Mental management


Apr 23, 2008
Chattanooga, TN
My shooting scores have been slightly down lately. Does anyone know of any books that I can read to work on not letting things get to my head?
Any sugestion helps.:uhh:
Yeah. Paint faces on the books, stand them up at 25m and shoot at them.

Trigger time with someone who knows how to shoot.
I'm shooting 200rds. per week and i'm being coached by one of the best trap coaches in the nation. I usualy shoot around the 96 out of 100 area but i've started to hit a slump and hit around a 93 out of 100. :(
This isn't directly related to shooting, but an excellent book on mental performance techniques is Flow in Sports by Susan A. Jackson and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It will give you some good ideas for improving your mental performance, and I believe that it would be applicable to shooting as well as any other high performance physical activity...
sounds good I would take a break but, I can't because were gearing up for State.

It doesn't have to be a long break, just as long as it's a break; clear your head and don't think about it. If you're gearing up for State, it's probably what's weighing on your mind and dropping your performance. :2c:
Having the right mind set for shooting.
Posted 02-02-2008 at 01:03 PM by J.A.B.
Updated 03-04-2008 at 11:27 AM by J.A.B.
In all aspects of life, everything is driven with success and failures or good and bad days. Well it is the same in shooting. Shooting is a thinking mans game, it is said to be 95% mental and 5% skill. All though I do not agree with the percentage break down, I do agree with having a mental edge to become a more proficient shooter.

 So what is the mental aspect’s of shooting?
 What is having proper mindset?
 How will it affect my shooting?
 How do I put it all together?

The MENTAL aspects of shooting is nothing more then having a mental plan of what you want to accomplish in shooting. Either for a day at the range, or a long term goal. Telling your self what you want to accomplish (in a realistic manner) and achieving it. Nothing more then a goal in shooting. Preparing your self to achieve your goal.

For an example: Tom has been shooting for a few years, he has never had any formal training other then his friend Bob showing him something’s at the range. Well Tom is getting more involved with shooting and had watched a IPSC match on TV. He did some research and found a local club, he decided to attend a match and see how well he could do. Well as the match started, he realized that he was way out of his skill setting. He was discouraged and left early. Tom calls his Friend Bob and tells him of the disappointment, and Bob tells Tom not to worry those people are ass holes. (As most friend will do) Tom and Bob go back to there once a month range day, and forget about the shooting club.

Well what was the problem? The problem is Tom was never taught proper fundamentals, he never planned for the match. He did not research the type of match it would be and the different stages, he did not have a realistic goal of performance. He just showed up and tried out, with out even being a where of what he was trying out for. After realizing he was not able to perform to the level of the other competitors, he simply gave up and never looked back.

Proper MINDSET is having a positive attitude toward the mental goal. In most cases a person will make a goal, and mentally be focused on that goal, but has no idea how to keep a positive mindset to achieve the goal. A positive mind set covers a large portion of every thing you do in shooting. (i.e. how you prepare for the range, how you set up at the range, and how you view you performance) Mindset is easily disrupted by anything and everything. Something as simple as a phone call on the range, your wife says little Johnny is acting up. You say I will deal with when I get home, and go back to shooting. Well before the phone call you were meeting your goals for the day, and after you are performing worse and worse. Thus making you more upset, and sending you in to a downward spiral from that point forward. Another example, would be firing 10 shots at your target and 1 of the shots are out of the group or off the target. As you see that nice tight group you are happy, but as soon as you realize you through a shot. You start wondering how you did it. (now you just changed your focus) You were focused on a great group and thinking how well you did, positive thinking. But now you have started to focus on a bad shot, negative thinking. When you return to the firing line and fire your next 10 shots, they are no where near the group you fired before and now you are upset.

When anything negative is allowed into your preparation, you will receive less then positive results.

So how will it AFFECT your shooting? It will make it or break it... The best shooters in the world will always tell you, stay focused, positive, have a plan, and stick to what you know. The more mental preparation you do, the more focused you will be. The more you focus on the positive, the less you allow the negative to affect the mental goals and preparation. If you have that god awful day at the range, forget about it. Tell your self about what went good, and just forget the rest.

How to put it all together, is the most important piece of the puzzle. As always keeping and open mind, and being able to put the ego, or cockiness away is step one. Then giving your self a realistic goal (i.e. 10 shot’s in a 3-inch group at 10 yards) Now preparing to achieve the goal, finding the proper training. Be focused on the goal, and planning the steps to achieve the goal. Keep a positive mindset in all the aspects of the preparation of achieving the goal, reinforce the positive and get rid of the negative. Allow your self to progress in the most positive sense. STAY POSITIVE!!!

This is just a quick few words of wisdom from opinions focus preparations and me. There are many good books on the subject.
It doesn't have to be a long break, just as long as it's a break; clear your head and don't think about it. If you're gearing up for State, it's probably what's weighing on your mind and dropping your performance. :2c:


Go see a sports shrink :2c:

Try some meditation.

Get drunk :D
I'll try everything but getting drunk.;) I'm not a big drinker. You're proably right about thinking too much about state. We ranked number 1 when we looked at all the regional scores, but I don't want to lose it at the state. Thanks for the help
if you are not a big drinker. getting drunk will be cheap and easy....

X2 what Pardus said...

take your mind off shooting for at least 24-48 hours and do something that keeps you busy and distracted... Then start fresh, and start back at the fundamentals.... Smooth is Fast...
Get drunk
Two thoughts:
First, that would be my first thought.

Second, a really good friend of mine had a boss who'd go up into the attic of his house in the summer time and start drinking. The combination of heat and alcohol would get him very inebriated. Then he'd start shooting at the yellowjackets that got into the attic with a .22 pellet gun. And yes, he was a good enough shot that he'd hit 'em...

But no, I don't recommend shooting while intoxicated... :)

What, You think athletes don't use sports psychologists? OK...
Recently the football team at USMA were taking advantage of the latest in mental imaging techniques developed by the Academy's military psychology department...

As previously stated, shooting is primarily mental. I find visualization to be key.

My personal drill is, prior to the event, to sit quietly, close your eyes, relax, breathe and do a complete mental walk-through of the entire event from start to finish. Every stage, every position, every shot. I visualize myself performing the entire event perfectly. If you find your concentration slipping, distracting thoughts interfering, don't get frustrated. Acknowledge the distracting thought, then put it aside. The get back to your perfect performance. Either start over or pick up where you left off, it's up too you.

The only shot that matters is this one. The last one is past and the next one isn't here yet. The only thing you can effect is right now.
After reading what you all said yesterday I went to practice and I focused on every bird telling myself to focus on this bird. Shooting one bird at a time helps. I shot 94 strait and missed the 95th but hit the next four to come out w a 99.:eek: Thanks for the suggestions.