Watch Others Like a Hawk!

I was in a gym in northern California recently and used the phrase, "Watch your partner like a hawk!" for the first time. I then looked up on the far wall and saw that the mascot for the team whose gym this was is the Hawk! I had to laugh.

What I was trying to convey is that observation of others can be a big part of your learning process. Birds of prey like hawks and eagles have incredible vision. They have to in order to spot prey like rabbits and mice from hundreds of feet away. My words were meant to tell the kids that seeing others is more than just entertainment. It can have a big impact on your learning.

We have a saying in our culture that says, "When you can see something in somebody else, you 'own' it!" That means that what you see in others becomes part of your potential, either right away or with some practice. If you can see that another shooter is hesitating before she or he shoots, and thus shooting flat and hot, then you can better see and feel your OWN hesitation (or non-hesitation) when you go to shoot. You'll have a better idea of what you're looking for. If you know that you want to shoot quickly without hesitation, examples of either hesitation or non-hesitation are teaching you about what you want for yourself.

Of course, your own experience of hesitation or not is the real teacher, but seeing others kind of primes the pump, helps you clarify the experience for when you perform the motion.

The point is, pay attention to others, as well as yourself. You can learn a lot from what you see in other players.

Tom Nordland is a shooting expert and coach from California via Minnesota. His videos, coaching and writings are inspiring a Renaissance (a rebirth, a revival) in shooting around the world as players and coaches are taught the things that really matter in shooting. A great shooter as a youth, Tom was given a gift of seeing shooting like few have ever seen it. He sees the “essence” of great shooting and how to get there. The good news is that it’s very simple. The few great shooters of today and yesterday mastered simple things, not complicated motions. Improved shooting is now possible for everybody in the game, and mastery is available to those who sincerely dedicate themselves to it. Visit Tom’s website ( to read of his background and his articles and newsletters, and to view the remarkable endorsements and amazing testimonials for this approach to shooting.

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