Building confidence behind your gun

Building confidence behind your gun

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.

I am a warrior – building confidence with your self-defence firearm

I am a warrior – building confidence with your self-defence firearm

by Geoffrey Coetzee
..Phwweewww…. we reflect a bit on a few things that happened at Marksman’s Nest over last few days.

.. what a week! Every picture we uploaded today tells a beautiful story. In the midst of all the commotion that our beautiful province presents us with, some find it better to make a turn at the shooting range and as usual, we had lots of fun.

When we’re at the shooting range busy with training, there is always something that stands out, and almost as if it wants us to see it and talk about it and share it with everyone we know… we make mention of it.

What stands out is that we must know who we are and develop confidence with our firearms. Most people undergo firearm training because it contributes to Maslow’s “the need for self-actualisation”.. someone must find this gentleman and ask him about updating his hierarchy (a bit more detail around security) like mentioning being a safe citizen and buying into this concept. Achieving a firearm training certificate should have a true purpose. If it is for defence or sport shooting, we should live up to that commitment.


Back to the topic. Confidence with your licenced firearm is what allows you to carry your section 13 firearm (a firearm for purposes of self defense) every single day of your life. The Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 describes it as a person that has a need for self defence. In order for you to carry your gun you must be well trained and equipped and every single drill must be endorsed, and the only way you can ENDORSE it is on the shooting range with truly next level firearm training. Endorsement means to practice and imprint the fundamentals of shooting and all relevant drills, no matter how simple it seems.

You must change your mindset and become a WARRIOR who is principled and precise. We use the term as it describes someone that does not easily give up. Warriors date back centuries and are known for having well developed and specialist skills. A true warrior keeps his sword sharp, and it knows the strength and full ability of its bow or blade. Warriors have failed many times, but always found the confidence to get up and raise their swords in anticipation of a defense or attack.

CLOSE QUARTER HANDGUN SKILLS (Book your training with us)
In self-defence and close quarter training and skills, we must be warriors, our blades must be kept sharp and our swords must be raised. You cannot do it in any other way if you want to be prepared… and to be prepared, you must choose a MENTOR who can agree with you on the design of your path.

“A Warrior choses his battles wisely. He does not rush to confrontation, but also does not shy away from it. Know where your lines are in the sand and know when to stand up for yourself. Be ready and willing to fight for YOU when the situation warrants. The warrior inside of you knows; You’re worth it” (unknown)

We live in an age where we are amidst crime. As a predator adapts to its surroundings, we must adapt. We have heard the saying; “adapt or die”; maybe not die in the true sense, but fail in some or other way, trauma, loss, damage, etc. You must raise your sword and stand your ground. You must become the modern-day marksman. The modern-day marksman is a particle of a particle of many. You live an ordinary life, a husband a wife, a daughter or a son, and you should manoeuvre through everything that life throws at you and try to stay clear of anything that threatens your existence. Develop firearm confidence, be ready and raise your sword. None of us are born with a natural ability to uphold skills and abilities. We are mortals and eventually we fade.

Ask us about becoming a modern-day marksman. Our next Modern Marksman Course starts on the 06th February 2021 and ends on the 06th November 2021. A 10-month course, meeting once a month on the shooting range and with the purpose to develop critical and elevated firearm skills, life skills, approach to fitness and health, understanding criminal and predator analogy, to private and home security. The best part of it is that you do not need any prior experience to enrol. This is like signing up for basic military training (not in the true sense), but the concepts are aligned. Life as we know it has changed and we need to adapt. Be a Warrior, up your game, raise your sword and be part of a life changing adventure.

“A student said to his Master; You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace! How do you reconcile the two? The Master replied; It is better to be a Warrior in the garden, then to be a gardener in war” (unknown)

With a self defence mind-set, we live our lives but still prepare for uncertainty and any eventuality. The master tried to teach his student, that he should possess special skills for when he needed it, and not to have no skills when he needed it most. Start with developing confidence. Prioritise and focus on what you need and not what others think you need. Raise your sword, step forth and deal with your deficiencies and inabilities, you are a Warrior!

The case for carrying a concealed firearm

The case for carrying a concealed firearm

There’s a compelling case for carrying a concealed firearm. According to Marksman’s Nest chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee, we derive the right to self-defence from the constitution. “Everyone has a right to life and therefore it follows that the right of protection from violence is included.

