Have you ever wondered how to get a kid to stop flinching?
For years the coaches and I have worked with kids of all shapes and sizes but found one common thing that we could not break some of them of and that was flinching just before the shot. As an avid pistol shooter I remembered back to some of my earlier training when my instructor would send me home with snap caps and tell me to practice. I took the advice and spent 15-20 minutes a day just squeezing the trigger until it broke. After many repetitions it finally taught me when the trigger breaks so that I do not have to try to anticipate the gun going off. I searched around and picked up a few 12 gauge snap caps for the athletes on our team that were having a hard time reacting to the recoil. After showing the athlete how to properly use the snap caps I sent them home with instructions to practice squeezing the trigger.
The coaches and I were amazed at how well these worked. We continued to have the athletes work with snap caps during week in between shoots but the progress was amazing. Generally when an athlete squeezes the trigger they have no idea what the trigger break feels like. Things happen so fast that the athlete just starts to associate a loud noise and a blunt force with each shot. Once we got them to understand the importance of knowing when the trigger breaks the flinch was gone.
Flinching comes from shooters being unaware of when the noise and impact will arrive. Recoil is a natural part of shooting but should not be compensated for by moving your head, shoulder, or arm. Flinching can cause a last second jolt that will cause the shooter to miss the intended target. Generally athletes will flinch if they are sore, tender, or unaware of the recoil their shotgun will make.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a few sets of snap caps in both 20 and 12 gauge. Hand them out to your athletes with instructions to pull the trigger in a safe place 20-30 times a day. I assure you will see the results immediately as these kids figure out what the trigger break is.