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Old 03-11-2017, 03:50 PM   #1
RickBarbee
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Default Instinctive Shooting

While reading some comments on the subject elsewhere, I came to this conclusion:

"The more you try to explain instinctive shooting, the less instinctive it becomes."

Thoughts?

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Old 03-11-2017, 04:05 PM   #2
Randy Madden
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I agree, you start thinking about not thinking and you lose focuse. IMO
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:47 PM   #3
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my 2 cents, it's not truly instinctive. it's a learned process.
I do shoot "instinctive" myself
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:09 PM   #4
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Well y'all all know I shoot to fast to be aiming with any success. Maybe that's why my accuracy is so poor! That being said it's similar to throwing a ball . Throw to first bace enough you know what to do. Home plate from center field ect. You have to practice a lot to get proficient. I wish I had eyes of my twenties and a brain that would allow me to gap. I would gap. So I don't know am I a instinctive shooter or just a confused archer? Arvin
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:01 PM   #5
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Being able to throw a ball is easier.

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Old 03-11-2017, 09:20 PM   #6
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I don't deny instinctive shooting exists. I just don't see how it can be explained. If it is truly instinctive, any break down, and analogy of it removes true instinctive from the process, and it becomes a learned skill.

The only reason I bring it up at all is - Due to the term "Instinctive", and how many define it, I have known a fair amount of shooters who either lived through a long period of agonizing frustration, before they either finally found some peace with it, OR gave up entirely.

This is why I believe the term "Intuitive" would be much better for beginners to get a grip on.

Rick
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:12 PM   #7
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I think you are right that it is difficult to explain. We use analogies like throwing a baseball and talk about being in the zone or becoming the arrow but that explains nothing to those who have not experienced it. I have a suspicion that those of us us who think we are shooting 100% instinctive are probably doing some version of gap shooting but we are doing it subconsciously. You release when it "feels right" but it feels right because experience tells you the gap is right.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:20 PM   #8
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I know if I think about it at all its not gonna work out. That's why it's so hard to watch videos and read forums for tips. You just have to focus and let her rip. I draw on the way up and as soon as my middle finger touches the corner of my mouth, the arrow is gone. I think concentration on the draw process is the only thing I can think about. If I pause at full draw, I'm screwed. I made myself draw with my back muscles to make sure I didn't have have to think about it. Mr. Barbee, I concur with you on this.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:38 PM   #9
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Watch the you tube video called the push. Not instinctive but it works for me
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:48 PM   #10
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Its definitely a learned art.
I have let loose easily over 10,000 arrows before getting 'ok' good at this. Shooting nearly every day for over 18 months.
Somewhere along the way the 'feeling' developed.

You guys who do it know what im talking about. Its a distinct 'feeling' that im going to hit what im looking at. Trying to explain that sense to someone who has not stumbeled onto it yet is difficult.
I just feel a good shot now when i focus heavily on my spot. Such an addictive sensation.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:25 AM   #11
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I have found that if I do not think about the shot and apply a procedure or discipline, ninety percent of the time the shot will be way off of the mark. This is due to an instinctive use of a bad habit coupled with poor eyesight and a tendency to be lazy and not come to full draw. I do not know how many tens of thousands of shots will be adequate to engrain the procedure and kill the bad habits. Until it does happen, it has to be a process and not an instinct.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:26 AM   #12
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Thinking and instinctive are opposite terms. Over thinking leads to confusion and I suspect it also leads to what is called target panic.
Now, I sometimes think through the shot process, and then practice the process many times until it becomes automatic.
Over thinking causes me to shoot poorly and gives me a headache.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafter S View Post
Watch the you tube video called the push. Not instinctive but it works for me
Thanks for the video link. Very informative. Think I may give it a try. I love shooting "instinctively" but the lack of consistency is aggrivating
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:29 PM   #14
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Those guys from "The Push" video started a podcast recently. Very good guests do far.

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Old 03-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herd90 View Post
Those guys from "The Push" video started a podcast recently. Very good guests do far.

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What's the name of the podcast?


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Old 03-12-2017, 02:57 PM   #16
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The Push. A traditional archery podcast

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Old 03-12-2017, 04:02 PM   #17
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I agree Rick. Not really truly instinctive and yes the term is very Misleading. Maybe a reason I struggled, and still struggle to find consistent consistency. Intuitive is more correct, and I believe. I really wanted to learn a good gap method and my wife shoots a gap style, but for some reason I cannot make it work for me and never have a good release when I try to shoot a version of the gap style. the best way I can loose an arrow is to simply let the bow come to draw and focus on my point, through the shot.
Definetly not instinctive, but... A rose by any name __.
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:05 PM   #18
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Some will achieve the level quicker than others, but anything we commit enough effort into for a long enough period of time will eventually become fairly effortless.