“Many people buy a firearm, acquire a licence and then simply lock it in a safe. At Marksman’s Nest, we instill the fact that a licenced self-defence weapon should be carried on a person every single day.

Build concealed weapon confidence

“But the biggest problem is that many people who own a handgun, simply don’t have the confidence to use it. That’s why we emphasise the importance of skill-builder handgun training. This course teaches not only confidence, skilful handgun use and gun safety, but also how to carry a concealed weapon comfortably. This applies to men and women alike.”

A self-defence firearm owner should carry his/her weapon 24 hours a day. In short, rather have and carry a firearm and not need it, instead of needing it and it’s not there.

Geoffrey continued, “In the beginning, it feels quite uncomfortable to have a firearm on your person. But we teach handgun owners all the tricks to ensure a comfortable fit.

Home & farm attacks a case in point

Apropos the high spate of home, business and farm attacks in South Africa, he said, “In the case of farm attacks: farmers usually do own firearms. So, no doubt that in most cases when these attacks took place, the guns were locked away in a safe. Attacks happen in seconds, so there’s no time to find the safe key, unlock it, load the gun and defend yourself. But if you carry your firearm on your person, self-defence wouldn’t present a problem.

It’s not only about protecting our friends, family and ourselves, but carrying a firearm after having undergone training, one becomes more attentive to the environment and situations. This heightened awareness will help you avoid danger.

“Acquiring a firearm is one thing, but the main thing is carrying it on your person 24/7. And to carry with confidence while possessing the necessary skill, you need training.” The long and short of it is: There’s a compelling case for carrying a concealed firearm

Marksman’s Nest offers specialised self-defence training courses, as well as beginner’s courses and advanced firearm skills training.

Shoot better by using mental power

Shoot better by using mental power

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Choosing a concealed carry handgun

Choosing a concealed carry handgun

Choosing a concealed carry handgun, or everyday carry gun (EDC), is a momentous choice first time around. In fact, it could be a life saver. EDC is the general term that refers to carrying your self-defence firearm in a concealed manner.

Choosing the right firearm starts at the place where you’ve done your basic firearm training, because they can provide you with hands-on advice. After all, they gave you the feel and contributed towards developing that need to carry an EDC firearm. That’s why your firearms instructor would be able to clear all uncertainties there and then about choosing a concealed carry handgun.

Comfort contributes to confidence

Like sitting comfortably in your car seat, your handgun must feel first time right when you pick it up the right way. Thus the perfect grip literally sells the gun. Comfort in your hand and inside the holster receives the highest priority. This ensures that you get to the trigger first when you need it most.

Importantly. the more you draw your firearm from the holster and pull the trigger, the better you become as muscle memory is established. Muscle memory is one of the body alarm elements as taught in our self-defence level 1, 2 and 3 courses. It’s also one of the main default elements when you fall victim to crime or when under attack.

However, having the requisite self-defence ability doesn’t merely entail practical skills. Which is why well-designed and -presented training builds confidence.

Self-defence happens at short range

Although a smaller and lighter EDC handgun contributes to easy concealment, the calibre doesn’t really matter when it comes to self-defence situations. Because the advantage actually lies in your ability to fire the first shot under stress. Self-defence training develops this heightened ability when you need it most.

Usually, a self-defence situation occurs at short range (1-10 metres); therefore accuracy is less important. When defending yourself, the aim isn’t to harm or kill, but to be equipped with the ability to stand up for yourself, refusing to be a victim and to fight back when the need arises.

Therefore, you’ll need considerable practise and training. “And the more often you shoot, the more comfortable you’ll be with your gun,” said Marksman’s Nest chief range officer Geoffrey Coetzee.

Importantly, when choosing a concealed carry handgun, make sure that it’s both easy to load and pull the trigger mechanism.

Try them out

If you’re able to enroll for additional handgun training at a shooting range, go through the paces and try as many different techniques and scenarios as you can. Repeated scenario-based training builds your muscle memory.

“You and you alone should decide what feels right for you,” Geoffrey added. “At Marksman’s Nest, we’ll make recommendations, but nothing beats personal experience. We have classes available for new gun owners and refresher courses for those who haven’t shot in a while. Crucially, our courses teach participants about the right way to handle a gun.”

!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->