Anthony Matarese Jr. is a world-class clays shooter. Hailing from Pennsville, New Jersey, where he and his family own and operate M and M Hunting & Sporting Clays, the multi-award winning champion put out a book on the art of shooting sporting clays last year. I had an opportunity to spend some time with Matarese’s book, “Straight Shooting,” and if you’re into improving your clays game, it just might be for you.
The book is a handsome 320-page case-wrapped hardcover, full color, text that’s 8 x 10” in size. The book has the look and feel of a scholastic textbook, but reads easily and is very conversational in the narrative. The book was brought to light with the help of Kerry Luft, “an award-winning editor and writer who has worked with Anthony I. Matarese Jr. for more than a decade. He is a certified shooting instructor and a master class competitor in sporting clays.” The foreword was written by “world champion” Cory Kruse.
When I first cracked the spine of “Straight Shooting,” I was not sure what to expect. The book is an absolute kitchen sink to the world of sporting clays. Matarese completely dissects the sport down to the molecular level, and given his grasp of the topic, one could figure he’s forgotten more about the sport than most have ever learned. Considering Matarese’s exceptional record as a competitor, his vantage point is paramount.
Anthony I. Matarese Jr. is the first American to win the World English Sporting Clays Championship and the first person to win the sport’s four biggest tournaments: the World English, the World FITASC, the National Championship, and the US Open. He is the youngest inductee to the National Sporting Clays Association’s Hall of Fame.
Matarese is also one of the world’s leading shooting coaches and instructors, and with his family runs M&M Hunting and Sporting Clays, one of the world’s premier shooting destinations.
Things that you’ll tackle while going through the pages of “Straight Shooting” include; equipment needed, the names of different target presentations, etiquette, strategy and planning a shot, different types of lead to use when swinging on a target, types of mounts, the many different sports that are out there, and much much more.
The book has several sections that are broken up into 50 easy-to-read and digest chapters. When needed, appropriate sidebars are presented within the text in the same manner one would expect to see in a magazine or textbook. The images are high quality and add a pictorial to concepts that are presented within. Sections of the book are as follows:
- What you need
- The basics
- Basic target tactics
- Using the eyes
- Getting better
- Advanced targets and tactics
- To the top
- Other stuff
Since the material is easy to take in, going back to review different chapters that you want to brush up on would not be onerous. Have a problem with a certain type of target while at the course? When you get back home, review the section or sections on that presentation.
Matarese takes a lot of his mentality as a champion and puts it into the work. When discussing being a winner, he wrote, “The people at the top of their game got there because they have a certain degree of aptitude, but more important, they got there because of their dedication and hard work.” That dedication and hard work are referenced when bringing up the concept that people should never give up:
“If you give 100 percent effort, you shouldn’t feel disappointed – you can’t do any more than that. But if you didn’t give it everything you could, then I have a big problem with that as a coach. You can’t very well ask for help if you’re not giving 100 percent every time.” – Anthony I. Matarese Jr. on competing
I enjoyed taking the time to read “Straight Shooting.” Is this book for everyone? Maybe not. The depth that the text goes into would serve the casual shooter, but I feel it would best suit someone looking to improve their game and or get into competing. I do feel like I may have picked up a few birds since reviewing the material in the book, so that’s a big win for me personally.
Pluses: Easy to read. Handsome design. Great images.
Minuses: The book is a little expensive clocking in at $89.95.
Matarese absolutely put together a tome of knowledge that I think will stand the test of time. I think that there would be potential for wider reach if the text was offered in paperback and or ebook via Kindle or Nook, but that’s just my opinion. I also think that there’s plenty of room for Matarese to springboard off this book and assemble a clays 101 digest version that shotgun instructors could provide their students, and or would be available for those who want to casually creep into the world of sporting clays. I could see first-time sporting clays shooters getting into a smaller more pocket-friendly version.
The bottom line is, would I buy this book? Yes and no. I’d buy this book for someone in my circle as a gift if they indicated an interest in clay sports. If I were personally seeking to up my game and get competitive, I would buy this book. Granted, I can afford to improve, but I just may have to take a training session from Matarese, and having this book under my belt would be a great frame of reference. In the world of clay shooting, Matarese dusted this one, and sure did deliver on bringing a powerful guide for everyone to tap into.