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  • Pain, Fear, and Love

    Pain, fear and love. Are they really important to your success as a skeet shooter?

    Absolutely! They have a huge impact on your success.

    Set goals, work hard, learn the basis's, keep your head on the gun.... the typical success advice you have been told for years and you can probably repeat it in your sleep isn't enough. That's what you are already doing after all--you already work hard and at the end of the day you still haven't reached your full potential.

    So how do the best performers get to the top? What are those successful shooters doing that you aren't? You know those types of shooters: they seem to "get it" faster than most; they adapt readily and pick up skills quickly. They are truly successful shooters.

    So where does pain, fear and love come into play. Let's start with pain, we all know it is easy when things go good and when things go bad, we have to endure the pain. But this pain can be helpful, as we don't want to go through it again, so we learn from pain or should I say that the ones that "get it" do. The others just try to forget and I know you should not dwell on the bad, but learn from it and move on.

    Now fear is the one that you want to stay away from. You must learn to control your fear, we all have it. Maybe your fear is not doing as well as you should, maybe you fear a certain target or a shooter in a shoot off. If you want to get there, you must over come your fear. You can do this by having success, by beating that shooter in the shoot off or breaking that problem target until it is not a problem and you no longer fear it.

    And last love, this is the easy one and the hard one. You have to love what you are doing and you have to love yourself. If you are mad at yourself for not performing like you should, you will continue to perform poorly. You need to love yourself for doing your best, that is all you can ask of yourself. You must love shooting to the point that you will do all in your power to reach your goals. This is practicing on days when you don't feel like it. pushing yourself to shoot that 10+ boxes of practice day after day and etc.

    I will give you an example of fear, pain and love, in that order. I was just at the Masters, which I won the HOA at last year. I had fear that I would not do well this year, but I worked hard to make that fear go away. Then I shot a 99 in doubles, 100 in 12, 20, 28. Now is when the pain comes, with the 410, I missed 5 in the 1st 2 boxes and finished with a 95/ 395 HOA. Now this hurt, as I was thinking a better score, for sure. Then having to answer people when they asked about the 410, "what happened" they would ask? There was no excuse, I just didn't make it happen and it hurt to think what could have been. I figured out what I was doing wrong and fixed it, then ran the last 2 boxes. I did not get mad or blame anyone or anything, but (where the love comes in) I did my best, just made some mistakes. Now I could have been mad or upset and let it go into the shoot offs, but I didn't and I won my last 2 shoot offs of the tournament against 2 of the best.

    Still wondering how some "get it" and do it quicker. They don't fear failure, they work through and with the pain and love it so much that they will endure all the pain and fear nothing.

    I hope some will understand this, I am sure some will not. Don't fear, let it happen, don't let pain keep you from reaching your goals and love what you have accomplished and can accomplish.
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    Email: allenmccannon@yahoo.com