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Thread: Pistol shooting — talent vs technique

  1. #11
    Site Supporter Clobbersaurus's Avatar
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    My brother always said (about his work): You may be smarter and more talented than me, but you’re not going to outwork me.

    That always stuck with me. I see it all the time in all areas of my life. You get back what you put in. Quite often the talented ones don’t want to put in the work, and that’s where I’ll beat them.
    "Next time somebody says USPSA or IPSC is all hosing, junk punch them." - Les Pepperoni
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  2. #12
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    While I know it’s not a popular opinion among conservative crowds, my experience and the reading I’ve done on the subject is the exact opposite.

    Yes, anyone can see improvement with the right practice, and some can improve quite a lot with quite a lot of dedication, but those at the top begin with a natural gift and *also* put in the time. Also, those with the gift are more likely to attribute their success to “all the hard work”. because who wants to just say “yeah, I’m just naturally good at this”?

    Also, humans do what feels good (or sometimes, least bad), and doing things you’re good at feels good. So if you take two humans, have them both perform an action, the one that naturally does well is the one that is more likely to keep pursuing it and putting in the time. This gives the impression that it’s the time out in that makes the difference, when in fact it all start apps with the natural ability.

    There are anomalies (Rick Thorn, BMX freestyle rider is an example), but really the exceptions prove the rule.

  3. #13
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    I think it's important to note that being good at something and being "at the top" aren't the same thing. In his original post, @GJM wasn't talking about the best shooters but good ones (though I may be inferring incorrectly what he meant). I think that @Rapid Butterfly is spot on with her "Talent x work = results" equation. If you have a modicum of talent but put in the work you can get pretty damned good at something, but someone with a lot of talent and the same work ethic will be better, and the difference won't be infinitesimal.

  4. #14
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck38 View Post
    I think it's important to note that being good at something and being "at the top" aren't the same thing. In his original post, @GJM wasn't talking about the best shooters but good ones (though I may be inferring incorrectly what he meant). I think that @Rapid Butterfly is spot on with her "Talent x work = results" equation. If you have a modicum of talent but put in the work you can get pretty damned good at something, but someone with a lot of talent and the same work ethic will be better, and the difference won't be infinitesimal.
    That's what I think. Sure, almost anyone can get good by putting in the work. This isn't pole vaulting. Truly great? There's a fair bit of natural gifts that fall into the realm of athleticism and vision I think. And in many cases, size. Seems to me an awful lot of top hands over the years have been a good bit larger than average males. Sevigny, Leatham, Ben, Vogel come to mind. Ever seen the video of Vogel and a SHOT walking a handstand down the length of a fookin' long lobby? @GJM himself has some out of ordinary physical characteristics being long and lean with big hands.

    My Uncle Johnny a short statured sports fanatic who played competitive amateur league sports late into adulthood had an expression. "A good big man will beat a good little man every day."

    I take shooting with my elder son as another example. Whether we're talking our lifetimes of shooting and dry fire or just the last X number of months during which my volume of work dwarfs his - he consistently burns me to the ground. And has for some years now.

    I'm 5'10" of relatively small build and while in good shape, was always a C+ B- athlete even when training daily in track til I puked. He's 5'8" about 190 with a grip like a gorilla. He swings, presses and get-ups Kbs in the ~80-100 lb range for reps. Always was a top athlete in his scholastic sporting days in coordination tasks as well as power. With a fraction of the practice he burns me to the dang ground.
    To me, that's a clue.
    Last edited by JHC; 01-17-2020 at 06:08 AM.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck38 View Post
    I think it's important to note that being good at something and being "at the top" aren't the same thing. In his original post, @GJM wasn't talking about the best shooters but good ones (though I may be inferring incorrectly what he meant). I think that @Rapid Butterfly is spot on with her "Talent x work = results" equation. If you have a modicum of talent but put in the work you can get pretty damned good at something, but someone with a lot of talent and the same work ethic will be better, and the difference won't be infinitesimal.
    Correct, I am talking about being a good to very good shooter, not the very top, which of course requires special talent (and all the hard work, given how skills intensive shooting is).
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  6. #16
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    Correct, I am talking about being a good to very good shooter, not the very top, which of course requires special talent (and all the hard work, given how skills intensive shooting is).
    I'm tracking.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    A red dot makes up for a lot in the vision area.
    Amen to that. I'm among those who have seen the light, being nearly unable to see the sights!

  8. #18
    Some people are good at things.

    I've done a lot of shooting, training and competition. Won a lot of matches, smoked a lot instructors at their own drills. Never worked hard to get better, it's always been easy.

    I've lived in a boxing ring six days a week, worked til I puked and was beat bloody, black, and blue. Never was real good at it.

    I could play a trumpet the first time I picked it up, play a couple times a year, have gone a decade without even thinking about it. A week of practice to build back my embouchure, I can solo at church and blow everyone away.

    I've played guitar for 22 years and still suck after intense work.

    I can fly acrobatic and ag airplanes effortlessly. Could from the get-go. Never did practice and won't fly if I'm not getting paid or laid.

    I have a hard time with languages. I've lived with Spanish all my life and still babble and stutter through conversations.



    I could go on and on. People have things that they're good at and tend to stick with 'em since it's easy and fun to excel.
    Last edited by M2CattleCo; 01-20-2020 at 01:55 PM.

  9. #19
    I think the most important part of being good at shooting, is one's ability to take a beating. I am currently embarking on the path of not sucking at guns, despite the fact that I have been shooting for nearly half my life.

    I bought a shot timer. That was a great way to spend a hundred bucks to punch myself in the ****. Tomorrow, I'm going to go to the range, and use it again to punch myself in the ****. I'm going to keep pushing speed, blowing my pretty little groups into shotgun patterns of ****-punching, until it doesn't hurt anymore. And it's gonna hurt for a while. I'm gonna look really fucking stupid, and spray a lot of money downrange. People are gonna think I went blind and contracted a finger palsy.

    But it's gonna be worth it, because I'm going to suck slightly less each time. And I'm gonna wreck all the losers that can't take losing.

  10. #20
    Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    My wife and I were recently discussing this subject. While athleticism and good eyesight obviously help, after observing many shooters and trying to understand why the good shooters are good, our conclusion is that good technique and hard work seem to be the most important factors in explaining how the good shooters became good shooters. In other words, who wants it bad enough, has the ability to learn, and then is willing to put in the work.
    I think that's pretty well established and "prodigies" are just people who got their 10k-ish hours in at a young age. Obviously if you're 6'3' you're never going to be a world class jockey, but aside from that sort of thing it's just dedicated and meaningful practice. Which is why I will never be world class at anything. I simply don't care enough.
    L'otters are not afraid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

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