Tuesday, 01 November 2011 00:00

Every Card Tells a Story

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

It is the end of a round of sporting clays.  Scores are added up and the cards are either turned into a referee or tucked away, never to be looked at again.  In either case, only the scores are looked at.  All of the data points at each station are usually ignored.

 A friend of mine recently introduced me to the notion that your score card contains more than just a score.  It tells a story.  The story is told in a binary pattern of X’s and 0’s.  When you see more than one occurrence of the same pattern, your score card is telling a story about what is going on with you.

The sequences of X’s and 0’s and the reasons for them could fill volumes and are way beyond the scope of this column.  However, I have personally encountered what are probably some of the more common patterns and isolated what was going on with me to generate the pattern of X’s and 0’s.

You may find some of the following patterns familiar and perhaps they will allow you to understand and address some of the things you are seeing in your game.

Focus lost because of pending success
I hit all but the last one or two targets:

Station 2

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

0

Station 10

X

X

X

X

X

X

0

0

Station 13

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

0

It is obvious I know how to break these targets, but once I got to the last pair I lost focus because: The thought of running the station crept into my head and it disrupted everything or, I thought I had this station in the bag, and I eased up and became sloppy.

The pattern taught me that I needed to work on maintaining focus and intensity through the entire station.

The wheels came off the bus
I crushed the first two targets and then missed the rest:

Station 2

X

X

0

0

0

0

0

0

 Station 10

X

X

0

0

0

0

0

0

 Station 13

X

X

0

0

0

0

0

0

The first two hits may have been lucky, but I saw more than my fair share of these patterns.

It became clear to me that when I missed, that miss brought fear and doubt into my head which caused me to miss the rest of the targets in a station.

The patterns taught me that I needed to work on putting misses behind me.  I had to be able to regroup and reset after missing.

I started seeing fewer and fewer of these patterns and more and more of the following.

The recovery
I crushed the first pair, missed one or both targets in the next pair and then crushed the rest:

Station 2

X

X

0

0

X

X

X

X

 Station 10

X

X

0

X

X

X

X

X

  


Station 13

X

X

0

0

X

X

X

X

Again, it is obvious I knew how to hit these targets. The misses in the middle of the set were caused by a lapse in focus.

Overcoming the “fear and doubt” seen in the previous pattern made me feel good but I still needed to work on maintaining focus through out an entire station.

Why did I lose focus?  There’s a gazillion reasons why.

Correction made
I would miss one or two targets of the first pair, make an adjustment and then crush the rest of the targets:

Station 2

0

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

  


Station 10

0

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

  


Station 13

0

0

X

X

X

X

X

X

  
This was usually the result of rushing and creating a bad set up.  In most cases I didn’t feel right, but I went ahead and called for the first bird anyway.  Things like: Forgetting where the targets appear, not being settled in, not properly going through my pre-shot setup, etc. contributed to patterns like this. Regardless of the reason the pattern shows I detected a flaw in my setup and corrected it. 

I needed to work on taking my time before calling for the first pair.

Read 2115 times Last modified on Tuesday, 01 November 2011 07:42
Ken Hartshorn

Ken is a technical writer and has spent the majority of his career documenting storage hardware and software products for start-up companies. Although start-ups demand long hours, he always finds time to get to the club and break some clays. Ken is not a shooting instructor and he is not a professional shooter. He’s part of the majority of people who love to shoot clays just for the sheer fun of it.