Monday, June 29, 2015

The Waggle

Professional golfers have a pre-shot routine that they go through each and every time prior to a shot.  Many use a pre-shot "waggle," immediately before the shot.  It is a insignificant motion of the club head right before they beginning their shot.  It is a signal to their bodies and especially their minds that they are ready to go.  All preparation has been completed.

When I started to shoot I had the privilege of hand judging Wild Onion Willie He has a waggle which at the time I thought may be a violation of the rules but I did not say anything because of his stature in the sport. Of course, it was not a violation I just did not understand the rules. I just watched a video of Yusta B Fast in which there appears to be a waggle but it was not there on every draw.  To be a waggle it must be done intentionally, each and every time, and be a signal to the mind and body that the shooter is ready to go.

I have a pre-match waggle which is to draw and dry fire my gun twice.  After that I am set and do not think about my draw or anything related to it again.  If I lose a bye round I always unload and show clear so that I can go through my waggle again on the load and make ready command.

I am currently working on a pre-shot waggle but have not perfected it yet.  I did use one at Nationals and shot my fastest competitive time.

We can learn from other sports.  I wish I had been a sprinter in track and field because I am sure that there are some techniques used there to get off on the light.  I heard of trying to anticipate the light but when I do that I am generally 50 mls slower because I am thinking, and whenever you think you are slow.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mind Set

I think the mental part of this game far exceeds the physical.  At the High Plains Territorial I followed WildShot around for five rounds, he was either hand judging me or I he, or on the next lane. He shoots the long gun and  he was on.  In round four he put three shots in a dollar size circle.  I figured he was the cowboy to beat.

In round five, WildShot, met Marshall Cooper. He put one in the ground 6 feet in front of the target, several over the top, don't remember him hitting the target once.  After the round I asked him what happened, you were so accurate in the earlier rounds.  He said well  I shoot with Marshall every week and I always shoot different against him.  I always try to go faster.

The mind affects how we shoot.  Thinking about anything is bad.  I was cruising along and really had found the target.  In round three I missed an inch wide on the first shot then proceeded to walk the shots right to the middle on the next three winning in four shots.  I was so pleased with myself that I bragged in between matches. Then I met Deacon, a  90% shooter.  I never hit the target once.  Mind set?

The next round I shot what I considered the near perfect adjustment match. Four rounds, first a miss light high to the left, then three shots walked to the middle in  perfect horizontal line.

Next, I met Wildshot and my mind was right. Match over in three or four shots.

Then in round eight, I met Luckey O'Riley.  He is faster than me but he also knows that when I am on he has to hit.  He had just defeated Beaver Creek Kid, wearer of the black badge, in two consecutive matches so he was flying high.  We both had our minds right! First shot he wins .434 to .436. The die was cast.  He wins two on speed, I win two on speed. He hits 4 out of 5, I hit 5 out of 5.  That is what this sport is about, a perfect match beween good friends, felt like a marble match.

I am a student of the game and the mind set.  You would think I would learn.  Met Marshall Cooper in the 10th round and I think (all thinking in bad) "Well, I can't beat him on speed just put it on the target"  Marshall hits one out of the first five shots, I hit none. It was just as if I met Deacon again.

This game is not about who can shoot the best, but who can get or keep their mind in the proper set.  As Little Bill explained, "Quick don't mean much in a gunfight."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Style or Draw Technique

A few weeks ago a regular and seasoned contributor to the forum opined that there really was only two types of draw for the fast shooter, the level and follow through and the upswing draw.  I took offense that the locked elbow draw had being omitted and opined that the current world champion used it.  The contributor corrected me that the World Champion uses the level and follow through but has omitted the follow through.  Marshall Cooper in his video explains his draw that way.

Problem with this is it is exceeding hard to learn.  I seen numerous shooter work years to learn the level and follow then work years trying to unlearn the follow through.  Many are successful in practice getting into the 4s but in competition the target draws them out and they shoot 5s and 6s.

On the other hand with the lock elbow draw, you never learn the follow through so you don't have to unlearn it.  The lock elbow draw may be the favored draw in the Valley of the Sun because the desert master teaches it.  

I was fortunate in that I had hand surgery and could not shoot for two months.  I used the time to copy a multiple champion who shoots the locked elbow draw and she was trained by the desert master. Since I now shoot a variation, the thumb roll draw, I will explain that and let some else explain the lock elbow draw.

The thumb roll draw is a variation of the locked elbow draw out of a high rise Shaniko holster.  The Shaniko is suited for it because of its high position on the hip and its wrapped trigger guard.  You start by crossing the thumb over the hammer (as Wyatt Earp recommended, yes that Wyatt).  This helps in eliminating slip cocks and provides the power for the draw, You draw by forcefully cocking the hammer thereby rolling the gun out of the holster.. When you clear the holster you should be in the locked elbow position and the trigger is pulled.  The gun is solidly against your body, there no forward motion, there is no upward motion.  You should be able to shoot better than 80% because of the stable position from which the gun is fired.  Misses result from misalignment of your stance, not from variation in the draw.

If you can do it, I recommend the thumb roll draw, if not then the locked elbow draw.

An humorous side note. About six months ago a pretty young thing came to a shoot and needed help learning the sport.  The old geezers could not get in line quick enough to help her.  There was that purveyor of videos trying to teach her the level and follow thru,  the prayerful one was selling the locked elbow draw, and there were other cowboys mentoring when they have never mentored before.  I was worried she was going hurt herself she was getting so much conflicting advice.  Fortunately, the desert master took her under his wing as he does with all novices,  She now has a .373 competitive PR and routinely breaks into the threes.  If you want to see good form on the locked elbow draw, look at her facebook page.  There is a straight line from her locked elbow to the muzzle horizontal to the ground, gun solidly a her side as the trigger is pulled.