of all, I would recommend that you do not attempt to shoot any doubles until you
have a comfort level with the singles game. Get your singles in shape before you
move on to doubles. This means that your singles game should have you shooting
scores where your name is starting to be called to the shootoff field.
you are at this point or that you choose to ignore the advice in paragraph one,
you must practice doubles at the shootoff stations. You will save yourself time
and money if you will take advantage of the NSSA instructors that are available
to you in Virginia. If you are reading this article, you have heard of Todd Bender.
Beg, borrow or buy his doubles tape and watch it. See what works for him and try
to adapt it to your shooting style.
the doubles stations for shootoffs, I like to break the first target as soon as
I can. This leaves me more time to find and break the second target. The quicker
that you can break the second target, the better the target you will have to shoot
at. To do this successfully you must shift your eyes quickly to the second target.
I try to do this as soon as I see the first target break. Think of moving your
eyes to the other side of the barrel when you practice this. If it feels like
a violent or drastic movement this is good. You are doing it right. The more you
practice the more natural it will feel. Keep your head on the gun until you see
the second target break. Keep your head on the gun. Keep your head on the gun.
This is important. Keep your head on the gun! A practice tip to help with
this is to look at the front bead after the second target breaks before you come
out of the gun. Do not look for the bead until the second target breaks. If you
look back to the bead prematurely more often than not the second target will not
To shoot the targets
quickly at 3, 4 and 5 you must have good foot position, good hold points and proper
look points. These three elements are different for many factors including flexibility,
eye sight and hand to eye coordination. If you want to maximize your abilities,
I would encourage your attendence at a Bender-Shima doubles clinic. They are the
professionals. The clinics may seem pricey but you will get years of experience
in one day. I do not believe there is any other sport where you can spend 8 hours
with one of the all-time greats in the sport for the price of these clinics. Think
about it. Even Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods take lessons. If you cannot attend
a clinic or if you are undecided about taking a clinic, I would encourage you
to attend a major shoot where numerous first team All-American shooters are in
the field. You can do this at the Great Eastern or the North-South. You do not
have to enter the shoot. Go and watch the top shooters. It is free and if you
pay attention carefully you can learn something to benefit your own shooting.
doubles to the point where you are confident that you can hit the first four pairs,
3, 4, 5 and back to 4. That is all the shootoff shots (8) that exist for you to
master. It is always a shock how quickly some shootoffs end and how many shooters
are eliminated in the first four stations. I can remember watching many shootoffs
where a quality shooter missed on the first four stations. When you can hit the
first four pairs consistently you will finish ahead of all who don't and you are
now capable of running the whole box. If you can do this you will win more than
your share at most of the local shoots. You can run multiple boxes the same way.
Practice enough to have this confidence. Think of this as a journey and not a
If you are
nervous going out to shoot the first pair on three, remind yourself that this
is perfectly normal. Getting a chance to shoot this pair of free targets is why
you entered the event. The shooters behind the ropes would love to be in your
spot. Do not be disturbed, alarmed or concerned if you have to shoot against a
big name shooter. If this occurs noone expects you to win anyway. The pressure
is really on the big name shooter who has to live up to their big name by not
losing to you. As long as you keep breaking targets you cannot lose. The top notch
shooter cannot throw you a curve, make a birdie or hit a ball that you cannot
return. Your competition is two clay targets.
your doubles as much as you practice your singles. Temember this is how the winners
are determined. You do not want to rely on having the only top score or the other
top scores leaving early. You can accomplish a lot of practice in a short time
if you have access to a voice release system. One final tip, take more than a
box of shells to your shootoffs and put more than a box in your pouch or vest.
You do not want to know when the first box is over until the referee tells you.
Don't put any pressure on yourself by knowing when you have reached the last pair.
hope these comments are of use to you. Best of luck!