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NSSA Skeet legend Todd Bender has agreed to provide us with regular articles for the BSSA website.
Todd Bender is the "Coaches' Coach". He has taught clay target shooting worldwide for over 25 years. Todd was the first Master Instructor for the National Skeet Shooting Association, is a certified coach by England's Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, and is an Honorary Fellow in England's Institute of Clay Shooting Instructors.

Todd is scheduled to be in the UK March 2-12, 2016.
England March 2-6
Ireland March 9-10
Scotland March 11-12


Click on the logo above to visit the Todd Bender Intl website which is packed with fundamentals, advice and solutions for your individual game and the clay target sports. Whether you desire to compete at the top championship levels, or simply want to enjoy the clay target sports even more than you do now.


Proper Training
By Todd Bender

The amount of one's necessary practice depends on their level of expertise, what I call Quality vs. Quantity. As a beginner, a shooter needs quantity of practice, enough time to learn subconscious skill. Some researchers say 10,000 hours of diligent practice are required to learn or master an action. Once a skill is learned, quality of practice outweighs quantity. The skill must be practiced and executed correctly, without flaw to match desired levels in a competitive environment.

There are a number of Levels of Training. There is Training for Feel, for Training for Competition, Training to Win, and Training to Dominate. Most shooters training revolves around the first two. The first level dominates most of my days coaching. To learn a skill, one must repeat the action over and over again to learn it, training for feel.... quantity of practice.

Once feel is mastered, one must Train for Competition, meaning I shoot a number of regular rounds, 25s, over and over, because that's what they make me do in competition. At this level, quality of practice surpasses quantity. Many shooters gauge the success of a practice session on the amount of rounds shot. But "going through the motions" for 14 rounds, accomplishes very little, without any focused purpose. I'd rather shoot 4 diligent rounds of quality practice, than 15 rounds of just sending lead into the air.

The remaining level, Training to Win, involves going outside of your sport, where one would train other aspects that affect performance, such as physical training, nutrition, and building a bullet proof mental game.

It is possible to under or over-practice, and I believe that depends on the individual. I think that four to six rounds of dedicated practice per week should be enough to hone your skills. Twice a week would be better. Going out less than every other week, is probably not sufficient to "own" or master your skills. You must practice enough to build skill and confidence, without doing too much, where fatigue and complacency come into play.

Many would be surprised at how little I practice. This is because of my increased travel schedule while coaching. There is very little time left for me to shoot. In fact last year, I had nine recorded days of training on the skeet field, from the beginning of the season to the end. However, my unending coaching, generally five to six days a week, provides daily reinforcement. Even though I am not pulling the trigger, I am constantly talking and demonstrating how to do things correctly, positive reinforcement. A great example of this, is this past September when I spent two weeks teaching Mental Management to the SEAL Teams, and three days later, with little practice, I broke one of my better 400x400s, my 40th, at the US Open. For the two weeks prior to that event I had immersed myself into talking about and teaching proper mental strategy for sport, and it paid dividends on the back end.


My job is to get people to shoot skeet better, so if I can help you, please contact me. Hit me with questions at bendershima@aol.com. It's what I do, and contacting me is free. And if you are unsure about the advice you receive in return, feel free to just ask, "Why would you have me do such a thing?"
For information about Todd Bender Performance Systems and for Todd's 2015-16 clinic schedule, go to toddbenderintl.com or contact Todd Bender at bendershima@aol.com.




Question Authority

You are NOT what you shoot