The reality of practicing with perfection can’t be taken too lightly. I always thought if I am out at the range, any time shooting bullets toward the target is time well spent. I got myself there; that, in and of itself, should account for a great deal of effort, fortitude and discipline. However, not so! I went to the range a couple of weeks ago, wondering when was the last time I had actually been. I had to apply a fresh sheen of oil to my weapons to make sure all parts would function without friction which tells me: I hadn’t been out to the range in a very long time. Naturally, I went with an alibi, a standard of mine! It was really cold. We got our 12 hours of winter the next day, snow and all. So, if I performed poorly, I could blame it on the weather, not my imperfect implementation of the Basic Fundamentals. Soon enough, I had to regroup, as I was failing to perfectly practice. I had let my nails grow too long, I could not properly hold my grip. I stood with such straight posture, the recoil of the weapon took over and I kept hitting high. I failed to fully execute my full inhales and exhales and I got tired very quickly. It wasn’t very rewarding. And I could not justify my alibi. Naturally, I went back the next week. My nails were trimmed, I reminded myself like I was my own student, how to breathe, set my posture, establish my grip, watch that front sight like I was looking for a gnat dancing on the back of that post, keeeeeep that trigger moving and maintain the whole choreography during the follow through as the bullet raced down that barrel. I enjoyed a remarkably better day at the range. Focusing on how I practice, not just that I am practicing, forces me to engage in what I am there for: executing the Basic Fundamentals of Marksmanship in their purest form, simultaneously. I think I even forgot about an alibi that day.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
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