serve to minimize our expressions. It drives me nuts. Also, these words bypass the point the speaker should otherwise clearly make. I hear this a lot in two particular settings which have to do with shooting. First, when we describe work, how often do we insert these tiny, little words to try and soften the workload? How often are any of these words or phrases used to encourage practicing marksmanship when, really, they serve to dismiss the actual importance of practicing between matches and between qualifying at the range? “You only need a few boxes of ammo to practice.”, “ It’s just a small blister on your thumb.”, “ I practice, you know, sometimes, like, when I have to go to the range.” I think a specific approach to the realities of firing a weapon should overpower the conversation. For example, what about describing the very early hours one must rise to load up and drive to the range, then practice for hours which include breaks for resting and regrouping? Fully engaged practice causes a feeling of ALL your energy drained out of your body from your big toes. The hard work, the dedication, the energy expenditure absolutely wears out the shooter. You don’t feel sort of tired! You don’t feel kind of worn out! You are wasted, without a doubt. The benefits, however, come into play at the pistol match, at qualifying day at the range. The grueling hours, the truly hard work involved shows direct pay off in the scores fired. So, speak directly, speak confidently about what you do. Second, when we do well, we should never, never minimize our successes. Good sportsmanship dictates a humbleness that we do not want to cloud with boasting. But, I propose when we have done well, we should not only describe our personal pride, but describe what it took to achieve the goals. Tell it like it is. I mean, like, well, you know, 4 hours of practice at the range, 1000 rounds of ammo, another, basically two hours to clean my guns and, you know, I kind of did REAL GOOD! Sort of.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
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