We know the four basic building blocks for competent shooting, but how should you rehearse them?
here are four basic building blocks for shotgun competence in clay and game shooting. *Stance and balance. *Gun-mount and the avoidance of head lifting.
*Gun-swing and an understanding of the gun and target movement.
*Lead or forward allowance.
The best place to rehearse and train these competencies is on the clayground and you don’t necessarily need sporting targets to do it – everything can be practised on the skeet and trap layouts at your local club. This can be particularly improved if you have a good coach to advise you!
TDr Malcolm Plant is chairman of the Institute of Clay Shooting
Instructors and a Clay Pigeon Shooting Association senior coach.
Down-the-line trap (DTL) shooting will refine all the four building blocks mentioned above, but this clay discipline is particularly useful for honing the first two: stance and gun mount. I am not suggesting that you might want to dedicate yourself to becoming one of our leading DTL or Olympic Trap shooters, but the training is informative, and great fun. That said, quality DTL shooting needs to be disciplined and precise, with a considerable amount of mental focus. Unless you consistently get your feet in the right position, you will not be able to reliably cover the sky down-range with your gun, and out in front.
Furthermore, freedom of swift, but smooth, gun movement is critical and very dependent on your feet and upper body balance. An easy dry-run test is to set yourself up with an empty gun fullymounted and cover the down-range sky with the gun; if any position of swing seems inhibited, adjust your feet.
Right-handed shooters should pay particular attention to possible target areas out to the right because this gun movement is rather more awkward. As such it will help to slightly favour this target with your foot positioning. The reverse applies for lefties.
A slightly weight-forward stance with a little more weight on the front foot (left foot for right-handers) is generally preferred by competent trap shooters. Adopting this posture helps greatly with our basic
Down-the-line Down-the-line training is informative and great fun