QWhy is it that I might go and shoot at one ground where I consistently post good scores, but then if I go to a different ground my score might be considerably lower?
ADON BRUNT replies: There are numerous answers to this question. Firstly, is the ground where you are scoring highly the same place that you regularly practise? If so, it’s probably because you are used to the type of targets thrown at that ground, and consciously or subconsciously, you will be better able to ‘read’ distances because you have shot there so often.
Secondly, if you shoot at a local ‘straw bale’ shoot, be aware that they are usually set to allow very occasional shooters to score relatively highly, while a CPSA-registered competition would be expected to be considerably tougher as the competitors are more experienced clay shots.
Also, remember that course setters have differing styles; some may prefer to present birds that are doing one thing, i.e. crossing, rising etc., while others may show more ‘technical’ targets which might be doing two or even three things at the same time, i.e. crossing, curling away and dropping. The former targets are invariably easier to hit as they can, to an extent, be shot more instinctively and using one method; the latter may require more ‘reading’ and might need you to use a wider range of techniques to build a good score.
Although human nature dictates that we like to be successful and feel good about our shooting, it’s not always a good thing to just shoot at places where we score highly. Those who do that become stuck in their comfort zone, and if they then go elsewhere or go to a major championship, they can find themselves really struggling to cope. It’s better to shoot a variety of grounds which will give you a better picture of your true ability and broaden your experience.