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The Limits of Your Working Memory

Your working memory is very limited in how many things it can handle at one time. It can’t handle more than three to four things synchronously at one time.

When more things enter the workspace, it’s like having an iPhone with 33 apps that are open. It’s just overloaded and it stops working. The fewer number of specific commands that you review, therefore putting them in your working memory, the fewer number of things that come into your description of what you’re asking the brain to do in the shot. Then the working memory can focus on fewer and fewer things.

We try to make shooters stop the unending line of gibberish about what they’re going to try to do and what it’s going to look like, because it’s just nervous chatter. When we make them shut up, look at the bird, we’ll say, “Now, tell me where you’re going to hit it. And tell me the word association that you’re going to use to hit that bird.”

When you do it all at one time, and point your finger where you’re going to hit it, they would do that. We’ll say, “puller ready.” And it was like they were in the zone. The gun went to the breakpoint; there was no doubt. The call was made, and the bird blew up right where they said it was going to blow up.