If you were starting again,,,,,,

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What would you do?
I read all of the sporting result posts and it appears that there are many very handy shooters on this site. Of course, we also have true world class shooters sharing their views.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently, what would you do to advance quickly. What comes first, what in hindsight did you waste time on?
I'm sure there'll be many similarities but would be interesting to see peoples thoughts.
Not a lot really. Perhaps I should have found a coach I bonded with a little earlier. I made the common mistake of following the well intentioned advice of competitors at the local club rather than seeking out a professional. The mish-mash of styles and techniques took some undoing.

That said, I think my shooting’s been about as successful as I hoped it would be given time, money and other commitments.
Martinj Absolutely correct! Exactly like King George says!
so I see, he'll be pleased to know that I agree with him ;)

I did have a lesson once, that someone paid for as a birthday present, I'm sure some more would do me some good, I had no cash to spend on that kind of thing in the early days.

As Richard mentioned above, not taking an extended break (for 18 years) while my kids were growing up might have been an advantage but TBH I did a lot of shooting between the ages of 16 and 30, doing more and more as time passed and I was pretty well burned out, I didn't miss it at all until my older son became interested and then it was like opening the flood gates, although I had lost a large part of the skills that I had built up.
I think regret doesn't serve anyone well after the facts, which is when it usually arrives. That said, if I had to do it again, I:
- would not have spent hard earned Euros on external chokes before finding out internal ones worked out better (for reasons of barrel length to me)
- would still have bought the same (2) guns;
- would have taken more lessons early on from a someone worth their salt and ignored most of the friendly advice from the saltless;
- would have taken better note of what doesn't work and actual notes on same;
- would have taken better note of why things work (when they do) and actual notes on same;
- would have developed an actual shot routine (much) sooner and made a point of sticking to it on every shot;
- would have spent more time shooting drills for skills than just rounds for "points";
- would have competed in more matches.

Luckily enough I still have some time to enjoy my shooting after figuring out all the above :)
Just though of another:
- I would not have bought as many vests, but gone straight for one "to measure / specifically sized" vest for dry conditions and a jacket-type vest for wet.

Don't ask me how many I have. While it's good to give one away to a starter on occasion, I still have several just hanging on the coat rack and just the above in my bag.
Taking some lessons earlier. I could have saved a lot of cartridges at the beginning.
Avoid shooting too much Trap with a pre mounted gun as it made me slow with the gun down
and took a while having a good mount with the gun down. Should have done more skeet
as it is a good training for your gun mount and moving to the target.
Same as has been said above. Get some decent coaching to get the basics sorted. Eye dominance, stance, gun fit etc. etc.

I spent months and months slinging shot downrange with not really any idea what\why i was missing. Few coaching sessions, the first one spotted I was cross dominant, worked on that and scores started to come up!
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Not too much for me. I was fortunate to be spotted as it were by a top Shot of the time. Unfortunately I didn't really have the resources of others to make the most of it. Wealthy parents or lots of disposable ££s definitely help in getting to the top. Instead I went to do something where the playing field was a bit more level and didn't clay shoot for several years. Looking back I probably should have done some shooting to keep my eye in and take advantage of the advice on offer at the time.

Still, when I came back I've won a few shoots and a number county champs and enjoy it. So content on the whole.
This is a great question! I don't have time to respond right now but I will asap.
Come on Pete, I'm waiting for your response :)

Most people stating good coaching, which I completely understand. Same as getting the right gun.
I'm surprised not more comments on what to practice and ways/drills etc.
SBL. You have kind of answered the question and so have others, good coaching. There are some good coaches here in the US, but unfortunately some that are not and of course, it's the same in the UK. I believe a good coach should give a money back guarantee on results. If you are repeatedly missing a target, doesn't matter if its an eye dominance problem, gun mounting problem or (the most common one), how much lead compound or otherwise the target needs, the coach should have the answer. The good ones survive and thrive because they do.
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I started at the age of 12, rough shooting and stayed that way until I was in my late twenties then found skeet...............game changer, buy an o/u, Laurona which I thought was the bees knees and slowly worked my way up, running a clay club then the competition world to the point that I was in the North of England Sporting Team but didn't quite make the England team. I would not change anything but wished I had more money in order to shoot more comps and gain far more experience earlier. It's funny, the old saying of 'what goes around, comes around' because now at 72 (almost) the pension does not cover shooting comps but I do along with my shooting partner have over 10,000 acres of rough shooting for both shotgun and rifle as well as fishing so I am happy to have those.

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