Last week I went to the range and while I was setting up a gentleman in the lane next to me started up a conversation. He was an older man and I think he was just trying to be nice. What stuck with me the most is when he said that he shoots 500-600 rounds a week. Wow, I thought to myself this guy must be a marksman and it started to make me nervous because I thought he would be watching my target and critiquing me. So much for "shooting blind." So I got started trying to focus on my shooting and not worry about those shooting next to me. After a while I took a break and saw the target of the man next to me. There were holes everywhere dotting the entire target! I thought for sure he would have tight groupings. Granted, I didn’t know if that was part of his plan or maybe it was an off day but it really made me think “Is that shooting with a purpose?”
So what is shooting with a purpose? As you might have read about in an earlier post I always have a plan when I go to the range. Shooting fast at a target is fun but more than likely your hits will be all over the place and you’re not going to have a positive learning experience. A training plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as raising the gun, getting your sights on target, and shooting. As that drill becomes easier you can increase your speed of acquiring your sights or start to add in a follow up shot. As a new shooter it gives me a way to see my progress and challenge myself.
Each range session I can build upon my last or revisit some trouble areas, like flinching. There are plenty of resources at our disposal by doing a quick Google or YouTube search or even using an instructor. Like doing yoga, I can learn on my own but to get the full benefit it helps to go to a class where the instructor can provide meaningful feedback.
I find it helpful to write down a plan for my range visit ahead of time so while I'm their I know what my focus is. After my range visit, I make some notes about that session so I can revisit them later.
Having a plan at the range will increase your overall satisfaction and you will be able to see yourself improve.
So next time you’re at the range, remember to shoot with a purpose!