90% of the Game is Mental – We’ve covered a lot of different topics in our emails. I never know what will get people inspired or answer unasked questions. For this week, I want to take a little break and offer some of my own advice. Do not underestimate the mental game in shooting. It is a delicate balance between proven confidence and thinking you’re better than you are. I’ve shared with you information regarding stress and shooting and how it can affect your skills. This is where your mental stamina needs to be exercised as well as your physical muscle memory. I can say through personal experience my skills have suffered greatly under pressure.
How do we increase our mental strength? Not sure if it helps, but I guess you could imagine the target naked. But seriously, visualizing the target coming at you or imagining yourself in an emergency situation can help. When testing my skills, I make sure I understand what I’m being asked to do. I repeat the instructions if I am unsure. Then, I perform the skill at a comfortable speed. Finally, I imagine myself in a life or death situation. If this was the “real deal” what would I be doing? Can I see my target, can I hear further instructions, do I see the people around me, did the shot go where I want it, can I see if I missed, am I functioning on autopilot? These are all questions I try to think of, while shooting as accurately and fast as I can. At the same time take a breath and understand that it is all “play” in friendly competition. That should help to take the edge off. See what I mean by a delicate balance?
It’s a lot to think about. In a few weeks, many of you will be thinking about this as you enter the range on a Thursday.