Coach in the Mailbox

Want to improve your Bullseye shooting?

Then consider buying a membership to USA Shooting.

Why?

Because the articles in the every-other month magazine that is included with your membership are spot-on for Bullseye.

They are written by the top coaches and athletes of the United States and you won’t find better information.

Case in point is the two-part article, “Statics and Dynamics,” by JP O’Connor. The first part appeared in the March/April 2010 issue. That issue is available, free of charge, here on pages 12-13.

The second part is in the current May/June issue that arrived by US Mail yesterday. In it, Mr. O’Connor states, “NPA is about sensing where the gun wants to point … … not about getting the gun on target – NPA is about truly sensing where the gun wants to point and only then making adjustments until the gun arrives on the target of its own accord.”

NPA, in case you’ve forgotten means “Natural Point of Aim.”

The classic test of a shooter’s NPA is for the shooter to assume the firing position with the arm down, close the eyes and then raise the gun to the firing position and to only then open the eyes to see where the gun is aimed.

In his first part of this article Mr. O’Connor says, “Athletes are taught that one method to adjust their NPA horizontally is to adjust where their back foot is pointing. … [But] whether the coach or athlete realizes, this also affects the athlete’s balance and stability. Those who understand the dual effect know that they have to work everything out so that they get the desired NPA and the optimal balance.”

Bullseye has more to learn than most of us can master in a single session.

Personally, I only seem able to learn one thing at a time, and I have to practice it, make it subconsciously part of my shot plan, and only then can I consider trying to work on something else. But by the time that happens, I’ve forgotten what I was going to work on next.

But the USA Shooting magazine’s arrival in my mailbox is like the X in the middle of the target; it draws me back, again and again, to my goal.

I need that periodic reminder.

Buy a membership and help the US Olympic team but, more personally, help yourself to some of the best coaching that exists.

(Several more excellent articles by JP O’Connor are also available, free of charge, here, courtesy of Pilk Guns, the web pages for Pilkington Competition Equipment.)