Since this is my first article in the Echo, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself. Hi, I’m Bill.
In addition to a regular day job in technology, I am also a competitive shooter and firearms instructor. I’ve gotten to watch, learn from, and teach hundreds of pistol and rifle shooters over the past few years with skill levels that range from world champions to men and women that have never even held a pistol before. In this and future articles in the Echo, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned that might just be useful to you, even if you don’t ever intend to shoot a target.
I regularly work with competitors or students who, when they see a small target placed a long way off, say to me, “I don’t think I can hit that.” Guess what? They couldn’t.
The title of this article could have just as easily been “How to Hit Every Target You shoot At,” as the first step in either hitting or missing the target is the same. Faith. Faith in yourself and your capabilities.
Having faith you can’t hit the target will guarantee you will miss the target. It’s so straightforward!
If you would like to miss every target you shoot at, simply believe you will miss, and the rest comes easy. People are amazing in their ability to meet their own expectations of themselves, and modern firearms are mechanically quite accurate making it supremely easy to miss a target once your mind is made up to miss it. In fact, very little technical ability is required to make a miss happen once you have concluded that you can’t hit the target. Just point the gun somewhere that isn’t the target and let ‘er rip.
In fact, with enough faith that you can’t hit the target you may even succeed in missing so well you stop even trying because missing will come so easy to you.
By the same token, believing you can hit the target is an absolute requirement in order to put the hole on the X.
Certainly, there are other technical aspects to letting the shot hit your desired mark. However, without the faith that the bullet will fly straight to where the gun is pointed at the moment that the gun discharges, all is lost. You will miss if you lack faith that you, as the eyes and hands operating the machinery, can indeed point at the target and, without moving the aim somewhere else, pull the trigger to release the shot.
Before you pick up your keyboard to write an angry letter to me about how believing you can shoot the target doesn’t magically make it possible for you to hit the target every time, allow me to agree with you.
There are indeed things that we must practice before we have the technical ability to hit the target or the note for musicians, or paint the landscape if you are to be a painter, or bake the brownies for the baker, or even clean the bathroom (as a husband). In fact, there are very many more skills to practice and master to execute on a belief in success rather than in a belief in failure. In pistol shooting, there is learning about sight alignment, grip, stance, and trigger pull that must be mastered.
However, if you don’t have faith that you can master those skills, you can’t, and that is the first step in missing every target you shoot at.