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Airy Thoughts

Airy Thoughts

Shoot Simply, Shoot A Lot

“But how is it done?” asked Kim in the classic book by Rudyard Kipling. Lurgan replied, “By doing it many times over till it is done perfectly—for it is worth doing.”

In this modern era of education, learning such basics as spelling and arithmetic through repetition (“by rote” the modern experts say derisively) is considered outdated if not downright abusive. Which is why so many high school, even university graduates can’t write a coherent sentence or figure a restaurant tip without a calculator.

I suppose it’s understandable for people to think skills can likewise be acquired without serious effort. It’s just a matter of knowing the right tricks. Well, there is such a thing as proper form. Certainly lessons from a capable coach can save a lot of trial and error. But for true skill—unconscious skill, to perform under stress and on demand—the neural paths must be trained through repetition.

If you want to shoot a rifle well, you have to shoot. I know, it sounds obvious. It surprises me how many people I meet who like rifles, like hunting with rifles, yet don’t enjoy shooting. Or at least, they don’t shoot enough to be really capable.

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