What is a pre-shot routine?
A pre-shot routine is a system. It helps us to run a mental program consistently, keeping us focused and eliminating distractions that hurt our performance. Practicing this routine over and over moves our conscious thoughts into our subconscious mind.
We can break this routine into many small pieces. It may sound overwhelming at first, but with a little practice, your shots will start to flow more effortlessly.
We want to develop a routine that involves what happens not only before the shot, but continues until after you have completed and analyzed the shot.
Shooting fundamental components to consider
Calling for the target
Timing and physical triggers to consider - These help you focus, develop timing and to trigger physical actions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and examples of what may be included in your routine. You need to make this your own and then work to perform it every shot.
Lets pretend you have already mounted your gun while shooting skeet. You are at your hold point. What things do you do before you call for the target?
It might be something like this
1. I take a breath in
2. I let my eyes settle/soft focus
3. As I am slowly breathing out, I say my mantra to myself. (Your mantra is the last thing you think about before calling for the target. This could be "see the target" or "hit the target" or "see the target, hit the target"
4. "see the target, hit the target"
5. Call Pull.
You may or may not visualize yourself breaking the target(s) somewhere in your routine
What do you do after you pull the trigger?
1. Keep your head in the gun
2. Follow through
3. Replay/re-shoot the shot in your head - If you broke the target(s) this reinforces it. If you missed, don't beat yourself up, tell yourself what the correction is to break it next time, and move on.
4. break open your gun and do whatever you do with your shells- Drop them on ground, put them in your pocket
5. step out of the box
What do you do when you are not shooting?
What do you do when the shooter ahead of you is shooting?
What do you think of just before you step into the box?
When you are shooting trap- what is your trigger to drop the shell in your gun?- is it before or after the previous shooter pulls the trigger? At what point do you close your gun/chamber? Do you hold your gun or place the muzzle in a particular direction prior to mounting?
To become consistent, you need to analyze what you do or want to do, write it down, and then begin practicing it.