That lack of effort combined with fluid motion, speed of target acquisition, speed of shot execution, and proficiency will appear as instinctive to an observer.

Rick
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:16 PM   #19
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http://thepushpodcast.libsyn.com

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Old 03-12-2017, 07:45 PM   #20
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Instinctive is not the correct word, but it is the word someone came up with a long time ago to name s style of shooting a bow that is not truly instinctive!

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Old 03-12-2017, 09:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Paisano View Post
Thinking and instinctive are opposite terms. Over thinking leads to confusion and I suspect it also leads to what is called target panic.
Now, I sometimes think through the shot process, and then practice the process many times until it becomes automatic.
Over thinking causes me to shoot poorly and gives me a headache.
Same with me. If I think too much I mess up. I am however really focusing on my string hand, and my release. I have to make a conscious effort to keep my string hand relaxed, and get a good deep hook then release without plucking the string. It's my weakest area and I have to keep an eye on it.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisch View Post
Instinctive is not the correct word, but it is the word someone came up with a long time ago to name s style of shooting a bow that is not truly instinctive!

Bisch
Bisch nailed it - wrong word!

Instinctive implies instinct. Instinct is a behavior that is common through-out a species. All humans would have to be experts at archery.

It is a learned art. I always told my students, try everything, find what style you like and are comfortable with then stay with it. Consistency is the right word.

Unfortunately some beginners think that if they call themselves instinctive shooters they do not have to learn proper form or procedures, and they will not have to practice. Obviously it does not work and they lose interest.

How about that. Gone for a year or so and I still talk too much. Oh well, too old to change now.

Don
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:06 AM   #23
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If a bow has no sights, shooting it has to be instinctive.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:58 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferguson620 View Post
Bisch nailed it - wrong word!

Instinctive implies instinct. Instinct is a behavior that is common through-out a species. All humans would have to be experts at archery.

It is a learned art. I always told my students, try everything, find what style you like and are comfortable with then stay with it. Consistency is the right word.

Unfortunately some beginners think that if they call themselves instinctive shooters they do not have to learn proper form or procedures, and they will not have to practice. Obviously it does not work and they lose interest.

How about that. Gone for a year or so and I still talk too much. Oh well, too old to change now.


Don
Good to here from you Don. Arvin
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:42 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferguson620 View Post
Bisch nailed it - wrong word!

Instinctive implies instinct. Instinct is a behavior that is common through-out a species. All humans would have to be experts at archery.

It is a learned art. I always told my students, try everything, find what style you like and are comfortable with then stay with it. Consistency is the right word.

Unfortunately some beginners think that if they call themselves instinctive shooters they do not have to learn proper form or procedures, and they will not have to practice. Obviously it does not work and they lose interest.

How about that. Gone for a year or so and I still talk too much. Oh well, too old to change now.

Don
Where's the like button when you need it.

It's a confusing term, that leads many to believe they need to have some sort of near super natural ability to be able to shoot. When they realize they are mere humans many give it up, and bow their heads to those they think have the force within them.

This was my whole point, which maybe I should clarify - The more you try to explain "Instinctive Archery" the more apparent it becomes, that it is far removed from an instinctive action.

It is a learned mental & motor skill, just like walking, and/or reading.
It takes the honing of both the physical ability to execute the process (motor skill), as well as the understanding of the process (mental skill).

Of course some learn it quicker, some learn it better, and some master it to a point where it looks effortless to them, but it isn't instinct that got them to that point. What gets you there is the desire to learn, and the dedication to overcome the hurdles when they present themselves.

I'll add this - in the end, you will still never have learned it all. The rawest beginner all the way to the most accomplished veteran, and everyone in between all have room to improve. All it takes is the desire, and dedication to learn, but your endstinks aren't going to do much for you in that arena.

Rick

Last edited by RickBarbee; 03-13-2017 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:08 AM   #26
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When you apply an aiming process, at first it throws you off, you think a bunch and I frustrates you, but overtime as you continue the same aiming method it becomes subconscious to where it feels instinctive, I believe feel has a lot to do with it also, as soon as I started applying an aiming method years ago I became a much better archer and became more consistent, I don't have to practice as much and much more in control of my shot


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Old 03-13-2017, 10:25 AM   #27
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My conversation with Wudstix at GRXH:
BF- How do you shoot?
W- With both eyes open.

