Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 39

PHOTO BY BILL NEFF

S

ome competitive shooters seem to have
all the luck in terms of their location: a
big local club, plenty of events in the
area, and a community of fellow competitors
at all levels to support one another. What about
the rest of us? What happens when you're one
of only a few, or perhaps the only person in
your area dedicated to a particular discipline?
Or what if you're the big fish in a little pond,
consistently winning every competition with
no one to challenge you? Unless you can find
and/or afford a coach, your ability to progress
will be hampered. You need to find yourself a
training partner at an equal or higher skill level.
I have been extremely fortunate in my
shooting career to have two such people: my
brother Tarl and my boyfriend Justin. Any time
we step up to the line, it's a toss-up who might
win. We also have a great relationship when
it comes to helping one another and letting
our competitive nature come out in a friendly,
fun way. On the firing line, the competition
is intense, but regardless of the outcome,
heartfelt congratulations are always in order
for the victor. This is crucial for a training
partnership-neither party can be a sore loser.
During regular practice sessions, the benefits
of having a partner are numerous. You can
share techniques you've worked out, physical
or mental. Asking your partner to watch you
shoot or take video of you can be extremely
useful as well. There are habits you may not
realize you're doing that your partner will
notice, or you may notice upon seeing a video
of yourself. You may think you're following
through after the shot, but a video may prove
otherwise! Having another person with you
also means you can easily swap a piece of
equipment to see if it might work better for
you than what you currently use. And anyone

Sometimes you will even shoot the same score
as your partner! The author and Justin Tracy at
the 2014 Western Wildcats 6400 Smallbore Prone
Championships, Phoenix, AZ.

who's tried to coach or teach knows that the
act of trying to explain something forces you
to clarify it in your own mind. It's mutually
beneficial.
In addition to coaching each other, one of
the most useful things you can do is have
competitions between yourselves. Add in a
handicap for one of you if your skill levels
aren't very closely matched. Of course, you
can run them just as your real competitions,
but the fun lies in inventing something new to
improve specific skills. Let's say you're a prone
smallbore, long-range, or high power shooter
and would like to improve on your wind
reading. Challenge each other to short one- to
five-shot matches with no sighters in different
wind conditions. Your ability to see a condition
and estimate a sight adjustment will improve,
as will your confidence should the wind shift
suddenly in a competition when you have no
sighters or time to test the change.
Another idea is to shoot a normal course
or stage for your event, but shorten the time
to where it's a little uncomfortable. Do this
regularly and you'll feel much calmer the

SSUSA.ORG | JULY 2017

39


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - July 2017

In This Issue
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - Cover2
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - In This Issue
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 8
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 10
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 11
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 12
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 13
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 14
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 15
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 16
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 17
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 18
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 21
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 22
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 23
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 24
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 25
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 26
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 27
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 28
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 29
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 30
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 31
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 32
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 33
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 34
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 35
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 36
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 37
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 38
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 39
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 40
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 41
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - 42
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - Cover3
Shooting Sports USA - July 2017 - Cover4
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