Over and Over, Again

“Amateurs practice till they get it right; professionals practice till they can’t get it wrong.”

I heard that somewhere along the line. Yesterday, was one of those days where practice was focused on specific targets and not getting it wrong. As such, I spent quite a long time shooting a bear. Shooting one 3D target for hours, gradually increasing the distance out to 55 yards takes some patience.

Before shots where taken at 55 yards, there had been plenty at 35, 40, 45 and even more at 50 yards. Ideally, getting it right would mean that all my shots hit in the small center ring where I had been aiming.

River taking a measure of my 40 yard results. A coyote waits in the background.

That wasn’t so hard at 35 and 40 yards. Beyond that distance, it got tougher. Actually, it never happened at 45, 50 or 55 yards. Nevertheless, it was a good practice and one I’ll repeat, over and over again.

It takes patience to shoot 55 yards, over and over again. Shoot 4 arrows, pull, repeat

The quote, well I did look it up. The best I could find is that George W. Loomis gets credit for the original version. He said it in a talk where he discussed the best way to teach students to spell. (1,2)

“It must be admitted that spelling is not taught successfully; indeed, the difficulty lies in the fact that it is seldom taught at all. Spelling lessons are assigned, studied, recited, but not taught. Much of the time spent in hearing children recite—guess till they get it right—should be spent in a definite teaching process, until they can not get it wrong.”

River spends some time working over a stick, she never gets it wrong.


1.) http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/08/29/get-it-right/

2.) 1902 March 20, Michigan School Moderator (The Moderator), Editor Henry R. Pattengill, Volume 22, Spelling, (Footnote describes article: A talk to the critic teachers of the Central State Normal Training School by George W. Loomis, Superintendent), Quote Page 432, Column 1, Lansing, Michigan. (Google Books full view) link