BF- How do you aim?
W- By looking at the target.

BF- Whats your arrow weight?
W- I dont know.

BF- Whats your FOC?
W- Whats that?

BF- Um...Thanks. Good talk.

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Old 03-13-2017, 11:40 AM   #28
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I gap shoot but it has almost become an instant process.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:42 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostgoblin22 View Post
When you apply an aiming process, at first it throws you off, you think a bunch and I frustrates you, but overtime as you continue the same aiming method it becomes subconscious to where it feels instinctive, I believe feel has a lot to do with it also, as soon as I started applying an aiming method years ago I became a much better archer and became more consistent, I don't have to practice as much and much more in control of my shot


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Good info.

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Old 03-13-2017, 04:37 PM   #30
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Default Instinctive Shooting

I took Joel turners online class also, his insight helped me the most, my 300 scores jumped 30-50 points consistently, I was averaging 220 before it now I can shoot a 260-290 consistently depending on how my joints and neck feel
He really does help you control your shot and mind, he has some helpful videos on YouTube, but his online class is worth every penny
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:08 PM   #31
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If a guy picks up a bow, without having ever shot one, or seen somebody shoot one, and nocks an arrow, pulls back the string and lets go, that is an instinctive shot.

Instinctive is the wrong word, although accepted, to mean subconscious aiming. Our brains are pretty smart and do not want to fail, therefore, it will find a way to succeed and adjust for you. Stare at that spot and let your subconscious look at the arrow and riser for you.

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Old 03-15-2017, 03:55 PM   #32
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We call it "instinctive" but, as Swampy just stated, it is actually a process of aiming that is guided by the subconscious. "Instinctive" is just easier than saying "I shoot by highly practiced second-nature dead-aim focus on a spot." The thing is that we still have to have consistent draw to anchor and solid release to hit that spot which the brain has so carefully elevated our bow arm to hit while we were unconsciously drawing and whatnot.

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Old 03-15-2017, 09:12 PM   #33
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Whether you call it instinctive, intuitive, subconscious, or whatever is all a matter of semantics.

It is probably the oldest method of shooting a bow there is.

This is my way of attempting to explain the way I have shot arrows from bows since 1968. It has served me well all these years and I haven't felt the need to change whether shooting 3D or hunting. That being said I will be the first to tell you I cannot shoot the scores many of the new and younger guys are shooting these days, but I have been able at times to still hold my own with other archers my age although that has slipped a little since my equilibrium went south several years ago.

With both eyes open one focuses on and concentrates on a specific spot or object, visualizes in his mind the path of the arrow arching to that spot or object while at the same time adjusting his bow and arrow to achieve what he sees in his mind, draws to anchor and when everything feels and looks right releases the string. Hopefully this all takes place in one fluid motion the same way time after time in only a matter of seconds.

That is a rather simplification of what takes place for me when I shoot and what it is called doesn't change how it is done. It is the same principal applied when shooting a basketball from anywhere on the court.

I might also mention for some folks this comes natural, some have to work at it more than others, and some just have to find a different method. That doesn't make it "mystical". Just means different strokes for different folks.

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Old 03-15-2017, 10:31 PM   #34
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The "instinctive" concept is simple.

No aiming aids. Just bow, string, and arrow.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:04 PM   #35
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I think it's an argument of what someone calls it. Just shoot.

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Old 03-16-2017, 09:11 AM   #36
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Guess I'm somewhere in the middle or just plain weird.

Coming from a severe target panic that lasted two years I followed an advice from a Olympic archer to have the arrow way down where I want to hit and have my breathing bring the arrow up. This helped me get my TP to 90% under control. The only problem is that now I always hit about 4-5 inches down so now my " aiming " is what I call

Pick a gap, I intuitively pick a spot higher than what I want to hit and the arrow drops 4-5 inches. This is for 3D and practice. For whatever reason my TP is not existent on moving targets or live pray.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:16 AM   #37
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Not much to add to this as I'm still in the "I have no idea what I'm doing" crowd. One thing for sure though is that I really enjoy that little thrill when an arrow goes exactly where I'm looking.


