“We are often told that talented people acquire their skill by following their “natural instincts.” This sounds nice, but in fact it is baloney. All improvement is about absorbing and applying new information, and the best source of information is top performers. So steal it.
Stealing has a long tradition in art, sports, and design, where it often goes by the name of “influence.” The young Steve Jobs stole the idea for the computer mouse and drop-down menus from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.”
“When you steal, focus on specifics, not general impressions. Capture concrete facts: the angle of a golfer’s left elbow at the top of the backswing; the curve of a surgeon’s wrist; the precise shape and tension of a singer’s lips as he hits that high note; the exact length of time a comedian pauses before delivering the punch line. Ask yourself:
• What, exactly, are the critical moves here?
• How do they perform those moves differently than I do?”
I am always puzzled when I shoot a local match and have several other shooters on my squad that are very new to the sport, yet never take the time to ask me a question or how I plan to shoot the stage. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am the cats meow, it’s just that I could really help most of them if they asked. Often times I offer a tip,or two, but am careful not to overstep by boundaries. I don’t want to insult someone who doesn’t want help.
1. When you visit your range for shooting sessions, keep an eye out for really good shooters. Then watch and steal from them (information). Be brave and ask them to show you something…. I’ll bet 99 times out of a hundred they will.
2. Those competitive shooters that are reading, should do the same. Check out the results at the last couple matches and look for who is at the top of that list consistently. Ask the match director to squad you with them for the next several matches, and once again do everything you can to steal information from them. Crank it up a notch and ask them to help you break stages down, or for a tip on a technique you need to improve on. I bet they will be glad to help!
Excerpt From: Coyle, Daniel. “The Little Book of Talent.” Bantam Books, 2012-08-21. iBooks.
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Until Then – Train Hard!