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If Only We Had a Magic Pill

I was in the office this week due to all the rain we have been having and spoke to several people about the plateaus they were on, as well as how to get beyond the score they were stuck on.

If only we had a magic pill for that question. This is something everyone will go through. You just have to persevere through it by practicing the correct way and doing the three-bullet drill and flashlight drill.

I’m finding out that people don’t really know how to practice; they just go and shoot targets and assume that it’s practice.

Well, how is that working for you?

You must make your practice the same as it is during a tournament. When we were competing, we would have a plan for each practice session, like hitting all the targets in the breakpoint or staying at the station until you hit five pairs in a row.

Back then most courses were 10 stations with five pairs at each station but now things are different. You usually only have to hit three or four pairs. But there is a great advantage if you can stay focused through five pairs with a plan for each shot.

Shoot the targets in different places so that you are confident you can hit the target anyway in its flight path, then the target setter can’t make you shoot a target in a place you don’t want to because you can hit it anywhere. Your confidence then grows.

A few days before the tournament, go and shoot an easy course, keeping score and shooting each pair with a plan. If the plan doesn’t work you can always change it, but don’t call “pull” until you know what the plan is and what the sight picture is.

Be very specific to the brain about what the picture is so it knows what you want. That is a really big deal to keep you relaxed and keep the voice of conscious doubt from getting into your thought process. It’s all about the process that keeps you focused.

Remember, you want to come off the tournament course saying “I didn’t miss a close shot” because you have to have all of those as X’s. And if you get half of the not-close targets, you have accomplished a good score.

Go and make your practice the best you can and it will reward you with a good score. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

Performance Anxiety