Richard.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:21 AM   #38
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I also tend to think that there is this artificial elevation of status that some folks place on being able to shoot "instinctive." Not because of what they are doing, but because the word "instinctive" tends to convey a sense of "raw talent." I mean who doesn't want to be associated with a style that conveys some sort of innate way to doing things? Instinctive implies "pure", "natural", "unaltered."

All a gap shooter is doing is putting the thought processes in front of the conscious mind. An instinctive shooter is allowing for the subconscious mind to take over. In some cases, it is forcing it to happen. I have always chuckled that instinct will tell you which way works best for you from the get go. I see young elementary aged kids all the time at the range (scouts.) Some want to try to start aiming, some want to just let that arrow fly as fast as they can; assuming it will hit. Both groups stink equally as bad because their form and consistency are terrible. But to each, they have a way of approaching the task at hand and will eventually get through it one way or the other. Often times, telling them to aim a certain way, forces they to fight their instinctive way to shoot. Of course, this too could have been a learned behavior for them... but who knows.

So, I have run into more than my fair share of shooters in person and online. I can usually tell the difference between a guy/gal that shoots "instinctive" that uses that terms because it is the accepted term for a split fingered shooter who has learned to aim by staring at their target until their mind adapts and their groups tighten vs somebody who did the same, but wear the "instinctive" title as some badge of honor. In the same breathe, I know gap shooters who when they say they don't shoot "instinctive" they do so in some sort of oddball apologetic way, as though they feel they are cheating, because they are not shooting in some sort of pure way... as though we all really know how every archer back in the 1600s aimed, or every native American aimed their bow.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:25 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampRabbit View Post
I also tend to think that there is this artificial elevation of status that some folks place on being able to shoot "instinctive." Not because of what they are doing, but because the word "instinctive" tends to convey a sense of "raw talent." I mean who doesn't want to be associated with a style that conveys some sort of innate way to doing things? Instinctive implies "pure", "natural", "unaltered."

All a gap shooter is doing is putting the thought processes in front of the conscious mind. An instinctive shooter is allowing for the subconscious mind to take over. In some cases, it is forcing it to happen. I have always chuckled that instinct will tell you which way works best for you from the get go. I see young elementary aged kids all the time at the range (scouts.) Some want to try to start aiming, some want to just let that arrow fly as fast as they can; assuming it will hit. Both groups stink equally as bad because their form and consistency are terrible. But to each, they have a way of approaching the task at hand and will eventually get through it one way or the other. Often times, telling them to aim a certain way, forces they to fight their instinctive way to shoot. Of course, this too could have been a learned behavior for them... but who knows.

So, I have run into more than my fair share of shooters in person and online. I can usually tell the difference between a guy/gal that shoots "instinctive" that uses that terms because it is the accepted term for a split fingered shooter who has learned to aim by staring at their target until their mind adapts and their groups tighten vs somebody who did the same, but wear the "instinctive" title as some badge of honor. In the same breathe, I know gap shooters who when they say they don't shoot "instinctive" they do so in some sort of oddball apologetic way, as though they feel they are cheating, because they are not shooting in some sort of pure way... as though we all really know how every archer back in the 1600s aimed, or every native American aimed their bow.
Greatness
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:52 AM   #40
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I don't really give a rip how others do it. I did at first because I had not gotten to a point where I knew how I was going to shoot. But now I just work on me. I'm not trying to win contests. I'm not going to be able to impress anyone. I just want to kill stuff consistently and feel confident in doing that.

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Old 03-16-2017, 12:31 PM   #41
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To not realize there are varying degrees of ability, natural or otherwise, in everything we do at the least is na´ve and at its worst denial. If not we would all be clones and no one would ever be second. We cannot all play basketball like Michael Jordan, the cello like Yo Yo Ma, or shoot archery like Howard Hill. But we can to some degree learn to play basketball, a musical instrument, and shoot archery and we don’t have to feel inferior if we do it differently to others. Nor, if we achieve some measure of success, is our method the best or most correct method for everyone. Diversity is good.

Last edited by Straitshot; 03-16-2017 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:50 PM   #42
DRT
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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I like Yo Yo Ma's music. I also know I have no musical ability. However I can shoot some. And have always had a knack for killin'. So I'm finding my way. It's up to you to find yours. God bless and shoot more and more often.

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Old 03-16-2017, 10:35 PM   #43
Straitshot
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DRT,

Thank you and may the good Lord bless and keep you too! Shoot straight and enjoy the journey. Blessings.
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