This week I learnt an incredibly valuable lesson: having the right frame of mind is imperative to a successful session of shooting. I was nervous about getting back out into the stands after my previous encounter with the high tower and it interfered with my confidence for the first ten minutes or so that I was out. It didn’t take long under Clive’s instruction, though, to start building it back up again.
We spent most of the hour focussing on what I already knew in theory, practicing mounting the gun to the right position in my shoulder and bringing it up to meet my eye instead of ducking my head onto the comb of the stock as I want to do. Breaking the habit was hard and I felt a little guilty that Clive had to repeat himself so regularly. I got there, though, and we progressed on to more technical matters.
“…having the right frame of mind is imperative to a successful session of shooting.”
It turns out that shooting at anything heading right of the barrels is a considerable challenge for me. I tend to turn the gun with my wrists instead of manoeuvring my body in the right direction and so we spent time trying to master the movement properly. It still needs work and I don’t doubt it’ll be a focus of next week’s lesson, but I’ve become much better at following the sharp incline of the clay.
We concluded the lesson once again with the high tower. I’m happy to say that my competitive nature overpowered my defeatist attitude and I approached it this week with vengeance in mind. To my extreme satisfaction I did well, hitting many more than I had previously and avoiding the dreaded ‘ruffling of tail feathers’ remark I’ve come to hate. (I’ve kept the empty shell of one cartridge as a good luck token in the hopes that it might help me smoke a few more in the future!) To say that I’ve mastered the high tower would be a great untruth- but I’m on my way and I can’t wait for next week’s lesson.
Until next time…