match.

You can dry fire and work up loads and tune your pistol and perfect your hold and a million things. 

 You can also tune up your mental processes as well.

Cecil is correct about the shot process and plan also.  He wants to bring your focus only to the shot and I am speaking to external distractions (especially from your own mind) from creeping in that keep you from achieving that focus.

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Post by BE Mike 1/21/2022, 8:31 am

Surprise shots while in the aiming area are good shots!
BE Mike
BE Mike

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Post by J_H 1/22/2022, 7:04 am

JP OConner says it very well in his article "Christmas 10s" available on the Pilk site.  Worth reading all his posts.

The “Christmas ten” or “automagical shot” is not an error. It is not an unearned lucky gift. It is an honestly earned reward. Indeed, it is a reward for hard work, appropriate focus, and for a properly managed shot process – especially for properly managing the mental (e.g. appropriately directed focus and awareness) and emotional (e.g. outcome and control issues, and anger management) aspects of the process.

What causes the good “surprise shot”? When the active part of the mind, which usually is “controlling” the shot, harshly judging mistakes, and worrying about the past or future, is for some reason not doing those things due to fatigue or distraction, sometimes the deeper parts of the mind – which actually do all shooting and actually know how to hit center every time without fail – are suddenly allowed to manage the shot process. The resultant shot surprises the active thought part of the mind because it was somewhere else. Of course, it cannot admit that this is a good way to shoot because it was not in “control” – despite the resultant “ten point deep.


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Post by Coupebuilder 1/25/2022, 10:11 am

I think weve all seen these, where you dont even realize you fired only to look up at a dead X....muscle memory and subconscious vs conscious thought and distractions. Helps explain why many of us newer shooters have better groups in the timed and rapid, we dont have time to over think the shot.


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