I strongly believe in spending time visualizing the pistol match. We SEE ourselves performing the Basic Fundamentals of Marksmanship in our mind so that the real event plays out like we have been practicing it in our minds. Finely tuning the visualization I have mentioned before forces an even greater level of concentration on the shooter producing a more precise shooting experience in real time. Try this when you gear up with a safe and empty weapon for dry firing exercises:
-access your weapon without looking
-draw your weapon and align your sights without looking
-reholster your weapon without looking
Repeat again and again for weapon familiarization, safety and your finely tuned visualization steps. Now that you can perform the above with your eyes closed, put your gear up, locked safely away from children and untrained adults. Next, while doing a vigorous activity like running on the treadmill at the gym (the aerobic levels simulate match conditions), mentally shoot your match. Watch yourself enact every fundamental of marksmanship. Accessing your weapon involves Breathing and Stance, drawing your weapon engages Grip, aligning sights, of course, incorporates Sights. Go back and do it again ties in the Follow Through.
Finesse your skills by “seeing” your front sight with some sort of mark on the front of it. As you stare down your marked front sight, you will become a more precise shooter. You focus on that mark on your front sight as your mind sees it line up within the rear sights. You stare down that little line as you imagine your smooth and even trigger pull and, “bang”, as the gun fires in your visualized setting, you continue to stare down the little design on the front sight,”watching” the sight pop up from the recoil and float back down to position, ready for the next round to be “fired”. The body’s natural inclination is to flinch, to close the eyes, but do not. The shooter must take an involuntary action like blinking and make voluntary the keeping of the eyes open.
So, next time you want to go to the range to practice, stay home. Spending time visualizing the match will finesse actual firearms handling performance. When the time comes to have real bullets in the gun, I guarantee, you will be far ahead of the shooter who never spent these moments practicing. And when you do go to the range, put a little mark on your front sight after you blacken it.
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