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Reflections and Realizations

We were in Dallas last weekend for the Dallas Safari Club Convention. As I drove the four hours with Gil working on something and all was quiet (hard to believe, I know) I started reflecting on the past year, all the books I have read, and how to better help our students.

I came to some realizations that we have learned about how to help our students become better shooters and performers.

One of the books I read was “How Champions Think” by Bob Rotella:

“Great performers share a way of thinking, a set of attitudes and attributes like optimism, confidence, persistence and having a strong will. They all want to push themselves to see how great they can become.

I’m talking about a desire so fierce that it changes a person’s life. Exceptional people begin with just ambitions. A champion’s thoughts are different from the thoughts of most people. They have confirmed my belief that the ideas people choose to have about themselves largely determine the quality of the lives they lead.

We can choose to believe in ourselves, and thus to strive, to risk, to persevere and to achieve. Or we can choose to cling to security and mediocrity.

We can choose dreams. We can use those dreams to fuel our spirits with passion. Or we can become philosophers of the worst kind, inventing ways to rationalize our failures, inventing excuses for mediocrity. We can fall in love with our own abilities and our own potential, then choose to maximize those abilities. Or we can decide that we have no special talents or abilities and try to be happy being safe and comfortable.

They choose to believe that because of where they were born or who their parents are, they don’t have a fair chance in life. They’re choosing to believe that the competition is just too tough. They’re choosing to believe in someone else’s talent more than their own. They’re choosing to be mediocre.

I have no trouble with someone who strives to be the best and finishes in the middle of the pack. There’s honor in that. I don’t see that person as a failure.

To the contrary, he will come to the end of his days with a smile on his face, because he spent the time and talent God gave him having a ball, finding out how good he could be.”

These words are so powerful. If we can just remember to always do our best in everything we do, we always will be a winner.

Champions are always looking for the challenge, how to improve their game, and not worry about the outcome. As long as you stay with the process and do not concentrate on the outcome during the course, you will be able to stay focused and finish.

I have been saying this a lot in the last month to our shooters as they prepare for the New Year. Also, remember this is a game. When it’s not fun anymore, you need to do something else.

Enjoy the challenge, and remember every success comes from a failure. Fail, fail again, and fail better.

We’re off to Florida to teach and maybe even get to shoot a little…wouldn’t that be a novel thing?

Hope everyone had a great holiday and here’s to a great NEW YEAR!

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