Building confidence behind your gun isn’t only key to self-defence, it’s all-important on the range and in life. So says the master of confidence and Marksman’s Nest chief range officer, Geoffrey Coetzee.

He continued, “Building confidence behind your gun or any firearm hinges on practical range time, plus: shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Confidence in your yourself – and your gun – goes a long way toward shooting proficiency.

“There’s no such thing that some people are born more confident than others. It’s a matter of practising the art of building confidence and not giving up when the going gets tough. Without doubt, your most precious resource when shooting is confidence.”

Tips to boost shooting confidence

Two tips to help building your confidence behind your gun and on the range are:

The confidence imperative

In a group of shooters of similar skill, the more confident shooter will hit the bullseye more often than the others. And when the situation is fraught with tension, confidence becomes even more important. This applies to both a self-defence situation and on the range. A case in point is in elite sport. At this level, the physical differences between athletes are minimal; therefore, the effects of confidence are maximised.

Control what you think

So yes, confidence can be learned and it’s within your control. It all boils down to what you tell yourself.

Strong and stable confidence comes from controlling what you think about. Of course, this starts with stopping the blame game and making excuses. Researchers have found that people who continually blame others or their circumstances have significantly lower confidence and significantly more self-sabotaging behaviour than those who don’t.

Become aware of what you say to yourself and others about the events you experience, the circumstances you face and the people you interact with. Thus you’ll start choosing to think and say things in a manner that’ll build confidence.

Everything in life is filled with ups and downs. But those people who control their inner dialogue by staying positive and productive, build and maintain stable confidence. When you’ve reached this stage, you’ll get the most out of life, plus your shooting performance will soar.

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