FVCTC Home News League ATA and Fun Shoots Club Info Sponsors

The importance of the 16-yard line and why you should practice from it more often

Thanks for taking the time to visit our web site and taking some time to check out what is going on at your local trap club. At the time of me writing this article the 2012 winter league will be in full swing in January and into the head-to-head team competition. Also, the time is approaching for some of the early ATA registered shoots in the state. So as I see a great number of shooters come to the club to put in some practice time, let us look at a common situation for winter league. Your team is just placed at the 25-yard line for the head-to-head competitions and you are surprised that your team is back that far because you are the 6th or 7th seed, and you wonder how are you going compete?

Therefore, the first reaction is to go and practice a lot from the long handicap yardage to try to see if you can get some better scores going. Although I encourage working a little bit from the new handicap to get a feel for timing of the longer yardage handicap targets, it takes a long time to get consistent from long yardage. Keeping this in mind with head-to-head competition and limited practice time, here are some recommendations on why working on your 16-yard shooting will be time well spent.

  1. The 16-yard line is where most of us started to learn how to shoot trap. This is where we develop our shooting and work on the foundation of shotgun shooting: stance, gun mount, vision and movement.
  2. It is obvious that the 16-yard line — being the closest distance you will shoot from — that the hit probability goes up. Therefore, if you spend quality practice time from this distance working on the fundamentals of good trap shooting, you will see improvement quicker than if you were to spend time trying to learn a handicap yardage that is often times difficult even for experienced shooters. It is easier to concentrate on the fundamentals and work on creating a good pre-shot routine without the added stress of shooting from a yardage you are not comfortable with.
  3. For the winter league shooters, if your team is committed to getting better results from the 16-yard line, you will notice the strength in numbers right away. Five shooters improving their shooting by just two targets each will give you ten targets to the positive every week and make your team tougher to beat. It is easier to improve by just two targets from the 16-yard line than it is from handicap.
  4. As you work on your fundamentals (step 1) during quality practice sessions, you will become more comfortable and relaxed, thus giving you more confidence and allowing you to concentrate on your handicap.

Thank you for taking the time to read this short bit on shotgunning tips. Next time we will get into pre-shoot routines and how they will help improve your scores. If you have any questions or comments, email me at george44@centurytel.net.

Be Safe and Shoot Well
George Miletich, Jr.



George Miletich, Jr.
FVCTC Board of Directors