The strength of the mind remains unparalleled. No matter how much we work out and do what we do to build and maintain strength and stamina for our bodies, the mind will always overpower. This poses the toughest aspect of shooting. When my team captain would tell me to Focus or to Concentrate, I was new enough to react with frustration demanding to know what to focus on and what in the world to concentrate on. I had a lot riding on my shooting career. There were more people who believed in my failure than in my success and I had to prove them wrong. Not only do I have a disputatious streak, but I knew my workplace managers were wrong. With effort, focus and concentration, I could compete. I learned I had to focus on my front sights and to concentrate on the Basic Fundamentals of Marksmanship. It took me what seemed like forever to grasp that concept. Shooting is like meditation. Breathe in, breathe out, squeeeeeeze the trigger. You don’t think about the office, the Chief, the kids, the workload, the score you might shoot, you concentrate on the exact second you are shooting. Meditation’s goal is to clear the mind and find peace. I am not there yet; however, the beginning practices of this goal revolve around breathing. I finally did learn that as I paid attention to my inhale and the way the air felt moving into my lungs and my lungs expanding and then the other way around, the air leaving , I left little room to ponder the job , the boss, the household, etc. I was learning the power of the mind and how to Focus and Concentrate. As I practiced this technique, breath control and the simultaneous incorporation of the other five basic fundamentals of marksmanship(stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger control and follow through) I shot those sought after scores. I no longer ran from anxiety and exhaustion, but took my position calmly, breathing in, breathing out and squeezing that trigger. I am little, I am not very brawny, but my brain’s ability to focus and concentrate will always be my strong point. Breathe in , breathe out, squeeeeeeeeze.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
What Nancy’s Reading
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