Being able to call where your shots will go is an important skill.
Think back to those days you played softball in a local bar league or baseball in pickup games with friends. There was this one guy that would walk up to the plate, take his stance and then point the bat to where he was going to hit the ball. The pitch was delivered and he swings, launching the ball with perfect precision to the exact place he just pointed. Does he have some magical powers, is it just luck, or is it skill?
It’s pure skill. We can use the exact same skills when shooting to know where our shots will fall. By being able to determine how the bullet will fly will allow us to know how well the shot was placed and how we need to adjust our next shots as we move through the shooting sequence.
There is no right or wrong way to call your shots as you are shooting, but this is a skill that you need to learn. Otherwise you will not be able to adjust properly. This skill is purely a mental exercise. You won’t know for certain that you got it right until you can see the target.
So how do you develop the skill? Remember that everything you need to know is presented for you before you break your shot. Taking a mental snapshot and making sure you pay attention to where the front sight is at the moment the trigger breaks and how the gun moved after the shot. Using the correct amount of trigger control and pressure will help to keep you more accurate. Combining all this information will allow you to begin to process the images you see in your mind and you will be able to call where you placed your shot.
The trick is to train your brain to process this information at speeds needed to shoot quickly, especially in competition. If you know your last shot was a bad shot, you can quickly follow up and place a good shot for a better score.
How one develops this skill is up to them and how their brain processes the information. As this skill develops, you will actually realize that you are already calling your shots without realizing it. Here are some tips and ways you can start to learn how to do it.
- Keep both eyes open. This will allow you to see more information to align in your head.
- Know where the front sight was at the trigger break.
- A strong foundation of the fundamentals is important. Already knowing the feel of a properly aligned gun will help you to project the bullet path.
To practice this skill, put a target out to a distance where you can’t really see the bullet holes and place a second, identical target next to you. After you shoot, don’t look at the target. On the target next to you, somehow mark where you think the bullets went. Compare your targets. As you get better, you will find your “marker” target is getting closer to the actual target.
Not only is this skill important in competition, it could also help in self-defense. By knowing where your shots are going, you can account for all your bullets and know if you placed a good shot to stop the threat. This will help you to determine if you need to continue shooting or not. Develop this skill and your shooting will improve quickly.