Words of praise for Lars Jacob, Director of the Covey & Nye Shooting School
Lars was the perfect balance as a coach – he knew when to push you but also knew when to back off. During a shooting lesson, it’s very easy to fall back into bad habits and string along a few misses. Why should I expect all my bad habits to disappear in a 1-2 hour lesson? As in all sports, there is fine line between building or eroding confidence and Lars knows how to walk the line. As an athlete (or aging athlete), I fully understand the importance of foot work, balance and positioning – without these you are doomed to fail. For some reason, as a gunner, I simply ignored the elements body positioning and foot work and placed all my emphasis at the muzzle. In other words, I would get the gun to my face, find the target and shoot without any regard for balance or positioning.
It took less than five minutes for Lars to point out that the way I positioned (or failed to position) my body was detrimental to my success as a gunner. As a self-taught right-handed gunner, my primary emphasis was at the muzzle and I paid very little concern to what my left hand was doing. In other words, my hands were not working together and Lars was able to point that out in a way that made immediate sense. This (i.e., footwork and body positioning) was the intuitive part of the lesson. The big surprise for me and somewhat counterintuitive was changing my speed. That is, Lars emphasized slowing down rather than speeding up. This was not going to be easy – I grew up in Vermont without a dog and any time we encountered a partridge (Vermonters rarely say grouse) we typically shot before the gun was at our face. In other words, I was going to shoot as fast as I could because I didn’t want to miss my chance. It took a while, but Lars showed me that by slowing down, identifying the target, moving both hands in unison and bringing my gun to my face, I would hit targets more efficiently and quickly than my “mount and find” technique.
Am I a better shooter today? Maybe, maybe not, but I sure as heck know how to become a better shooter.
– Alex B., Marblehead, MA