When ever the buzzer goes off my adrenaline is pumping pretty good and I seem to have trigger slap at times. Is there anything I can practice to help eliminate the occasional whack?
Great question. I run into a similar issue and here's my take.
You're actually looking at two things you want to address. The first is the slapping of the trigger. The second is the adrenaline. To address both requires more practice.
Regarding the trigger slapping, you want to increase the amount of your dry firing to help. Nearly all the top shooters dry fire religiously and you will probably tell you can't do it enough. Bruce Gray at GrayGuns is fanatical about dry firing and has put together an info packet on the subject which me makes available to his students. One of the fundamentals he drills is prepping the trigger. The more you practice prepping the trigger the more you will become accustomed to working the trigger without slapping it.
However, it is important to note that world-class shooters, like Todd Jarrett and Robbie Leatham, will come all the way off the trigger when shooting. Of course they have been working on their shooting not for thousands of rounds, but for hundreds of thousands of rounds. Todd has actually shot in excess of 2 million rounds. They can slap the trigger because they have perfected this technique, as well as their overall grip which allows them to manipulate the trigger in this fashion. I wouldn't advise going down this path unless you plan to really invest the time and money.
What you really need to address is the adrenaline spike. The trigger slap is the effect and the adrenaline is the cause. Eliminate the cause and you will dramatically reduce, and hopefully eliminate, the effect. Again, this is where practice is so important.
Practice, practice and practice is where you will learn to control your adrenaline. Kim Rhode, who has won 4 Olympic medals, 3 in Trap and 1 in Skeet, shoots 1,000 targets a day. When she was younger, her father would try to distract her by dangling keys next to her ears when shooting. She has very effectively eliminated the tendency to lose focus, and thus control her ability to enter 'the zone' when shooting. It is actually quite amazing to watch as she goes from chatting with you to turning around and focusing like a laser beam on hitting her target and doing just that.
It is only through practice that you'll be able to reduce the impact of the adrenaline in your system. If you have an iPhone, you might want to take a look at a new app called Dry Fire Trainer. Announcement of the app appeared in today's Shooting Wire and while I do not know much beyond what appears in the press release, it does look like an interesting training tool.
Matt Burkett also offers his Dryfire Training Files which you can find online here.
If you happen to shoot a Glock 17, I'd recommend you take a look at a new product that was introduced at SHOT Show called SIRT Training Pistol. SIRT stands for Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger. Mike Hughes, a Grand Master in USPSA Production, came up with the concept and design. It has a lot of promise as a training aid and can help you see, though the integral lasers, when you are slapping the trigger and pulling your shots.
I hope this helps. - ERHARDT
Wow.... great post! G34 BTW.
Thanks for your help! :)
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