In the world of pistol competition, ultimately, we compete against our own selves; therefore, our unfocused or uncertain attitude stands as the Arch Rival, not another shooter. Our last performance’s scores sets today’s goals, not the score or firing speed of the guy shooting next to us. The mind, though, plays games we don’t always count on. Consider, for example, the time we take to practice and drill ourselves for timing, cadence, and choreography of the match. Come match day, we step up to the line for our assigned relay and we don’t always know who stands next to us. The target turns and we draw, fire, and execute the proscribed course of fire. And that unknown guy next to us finishes well ahead of time. When we are still new, we freak out, imaging there is some race to win and we just got behind. The next time the target turns, we try and go as fast as that competitor next to us thinking we need to catch up. I learned about this the hard way my first big regional match in Raton, NM back in 1999. As it turned out, the Quick Draw/ Even Quicker Shooter was newer than me. I ruined my own concentration and myown scores getting caught up in what someone else did. I lost my focus and I allowed uncertainty to rule. Fortunately, I found role models, mentors and instructors who taught me not just the basic fundamentals of marksmanship, but how to employ them. And, ultimately, focusing on that, alone, brought me into the necessary mindset, focus and confidence which moved me forward as a competitor. We compete solo, but we don’t get to competitive levels alone. Find role models and mentors and then, turn around and become one yourself.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
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