Head on the Stock

How many times have you coached your athlete, explained the fundamentals and yet they are still missing the target somehow?  For me it took dozens of athletes before I realized they were doing everything I had asked, but at the time they squeezed the trigger they were taking their cheek off of the stock!  Over the years I have heard how important having a good “cheek weld” was but I was now experiencing it first hand.  From start to finish the athlete did everything I asked and the BOOM looked up and took their cheek off the stock and MISS!!


This was certainly frustrating and had me scratching my head as to how I was going to correct this behavior.  I started with snap caps and by having the athlete stand in front of the mirror practicing simulating a shot.  I was able to show the shooter that by picking his head up to early it actually pulled the shotgun up as well causing him to miss the target.  I explained that target shooting is much like golf and that you have to keep your head down through the entire shot.  After some practice he was successfully keeping his cheek on the stock and crushing targets.  While this style may have worked for him, it may not work for all athletes.

For beginners I recommend the dollar bill trick.  I actually use a $20 bill but the point is the same.  The way this works is you place a $20 bill on the stock and have the shooter secure their cheek to the stock.  Have the shooter shoot a round and if he/she can complete the round without pulling their head off the stock and dropping the $20 bill then the reward is they get to keep it.  No matter what technique you use the point is to always make sure your athletes are keeping their head on the gun at all times!

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