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“Positive Sound-alikes” and Consistency

In our travels doing clinics, and in our Skype or Zoom consultations with new shooters, we often hear these phrases:

“I don’t see the barrel. I just focus hard on the target.”
“When I see the front of the target, that’s when I send the shot.”
“When I see the target slow down, I send the shot.”
Or “Apply more conscious focus on the front of the target!”

When we delve deeper into the perceptions of shooters who say these things and begin to talk about the sight pictures and reading targets with different lighting conditions or backgrounds, we begin to understand that they’re trying to not see the barrel by seeing only the target.

This on the surface is what we would call a “positive sound-alike.” That is, it sounds really positive. All of the good buzzwords that you hear the better shooters say are implied in the phrase. But the downfall of trying to shoot like this is self-correction and consistency will elude you.

The other not-so-obvious part of these types of phrases or visualizations is that they are outcome-based visualizations, not process-based. This confuses the brain and causes it to frantically search the long-term database for the correct circuit that will break the target – after the target is in the air!