Editor’s Note: Hey, shooters! Guess what? Once upon a time, four-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode was just getting started as a shooter, just like you. Now she wants to offer you a helping hand as you improve your shooting game. She’ll be checking in with InSights from time to time to offer some tips, tricks and thoughts to get you motivated and keep you going!
Story and Photo by Kim Rhode
Has your dad or your coach ever told you to focus on the target? Do you know what that means and really how to focus on a target? Or do you just look and see the target as it moves across the field?
No one's eyes can focus on more than one thing clearly at a time. To demonstrate this, hold out your thumb at arm's length; think of it as your gun barrel. You'll notice that if you stare at your thumb the background goes fuzzy. You are certainly aware of the background, but it is not clear. If you look at the background and make it clear to your eyes, your thumb becomes unclear. This is the same when shooting. As the target flies across the field you have the gun barrel and the target. You must stare at the target and make it clear. You are aware of your gun barrel, but the target is where your eyes should be focused.
As you sit and read this article look at a wall in the room. Really look at all the details; there may be a light switch, pictures, windows with curtains. Look at the wall and how everything on the wall is clear. Now pick a small spot on the wall: a picture, a light switch—something small—and make it as clear as you can make it. Focus your eyes on the small object or spot. Now look away. When you look back at the wall you will automatically look back at the small spot that you picked to focus on. Every time you look at the wall you will see that small spot. Use this same technique to focus on the target.
Pick a point on the front of the target or the bright orange dome that the sun is hitting and make it crystal clear. Again, you are aware of where the gun barrel is but your focus is on the target and the target becomes crystal clear. Only when you see the target clearly, and you are truly focused on the target you're going to break, and you're practicing this focus on the target, will you improve your score.