Takeaways by Joe Schram


I just returned from attending the Todd Bender Skeet Clinic in Kerrville, Texas. This is an all day clinic conducted by 20 time World Champion Skeet Shooter, Todd Bender. Todd has succeeded at setting so many new records over the course of his career, it would be hard for me to list them all. As always, this clinic was fantastic! Thanks to Todd and to Robert Davis for putting on this event locally.If you have ever attending any type of training, you know it’s expensive. The cost of the class itself, travel and hotels as well as missed revenue opportunities while you were away. It would be foolish to spend this money and then not find something in it you can apply to your life. These are what I call “takeaways.” You take away some nuggets of knowledge that you don’t just commit to memory, but that you use to develop a plan around that will enhance your life, attitudes and skills. Therefore, every time I attend any type of training, I spend a few days afterwards trying to adapt my takeaways into my routine in such a way that it will become part of who I am, and will improve my overall skill set.

My takeaways from Todd’s Clinics are many. However, I can summarize and apply them to my game by creating what I call a “battle plan.” Last year I left Todd’s clinic with specific goals for my shooting year – a “battle plan.” I accomplished those goals and more. I think Todd will tell you that he knows I applied what he taught me last year, and can see it in my game. I am committed to apply what he taught me this year, and have already started. Here is my battle plan for this year:

I will practice with an intentional and purposeful plan. I will approach my practice with the sole purpose of executing every shot correctly by focusing my eyes on the target and seeing the “streak.” Experience has taught me that when I see the target clearly I know I will break it. That is who I am, someone who sees the target clearly every time. My purpose of practice is not to run straight rounds (no misses), but to execute correctly each shot and then reinforce that same perfect form, focus and execution. I will always turn with my quads, and never move the gun with my arms or upper body. On doubles, I will always shift my eyes back to look for the second target before changing direction with my gun.

I will go through my “pre-load” before approaching each station. I will visualize myself correctly breaking each target, by seeing it, seeing myself getting a good start and watching the picture “harden” as I focus on the target. Once I have completed the pre-load process, I will then step on to the station leaving all else behind. I will think only of seeing the “streak” and allow my sub-conscious to break the target. I will not let random thoughts enter into my brain. In other words, once I step onto the station I will stop thinking and concentrate on seeing. If I see the target clearly, I always break the target – so I will always see the target clearly!

My battle plan for competition will be just like my practice. My plan is to “pre-load”, focus, and watch the streak develop just as in practice. I will reinforce the good behavior after each shot. I will relax once on the station and allow myself to be successful. I intend to work harder and smarter than my competition. I will do the things that they don’t do, or won’t do to improve their game. My purpose in competition, is to gauge how well I apply my strategy compared to other shooters. This is who I am.

These are my takeaways and how I am applying them.

The following comments are based on my career as a shooting coach, small business owner and a competitor.

Champions are made, not born. They are made from ingredients like discipline, commitment, attitude, and a desire to push oneself beyond what they once thought was possible into the impossible; into a physical and mental state that few people achieve. Most people don’t achieve this state of mind I call “being a Champion.” It is a state of mind that you can apply to all areas of your life. You can be a “Champion Parent” or a “Champion” at your job. The reason most people don’t achieve being a Champion, is because they have never learned how. It is a learned process and must be nurtured to be developed, and it requires great commitment. It’s an understanding that if you always see yourself as something less than a Champion, then that is exactly what you will be. You need a coach (a guide) to take you through the process of becoming a Champion. One who is skilled at it, committed to it and has already done it. You can tell you are in the presence of a Champion when you meet them. There is no mistaking their confidence, their sincerity and their overall sense of who they are in life. I believe that we all have a Champion inside of us who just needs to be awakened and inspired by a good coach.

Will you awaken the Champion inside you?

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Bible Verse of the Day

A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.