When you first learn to shoot a pistol, your shot pattern on the target looks like swiss cheese, with most of the holes missing. As you practice the pattern gets tighter, with fewer and fewer thrown rounds. When you master the 25 yard static range, the shot pattern is tight, all rounds on target. Then you move to 50 yards and the progression starts all over until there are no thrown rounds at 50. Then you move to the pop-up range, then the moving range, then running and gunning. Same thing happens at each stage progression.
You must start over at the basic level and develop the fine motor and focusing skills to get to the mastery level. At the mastery level, each shot hits it’s mark, every action is purposeful, powerful and eminently effective. There are no thrown rounds.
The same process is relevent for hitting a target in your personal and professional life. You must master target practice for your goals. It is a trial and error process whereby you go through the same stages as learning to shoot. The more proficient you get, the fewer thrown rounds you have as you fire away at your goals.
How do the masters do it? First, they know precisely why they are at the shooting range. The “why” is compelling and grounded to a profound purpose that goes beyond themselves. That way they never lose interest or momentum when the going gets tough. You don’t have to ask a Navy SEAL why he does what he does. It is displayed through his actions and confidence.
Next, masters ensure that they select the right target, a target that is…
- connected to their “why”
- appropriate for their skill set but challenging and motivating so they grow as they progress toward it
- specific enough that they can easily see it in the scope, but not so specific that creative flexibility is lost if the wind shifts and the target is no longer in focus
- achievable in a time frame and with the resources available for the circumstances
How do you ensure that you don’t throw any rounds as you progress toward your target, your goals? There is no such thing as perfect execution, only perfect practice. Know your “why” and check your goals to make sure they are worthy targets. Master the basics through practice, trial and error, and using the crawl – walk principle. Use visualization to practice and to see your rounds hitting the bulls-eye. Develop control of your breath, so that you mind is still and clear as you pull the trigger.
In this way, you will become a master at accomplishing any target you shoot at, with no thrown rounds.
Train hard, stay safe and have fun! — Mark Divine