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 Post subject: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:59 am
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Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Everyone knows how well I have shot on some days in the last couple of years, but lets see how I started:

Saif wrote:
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For reference of new and developing shooters, this was my first target at 25mtrs. It was my 3rd proper range session (3 sessions in a span of 8 days), although I did have 4 to 5 informal casual sessions prior to this (over a span of 6 months), as well as one proper session when I reviewed the sp01 shadow.

Below is a target at 25mtrs after 1 more session at 15mtrs, and 2 month gap

Image

Then on, the next session after 3 weeks of above

Saif wrote:
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and the next session after another 3 weeks

Image

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It took me 6 sessions, about 500-600 rounds, in a span of 4.5 months to get to 170 plus at 25mtrs. The important point was focus on basics. Trying to work my way through with guidance and encouragement from KBW, HMR, THI, SA, internet, and so on. Then I did lose my focus, changed weapons very frequently, started practical shooting, some gunsmithing in between, and it was not until another year that I started shooting with a similar focus on precision shooting. I did enjoy all of this though, but improvement in precision shooting was slow. One of the reasons was a 2 to 3 month gap on average between range sessions.

I have to admit I might be lucky and to some extent, naturally gifted (some call me abnormal !!), but if I could do something in 6 sessions, there must be guys (HMR, SA, NG, Wajeeh Hassan, SS, Optimus, Deathrow) who could do it in less, similar, or slightly more sessions. There must also be guys who would need much more practice, but still do it in a 20 to 30 sessions in a span of 10 months to 1 year. (NR, GP, OH, SR and others I may be forgetting).

But the point is focus on the ultimate goal, and concentrating on the sport with a clear mind. I recall I shot around 2000 rounds, in the first year of shooting. A lot of it was due to practical shooting, but that was still trying to improve on the basics. Everyone must be ready to spend time, money, and be dedicated to improve. It can be done.

My personal aim now is to be more consistent (2 range sessions every month), more focused (improving personal scores), stay dedicated (have to participate in competitions), and, not mess up in competitions.

I got my range membership before I started shooting 'formally' at the range. I cannot comprehend how a shooter would improve his shooting if he does not invest in a range membership. It indicates dedication. I find it funny and enraging at the same time when a shooter asks for guidance, complains he cant improve, but considers range membership expensive or non-essential. This is an expensive sport, and range membership is a must for a serious shooter. If one is not a serious shooter, he must think before consuming time of serious shooters who are working towards improving their own goals with serious intent. If one just needs to improve basic shooting skill, there are (again) range masters at the range that would guide guest shooters. Also, senior shooters can give a few tips, but beyond that, it is pushing.

Above, is how I improved my shooting, and also the best general set of tips I can give at this point on how to improve your shooting. It may be random, but I hope it makes sense to some.

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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

Sharp Shooter

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Thanks Saif for sharing.

You are right in highlighting many aspects and above all focus and basics. There has to be a learning objective for every range session (if someone is really serious about it). I lost it too in between for many months and now I realised without proper objective, learning outcome of the session and pre-work before the session is very necessary. Reading various threads, tips from senior members esp KBW shb's post is necessary so that I does not get de-tracked and stick to the task.

Make every bullet count and time and money spent for serious shooting and able to drive oneself towards a particular objective.


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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

Sharp Shooter

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Excellent share Saif.
Its a must read for every shooter. Shooting is one you cannot master easily. It takes alot of practice, consistency and dedication. Like seniors advice make every shot count, its true. Thats what I have learnt from seniors of this forum.
Dedication
Basics
Practice
&
More regular practice.

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Rise up, warriors, take your stand at one another's sides, our feet set wide and rooted like oaks in the ground.

-Spartan-


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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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A wonderful thread and I thank Saif for starting it. I feel there is great learning for new (as well as old) shooters in threads like these. Saif described the things his own way and has been very humble in doing so. I remained involved with him during this entire process, one way or the other, directly or indirectly. He is one shooter who made amazing progress in very less time. The extent of his progress goes more than securing a gold medal in national games. He has not only achieved standards but has developed a thorough understanding of the sport which is hard to achieve during this short span of time.

I am sure Saif has started this thread to share his experience for the guidance of new shooters. I would therefore request all to ask him questions that helps the shooters in improving their shooting standard. NG and WH are two other shooters who have rapid progress in less time. I would request them as well to share their personal experience.

In my view, 50% of a shooters shooting skills reside in the mindset of a shooter and remaining 50% is the technique. We mostly focus on technique alone (aiming, breathing, hold, followthrough etc) and in many cases, completely neglect the mindset part which comprises 50% of the whole show (this is my personal view, based on personal experience). A shooter with outstanding technique (say getting 40 out of 50) and having a weak mindset will always be a erratic performer. For reliable and consistent performance, it has to be a balanced performance of good mindset and good technique. In mindset, I include the ability to focus, the ability to retain cool during trying conditions as well as the ability to identify the problems / mistakes quickly and improve upon those.

