Don’t Rush – or Be Rushed

Mar 15, 2019 | Musings of a Rookie | 0 comments

Musings of the Rookie Part 5

Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie
It started as such an incredible day – and as a spoiler, in the grand scheme of things, it ended as an incredible day as well. The blessing started with the weatherman, who provided (as you may recall) +13 °C in mid-January and just enough scattered cloud to keep the glare down. The gentle breeze would be just enough to insert some interest into the game. I showed up an hour early to chat with a friend in the Gun Brothers Café. He was sitting with another friend who had brought a whole passel of teen grandkids. We all decided that the visit would be more fun on the course so out we went.

And that was the genesis of an illuminating day…. 

Now, it may help to understand that both of these friends are mentors – talented shooters whose advice I respect and whose company I enjoy. They’re the kind that define hearts of gold and I don’t think being judgmental could survive in either of their personalities. You don’t have to be at your best with these guys – but I wanted to be. 

Since I showed up an hour early, my equipment was still in the car and I didn’t want to hold them up, so as they headed for the first station, I rushed to the car. I loaded the gun cart with my shotgun and ammunition. I Grabbed my shooting glasses and earplugs and target card and hustled my butt to the first station. In my hurry, I forgot to have the delay removed from my shoot card. I’d been planning to shoot alone, but the 3 second delay was going to make my squadmates crazy. Embarrassed, I step into my shooting position and reach into my (empty) ammo pocket. Embarrassed again, I go back to my cart and get a box of ammo. Do I have to say how my performance was on that station? 

Later in the day, I’m out training alone on the blue course. Now, as I’m leaving station one, there are actually 2 squads walking up to number 1 behind me so I make a mental note to not dally and hold them up. I rush a bit to set up on each station but every time I hear voices coming down the trail, I try to rush a few more shots before I move on. For the next couple stations, I arrive puffing – fail to properly pre-shot plan and try to quickly miss one last pair as the voices come down the trail. 

I’m not stupid, but sometimes a little dense. Nobody was pushing me. Not my friends. Not the squad following me. The rush was all in my head. Eventually, I came upon a station where I think an instructor and her student were working on something. I skipped that station and that little jump ahead eliminated all the voices coming down the trail. I took a few deep breaths – slowed down a bit and did very well on the rest of the course. Those are the stations I dreamed about that night. XX XX XX XX 

Luther Cutts recently wrote articles for the Silver Willow blog about Pre-Shot Routine and Pre-Shot Planning, where he shares that many birds are missed before they are even called. This became pretty apparent to me as I rushed and forgot key steps for setting myself up for success. I’m going to go back and re-read those articles and if you’re anything like me, you might want to check them out, too!

Rob Ridley