Back in 1995 I turned 18 years old and I had aspirations of conquering the world. First of all, I have always wanted a corvette, so I found one! You know, it was a status symbol people around the immediate area recognized success with. There was a 1976 Corvette sitting at a mechanics garage with a for sale sign on it. I must have driven past the car 100 times on the way to the local place to eat during the summer, Rudy’s. This car was a unique color being a brown and gold two-tone finish. One day, I had the courage to drive into the establishment and started to look around as if I was an expert car guy. The Paint was in great shape, the fiberglass was all solid, but the interior needed some long overdue loving.
After peaking through the windows, a burly guy came out and asked if he could help me. I said I was considering buying a corvette and I have seen this one sitting by the road so many times and wondered why it had not sold yet. He said that the interior needed to be replaced, but the engine was where the value was. It was a 350 bored out, cam, blah blah blah. I sat in the car and started it for the first time. It started quicker and more effortless than any other car I have ever placed a key in the ignition of. You could clearly tell there were a lot of ponies under the hood that wanted to get out to run. He said he dyno’d the car and it made over 400hp. I asked him how much he was asking and he said he just dropped the price down from $7500 to $5000 but he needed it gone. I told him he was a little strong on price and I would offer him $3500. He politely said no. I told him to take my number down and call me if he changed his mind.
A month went by and the phone rang at our house. My mom answered the phone and said some person wanted to talk to me. It was the owner of the Corvette. He said that if I got down there today with $3500 it was mine. I had to talk my dad into driving me down, but he reluctantly did. He got out and said it was the ugliest color combination he had ever seen. I told him, we could change all of that! I drove the car home and as I type this you can’t get the smile off my face. When we got home, I told my dad he should drive it, it had a ton of power. He said those cars do not make much power. I told him to stand back and watch. I dumped the clutch and pressed on the gas and after burning the tires in 3rd gear I let out of it. All I could see in the rearview mirror was my dad holding his head with his hand and shaking his head. I made a victory lap and said, that was cool huh?!
The next day I brought the car out of the garage to wash and wax the car. While washing the car I started to notice the minor imperfections of the paint here and there, definitely did not see this when I first looked at the car. With every motion of the soapy rag I found every single nuance in the paint and fiberglass. It was not perfect, but it was still amazing!
A few weeks ago I was training a student who is a Grand Master in multiple Steel Challenge divisions. On the surface they were a bit intimidating to watch from 7 feet away. As we started to document our string times, evaluate his match and stage management we started to see all of the slight imperfections. As I shared with him, we all have a Shooting Tendency and we needed to figure out what his was. It was important to spend the time and effort to look closely at his total shooting performance so we could identify these areas of opportunity and make them better.
The next time you are out at the range practicing, think about how you are practicing and critically look at your shooting performance to see where you have opportunities to improve. If you do not look at how you are shooting, it will be challenging for you to get better at the pace you would like. Sometimes you need to take a close look at things.
See you out on the range soon!