Skeet Masterclass

Dave Beardsmore gives Clay Shooting an exclusive coaching lesson as he outlines his tactics for shooting Station One – two singles then a pair

High One:
My feet are at 5 past 3; I’m stood up straight with my legs relaxed – simple and comfortable.
I shoot High One with an almost dead gun: I place the barrels just under the flight line of the target – which I’m already familiar with – reducing unnecessary gun movement and making it a more simplified shot.
This way my visual acquisition of the target is better as I’m seeing the target above the barrels as opposed to breaking the flight line of the target with the barrels and losing sight of the target.
On this station my hold point and break point are the same – about 2/3 of the distance between the high house and the centre peg.
My eyes are looking just above and past the barrels: as the target emerges from the house and heads towards the end of my barrels the shot becomes all about timing. All my focus is on the target: I see my gun in the bottom of my vision but it’s just there as a reference point.
Before the target reaches the end of my barrels and I see daylight between the target and my front bead I pull the trigger and make the shot.

 
Top tip
Mentally, Station One is key to your game. Reducing the first target to a ball of dust will put you in the right mindset for the rest of the round

 
Top tip
Keep your routine: feet – break point – hold point – visual pick up point. This system will keep you disciplined and consistent for each shot

Low One:
I keep my feet in the same position as I’ll break the target in the same area. I will aim to break it half-way between the centre peg and the high house, the same place as I will break it on the double – no point having two sight pictures for one target.
My hold point is about 10 feet out from the low house, just under the flight line of the target so I can see the target emerge from the window. My visual pick up point is not critical here but I do want to acquire the target as quick as possible so I tend to look straight in the low house window for the target. As it emerges from the window I pick it up with my barrels and immediately match gun speed with target speed bringing it to my break point where I make the shot.

 
Top tip
Do not run the target too far in as it will get past you and become a harder shot!

Station One Double:
I always tackle the double as if it were two singles. Here the high target is shot first: so I set up the same as I would for the High One single. I don’t rush or shoot the first target any earlier just because it’s a double: by shooting it in the same place as the single – two-thirds of the distance to the centre peg (again one sight picture for one target) – the second target will just be coming through allowing me to pick it up with the barrels. I make a connection with the target, match my gun speed with target speed and make the shot at the same break point as the low house single.

Top tip
Remember to stay in the gun after the first shot: if you have lifted your head out of the gun it will cause a miss over the top on the second target

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Posted in Coaching, Skeet

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