Shooting Mistakes Why You’re Not Getting Better at Shooting

Chris Sajnog explains why your shooting isn't improving.

Hi, I’m retired Navy SEAL Chris Sajnog author of Navy SEAL Shooting, and one of the top 20 most frequently asked questions I get is, why am I not getting better at shooting? Here are the 5 shooting mistakes why you’re not getting better at shooting.

Not Planning

Number one on the list of reasons why you might not be getting better at shooting is simply not planning. We have a saying in the SEAL teams that failure to plan is planning to fail. And I do not want you to fail. 

So just think about what you need to work on and plan it out ahead of time. Then execute your plan each and every time you do your training. 

Not practicing The Right Skills

Alright, number two on the list is not practicing the right skills at different times in our training. We all have different things we need to work on. I call them the crux of what you need to work on. These are the weakest link in our chain

You need to figure out what that is and actually break each one of those down and work on that skill. So it might be grip strength, it might be your eyesight, but just going to the range and shooting is not going to make you better. So think about exactly what you need to practice. Put it on your training plan, and you’re going to get better a lot faster. 

Chris Sajnog teaches to practice the right skills for shooting

Not Practicing The Right Way

Alright, number three of these shooting mistakes is not practicing the right way. If you’re just going to the range and shooting, every time you make a mistake, you are reinforcing those errors. That’s why I recommend and I teach people to learn how to shoot at home

Then you go to the range and you execute those skills. But if you’re practicing at the range, you’re practicing the wrong way. It’s not going to make you better. In fact, a lot of times it’s going to make you worse

Negative Thoughts

Number four on the list is simply not changing the negative thoughts or beliefs you have. I always get emails and messages from people saying, “Chris, I always flinch, I always anticipate, I always shoot low and to the left.” Whatever it is, you’re telling yourself what you’re going to do. You’re reinforcing these bad shooting skills

You can improve by simply changing your thoughts. Change the story that you say to yourself, and change the beliefs that you have. Doing that will help make you shoot better


You Are Getting Better

Alright, number five on the list is simply not noticing that you actually are getting better. When you’re shooting we have something that’s called diminishing returns. So as you start learning, you’re going to get a lot better really fast

You’ll be able to see that so say you’re at the range. After that, every time you get better, that margin that you’re getting better, is getting smaller and smaller

So you’re not gonna see these big returns on your training investment, but they are happening and you just need to acknowledge them and notice them. 

Alright, that is it for today’s FAQ about shooting mistakes. Use these five points to help improve your shooting. Please check out my other 19 five and under-five FAQ videos to continue paving your path to perfection. 

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Retired Navy SEAL Dr. Chris Sajnog, a Master Training Specialist in the Navy, was hand-selected to write the US Navy SEAL Sniper Manual. After retiring from the Navy in 2009, he earned a master’s (MSc) in Health and Human Performace and a doctorate (D.Sc.) in Applied Educational Neuroscience.

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