Let's have a good discussion guys. Such comments that only include praise of these shooters on their achievements will not help new shooters much. :)

regards

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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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KBW wrote:
A wonderful thread and I thank Saif for starting it. I feel there is great learning for new (as well as old) shooters in threads like these. Saif described the things his own way and has been very humble in doing so. I remained involved with him during this entire process, one way or the other, directly or indirectly. He is one shooter who made amazing progress in very less time. The extent of his progress goes more than securing a gold medal in national games. He has not only achieved standards but has developed a thorough understanding of the sport which is hard to achieve during this short span of time.

I am sure Saif has started this thread to share his experience for the guidance of new shooters. I would therefore request all to ask him questions that helps the shooters in improving their shooting standard. NG and WH are two other shooters who have rapid progress in less time. I would request them as well to share their personal experience.

In my view, 50% of a shooters shooting skills reside in the mindset of a shooter and remaining 50% is the technique. We mostly focus on technique alone (aiming, breathing, hold, followthrough etc) and in many cases, completely neglect the mindset part which comprises 50% of the whole show (this is my personal view, based on personal experience). A shooter with outstanding technique (say getting 40 out of 50) and having a weak mindset will always be a erratic performer. For reliable and consistent performance, it has to be a balanced performance of good mindset and good technique. In mindset, I include the ability to focus, the ability to retain cool during trying conditions as well as the ability to identify the problems / mistakes quickly and improve upon those.

Let's have a good discussion guys. Such comments that only include praise of these shooters on their achievements will not help new shooters much.

regards


Sir, thank you for the comments.

The thread is definitely not for self praise, although it is important to highlight achievements so that we all know what can be achieved. I am beyond the point where I need others to praise my shooting when I am doing good. I would rather prefer fine critique on my technique, and advise on how to improve further. The main aims were:

-focus on consistency, continuity and gradual improvement
-focus on technique, basics and beyond
-mental aspects, beyond the physical technique
-importance of range membership

I started this thread as I feel that I could have achieved much more understanding of shooting sports than what I did. I would like other shooters, with goals to excel, to not lose their time and get to results in an easier path. There are many basic flaws still in my technique. This is because I did not get proper coaching at the range. Well, there are not many who could or would coach properly, but I learned some basics well after I made above achievements. Then, I have had to unlearn a lot, which is a very difficult task, 5 times as difficult to me than to learn it right the first time!

Many might be surprised that I no longer shoot with the technique I did when I won the Gold medal.

More so, my 187/200 single hand was with my existing technique, and it is still flawed. I need to work on quite a few things. How do I know? One could say I have been self coaching myself!! This would not be possible without proper serious range sessions.

I recall passing a few tips at the range in one of practice sessions before the competition, but that was very casual. However, the tips were still new for most shooters, including some of the better ones on TGF. This is what is worrisome. Any good shooter would want to get done with this in the initial phases of his shooting rather than later.

I would also like NG and Wajeeh to share their experiences.

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Some times words are not enough...
A punch is necessary.

(Great Boxer Muhammad Ali).


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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

Shooter

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A very interesting rather a motivating thread for newer shooters (like myself). It’s very hard for senior shooters to provide regular and organized guidance to newer shooters due to many reasons. A chance to learn from the best is appreciated. Hope we are able to avoid the "learning the wrong and then unlearning it" part.


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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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Saif bhai, I must say this is an excellent initiative, and yes I would take some time out for sure to reflect my learning curve from 6th of Feb till the last competition that I had taken part in as requested.

Looking at your start and the stage you are at right now, one thing is for certain. You really are gifted with a few things, and due to this you tried to find the best way forward on your own, but later realized that it was not according to the basic rules and had to unlearn them. However, having to realize that self learning was the way forward is something every shooter has to think upon. One can find guidance from seniors, from the internet, and books etc but unless one does not set objectives with time frames, it is impossible (almost) to achieve anything. Shooting is a sport and wining/loosing is part of the game, but having to learn how to shoot and then being able to put the learnt into practice with the right mindset is very important.

Saif and KBW, both are absolutely right that this game asks for dedication, which comes in terms of time, money and efforts. If one is not up to the task then should not expect the results either. As per my understanding, shooting as a hobby and shooting for sports are two very different things...

This thread for sure shows how Saif has accomplished his tasks, yet setting new ones along the way. And identifies what he shouldn't have done in his sporting career which he has so kindly shared with TGF. I am no where close of what Saif bhai and the only thing I can see keeping him from improving is the consistency at the range. Saif bhai, I believe you are equipped with an excellent knowledge base of shooting, mindset as well as the apparatus to take the task, it's just that you need to be at the range a bit more often :)

Thank you again for sharing your experiences...
Cheers... :)

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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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Thank you Saif bhai for a selfless effort for the benefit of others. No doubt you are one of the best shooter on the forum at the same time NG has also climbed very fast and the novice like me should follow your foot steps for self improvement.

Really appreciate this selfless attitude of all seniors here and be it SA, KBW, HMR or SS including you two, one is always there to guide the begginers at every stage which makes TGF a real learning institute as well.

Thank you once again.

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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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Good post Saif. It is drives the point straight. I believe you are very focused and also gifted. These two qualities are rare.
And about critique, hmmm try smiling more ;) No pun intended.

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 Post subject: Re: How I improved my shooting; & some tips.

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Excellent post Saif.

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