Bullseye Multitasking

2013-07-13 16.36.05

Camp Perry National Championships, Team Matches, Arizona State Flag, July 2013

 

When shooting Bullseye, there are five things you must do:

  1. Focus attention on the red dot or the front sight, and
  2. Maintain continuous awareness of where it is relative to the black bullseye, and
  3. Maintain a strong and steady grip, and
  4. Move the trigger smoothly straight back, and
  5. Don’t think.

#1 and #2 feed information into whatever part of the brain is actually taking the shot and, trust me, it is not the part that is repeating these words in your brain as you read this. It is something else.

#3 and #4 are setting the stage so that part of the brain can carry out any last minute ministrations including “steering” into the center and … let’s call it “allowing the break to happen at an opportune moment according to the sight picture.” (If you try to do this consciously, you’ll jerk it. Guaranteed.)

#5 gives that part of the brain the silence in which to do its work without distraction.

And you must do all five simultaneously.

Beginners quickly learn each of the five skills and, through a process of trial and error that often takes years to perfect, each person works out a personal shot plan that creates a few seconds of stability in which to perform these five actions. Some find they need to adopt painful-looking contortions to create the steady platform needed to support the shot. Others find an upright posture with tightened muscles works best for them. Most lean slightly forward but some lean slightly back. Some shoot cross-eyed. Some have stubby fingers while others have long spindly ones. Each person is unique and so each shooter’s body position will be somewhat different.

But to consistently hit the center of the target, all shooters must do those same five things.

There are no shortcuts, no work arounds, no alternate paths.

A beginner will sometimes hit the center of the X ring by luck. But to do so consistently over and over requires all five actions, and they must all be done at the same time. Miss any one of them and the shot will go astray. Too early or too late and the shot will be miss the mark.

All five must be done at the same time, and that time must be when the shot is made.

Who says men can’t multitask?

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