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The Jitters: Coaching Hour September 2015

The jitters are something you just have to go through.

Most are caused by wanting to control what others think about you. But you can’t control that, so don’t even go there.

But you are going there anyway…

Jitters are a normal part of learning how to perform. They are all grounded in fear. “How will I shoot today?” Hope just starts the jitters. Expectations make them worse. And they all take you out of the present.

On the Coaching Hour, Max talked about observing shooters at a tournament. And man, was that revealing.

In fact, Dean went and pulled. Here’s what he witnessed:

Typical First Station Jitters

Shoot bad. Expectation gone. Shoot good for you.

Mid-Station Jitters

Shoot great on the first third of the course. You are not used to being there, so you add up the score. And poof, you are not
around to shoot the targets because you are already in the clubhouse with the trophy.

You begin to shoot not to miss. The result is not good, or at least not desirable.

Last Station Jitters

You shoot bad. You’ve screwed it up enough, so you finally put it together for the first few stations. Then you screw it up, but you finally get to the midpoint and keep it together.

But then you are down six going into the last three stations. Like a dummy, you protect your lead again and suffer the same fate.

Don’t Listen to the Shoulder Angel

But eventually, you say to yourself, “Self, what you are doing doesn’t work. So the next time we fight our way to the final stations only down a couple, we are not going to get careful and listen to the shoulder angel. That angel has a calculator and is telling us the possible score.”

“We are going to accept the fact that the score will be what it is. Right now we gotta go into the box, shoot that one there and the other one there, and let the score take care of itself.”

Eventually, you close on a good score. Then you have to do it enough on the first day of a two-day shoot and screw it up on the second day to finally close on the second day. By the time you do it on the second day enough, you’re finally able to get past your demons and do it on the third day.

The first time is the hardest…

Facing Your Fears

It’s normal. You need to learn where to go inside yourself to summon up the courage to push through your fears… and it is all fear in one form or another.

Remember, the fear is usually about what others might think about you and your performance. You can’t control that. Stop trying.

It’s all about fear and its many facets. It’s about how it gets into the game and what it causes us to do to ourselves for no reason.

The bottom line is that fear puts the gun and the target in line with each other.

Looking at the Muzzle

Fear makes you look at the muzzle in the setup like a snake charmer looks at the eyes of the cobra. You look at the bead on the rib. You haven’t figured that out yet, but it does happen. And you look at it like it’s a cobra, too!

I don’t know when was the last time I looked at the end of the gun. But that’s just me. I’m sure that beginners must go through muzzle awareness of some sort to train the circuits.

But how long does that take?

Practice Every Day