Anyone can shoot better by using mental power. Read on to see how.

By now, we all know that improving your target shooting accuracy requires three steps: practice, practice and more practice. But not all practice happens at the range. You can practise target shooting anywhere and anytime by exercising your brain. It’s a matter of focusing, ignoring distractions and calming your mind. Stepping up your mental mindset is bound to spark more impressive performances.

VISUALISATION

Visualise yourself shooting the perfect shot on the range. If you train your mind to see yourself succeed, you gain confidence, improve concentration and boost positive thinking.

A simple visualisation exercise is to imagine yourself at a shooting competition. Walk through your shot process, focusing intently on each step. See yourself do each step and execute a perfect shot. Believe me, it’s a good substitute for actual practice when life gets busy.

SET GOALS

Goal-setting is an important part of training mentally for target shooting. Setting goals and visualisation go hand in hand. Start the process by choosing the ultimate goal, such as achieving a high score, shooting a longer distance, or winning the competition. Then set incremental goals that help you achieve your larger goal.

DISTRACTION

Not only does shooting require intense focus and confidence, but you need to have the ability to block out distractions. It’s just a simple fact that noise can disturb your concentration, thus interrupting your shot process. To ignore distractions, try this easy drill. Turn on the radio and slowly count to 100, ensuring that the sound doesn’t distract your silent counting. Even better, read while listening to music. Make sure to tune out the music and focus on reading.

GLASS HALF FULL

An optimistic attitude contributes to the mental strength required to shoot your best on the range. So try this: fill a glass with water and hold it in your non-dominant hand. With your arm extended, focus on the glass. Try to keep the liquid as steady as possible for as long as possible. This is excellent practice for the focus needed when aiming.

Now it’s time to hit the range for a competition.

DURING A COMPETITION

The time to think about the mechanics of your shooting is during practice sessions, not during a competition. At a competition, don’t think about your shot and dissect the mechanics. This will only trip you up. Just shoot. And don’t be afraid of failing. Everyone misses – even pros. Fear causes anxiety. While anxiety causes you to tense up. Just relax.

During the competition, focus on your zone. Clear your mind of clutter and just think about shooting.

So, now you’ve upped your game. And you understand that you too, can shoot better by using mental power.

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