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You have enjoyed some lessons and have started to get in some quiet practice at your lesson venue: You have taken your time with selecting your first gun and have built up your clay shooting equipment collection. It is great that you are gaining in confidence and buzzing from the knowledge that you are breaking more and more clays each time that you shoot.
Everything is just as it should be; so now it is time to step up a gear. It is time for you to enter your first Clay Shooting competition:
Don’t worry; we are not entering you into a World Championship event: In fact choosing your first competition venue carefully is very important. Pick something low key and don’t plan to travel too far. Get a few shooting friends whose company that you enjoy, to advise about suitable venues and opt for one that they recommend ,then plan to travel and participate with them:
The day before the event organize your shooting equipment; you should write your self a very clear check off list and get in the habit of using it in preparation for every shooting outing.
Be aware of the 3 C’s of shooting - Comfort. Concentration. Confidence.
You can maximize your Comfort before the shoot and only when you have done that can you work on your Concentration and Confidence at the shoot.
Most obviously, you ensure your best comfort by ensuring that you have all the correct clothing with you. If you are too hot or too cold you will never perform to your best ability. Regardless of temperature have you got full wet weather kit ?
Don’t forget your hearing protection and your shooting glasses with lenses suitable for changing light conditions.
If it is likely to be hot; do you have enough liquid with you to prevent de-hydration, and have you got Sun Screen?
If it is likely to be very cold, how about a nice flask of hot soup in your shooting bag !
Do you have plenty of cartridges, and are they the right ones? What are the best cartridges to be using? The simple answer is the ones that you normally use and are comfortable and confident with.
Do get a good nights rest, and yes you should enjoy dreaming about all those clays that you are going to smash !
You had a great night’s rest, got up in plenty of time to have a leisurely drive to the shoot with your friends; including a relaxing breakfast en route.
You have arrived, check in; then take a slow stroll around the layout ( do make sure that this is permissible ) Assess the targets , and try to start on a stand where you feel confident about those targets.
Here you are at the first stand. Final preparation. Read those targets: Remember; Kill Point. Feet Position. Pick Up Point. Kill Picture. Gun Ready Position.
Concentrate. Ignore any misses, and you will become Confident.
Off you go - HAVE A GREAT SHOOT !