The Id… The Foster Reflex

It has been an interesting experience these past two weeks, there are babies on the “farm”.  As some of you may have heard over the past couple of years, my wife and I made a decision to move to the country to have property to have a shooting range.  What I did not expect was my wife to want to satisfy her youth fantasy of having a goat farm.  Admittedly, I did not get it for a while.. until the last couple of weeks.  A year and a half ago I took my wife to buy her first two Nigerian Dwarfs – blue-eyed with a great pedigree.  As the goats settled in as young kids, my wife had plans to breed the goats to have babies and she would sell some to offset costs.  As of three weeks ago, we had a total of ten goats without selling a single one.  I talked to my wife and she said our first two goats were pregnant and she would sell some to offset costs.  I skeptically raised an eye-brow and went back to a project I was working on.

As with many of you reading this, 2020 has been filled with fun and excitement.  My mother-in-law was at and end of life situation and my wife went to spend the last couple weeks with her in North Carolina, which I strongly supported.  Reality quickly set in there were two pregnant goats on the farm and the last time we had our own child I woke up with nurses looking at me.  That’s a story for another time.  Where I am going, I am the least prepared person to deliver babies and to care for them.  The one thing that went well is both goats waited until the week my wife came back to have their babies.  The first goat, Bonnie, had three healthy babies; two girls and one boy. 

Watching the baby goats and the new mom interact was magical.  The babies knew right what to do. They knew where to go to eat.  They made noises to indicate to the mom they were hungry and she would walk right over to feed them.  This made me reflect on my high school psychology classes thinking about Freud’s Id, Ego, and SuperEgo.  As I remember it, the Id is the part of our personality from birth.  It is the unconscious pleasure principle looking for immediate gratification of needs and wants.  If we don’t get them, it can turn into tension or anxiety.

In the last two years I have been fortunate to work with shooting students from all over the country.  One of the promises I make to each and every one of them is we will find out what their Shooting Tendency is, and put a plan in place to mitigate it.   What I have found is the majority of people have an issue with their Id.  How many times have you seen a shooter shoot a string of 1.55 on Smoke and Hope and they try to shoot the same exact time and they end up shooting a 1.50 or a 2.20 because they had a couple of misses?  If you ask them, 95% of the time, they will say they were going slower or the same speed.  Remember, the Id is the unconscious mind so we do not consciously tell ourselves to speed up, but we do it anyway.  For the purpose of this discussion, I am going to call this concept the Foster Reflex.

In the past I have addressed part of this discussion with the insatiable need to go faster.  This remains true, but this is the conscious coefficient of the shooting equation.  The Foster Reflex is the unconscious coefficient.  I have not met a shooter on the range who was not competitive and wanted to score well, this is the desire part of the Id.  Because this is unconscious, we need to now focus on conscious strategies to mitigate our unconscious. 

What strategy do we employ to help this?  Read the The Edge and the Targeted Edge Dial articles.  Going to the range is much more than producing empty cases.

See you out on the range soon!


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