By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

(Downloadable Dot Torture can be found here)

What is the difference between being able to ride a bike and engaging in a sport such as tennis, golf or fly fishing?

The ability to ride a bike is base predominantly on balance; a function of a part of the inner ear that allows us to remain upright.  Our ability to play a sport requires an enforcement of consistent engagement to keep the muscle memory active for peak repetitiveness – ‘practice’.

Regardless of your sport or activity, if you took a month off, two months off or maybe a whole year; you’d still understand the fundamentals of the activity, but your capability would deteriorate from lack of ‘practice’.  You will have lost your ‘groove’.

The same can be said for our capabilities in firearm marksmanship and archery accuracy.  If we do not practice the activity, our level of competency – our skill – deteriorates.

Skill is important, regardless of activity.  Bow or gun, competition or hunting, for fun or protection; enhancing and maintaining a level of competency in our ability to perform is important.

Ask yourself; ‘Is getting to the range every three years to requalify for the License to Carry enough practice to establish a level of competency to react to a deadly threat?  Similarly, can you realistically think you’ll drop that trophy buck when you haven’t nocked an arrow since you put down the bow last season?  We don’t think you need us to answer those questions for you.  You know.

  1. We’ve justified the need to practice. If you want to maintain your level of skill; whether that skill is in competitive marksmanship, hunting accuracy or consistency of arrow flight – we need to practice.  We take the thought further; how much and what kind of practice?

If we compare our marksman and accuracy activities to any other sport; we quickly realize that the top golfers, the top tennis players, the top football players all practice.  They practice daily, or at the very least weekly.  They also incorporate another element to their practice – they employ a ‘coach’.

Do you engage a shooting coach?  If you golf, I’ll bet you have an instructor you go to when your game is off.  Do you have an archery coach?  How do you assess, evaluate and identify your weaknesses and incorporate adjustments to improve your ability if you are focused on the activity?  You cannot.  You cannot see yourself from behind and notice the slight twitch of your left arm when squeezing the trigger causing you to miss the target.

A coach can see you from all angles, can assess your foundation, can evaluate your actions and help get you into a groove.  A coach can also push you.  Take you outside your box; up your game.

We maintain muscle memory from punching holes in a sheet of paper ten yards away in an isolated lane.  We enhance our level of capability by stretching our range; and a coach/instructor can help us with that.

We just sent the kids back to school to enhance their learning; let’s go back to school ourselves to enhance our abilities.

And now is an opportune time to go back to school; Saddle River Range is offering Labor Day specials on memberships.  Come in, sign up and hire a coach.  You owe it to yourself to get to the range regularly and practice.

Check out Saddle River Range training programs here for firearms; and here for archery at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe.


© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved