It’s Not What You See That Makes You Good!
The biggest mistake we see other athletes and coaches make is they think it’s what they see that makes them good.
As chunking occurs, the brain learns what to ignore. This allows them to see more clearly. A shooter’s ability to see and perform at higher and higher levels has more to do with what they have trained their brain to not see through repetition than what they are trying to see.
Each performer must build their own anticipation circuit through conscious repetition. They must train the brain what they want it to see. What shooters see is an evolution. It is first based on the quality of their practice and how well they predict what they are about to do in the next shot through detailed visualization.
A successful shot without a detailed prediction occurs in our short-term memory. A successful shot with a detailed prediction of the movie of the shot coming together in the way the shooter wants it to, followed by a successful shot the way the shooter committed to before calling “pull” is immediately stored in our long-term memory, which is where all our skill resides.
Learning from Experience
A person’s ability to perform at higher and higher levels, whether they are shooting or coaching, has more to do with their experiences shooting or coaching than what they see when they are performing. A shooter must be 100 percent downrange with the targets and a coach must be secondarily aware of the targets but primarily aware of the shooter.
While you might be able to learn how to hit a particular target from a shooter by seeing what they perceive they think they are seeing, it most likely will be short-lived unless you have shot as much as that shooter has shot.
Remember, skill is the ability of the brain to anticipate ahead of where you are. And in order for you to perform consistently and successfully, you must have repeated the skill hundreds if not thousands of times with a prediction before calling “pull.”
An Experienced Coach
Coaching, in the same way, has little to do with the coach’s ability to shoot and more to do with their ability to coach based on thousands of hours of experience. When the coach cannot just coach the target but can also hit it with the student’s gun, well, you might just have stumbled upon someone you might want to spend some time with.
When you have seen thousands of shooters’ brains come to you confused and, through your experiences have been able to deeply diagnose the fundamental problem that caused the apparent problem in a short time, you then become more than just a shot caller. “Behind it. Give it more. High, get your head down. Slow the muzzle speed down” and so on.
When you know through experience the different ways shooters of different ages and body types and score plateaus need to learn, and in some instances, relearn things, it helps immensely with the speed correctness of your diagnosis.
Skill comes from experience and making mistakes and learning from them. Being skillful as a shooter comes from the library of data in the database about shooting. And skill as a coach comes from the library of data in the brain about coaching.