Stinkin’ Thinkin’

It was “International” at Nighthawks league last night. The turnout was relatively small especially considering that the temperature had backed off from previous weeks.

I started well and scored 77 on my first Precision Fire target. Considering that I’m usually in the mid 50s, I was optimistic, but prematurely so as I would soon discover because whatever I was doing right on that target, I forgot or otherwise messed up on the next two scoring 55 and then 56.

Dueling Fire similarly started well. In fact, my 87 on the first target was a significant improvement over anything I had previously shot in that form. But the next target’s 71 was a bucket of cold water and was followed by more of the same with the final target of 63.

The pattern of “good first target followed by messing it up” in both forms suggests I shoot better when following an ingrained script rather than trying to analyze and improve upon, or just repeat, what I last did.

Coach Pat looked at my score card and, comparing the Precision (slow) Fire versus the Dueling (timed) Fire, gave an instant analysis: “See? Less thinking works!”

My final score of 409 was a notch better than previous totals in this form of competition. Of course, at this end of the scale, it’s relatively easy to have a new “personal best” quite often. Last night was no exception.

But considering that my aggregate score at almost every competition is better than the one before, there are two basic truths: I’m getting better and better, and I’m probably learning to think less and less.

I’m printing two small reminders for my gun box.

  • “Don’t think. Just shoot.” (Don Plante)
  • “DFT - Don’t F^#$ing Think!” (Coach Pat)

Thanks, guys.

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