Visualizing, or picturing MYSELF, executing the basic fundamentals formed that extra level of magic I needed in my marksmanship. Studies from other sports show that those who physically practice a skill vs. those who visualize the performance of said skill produce nearly equal outcomes at game time. With that, I gave it a try to investigate its merits. While grinding my way to nowhere on the treadmill at the gym, I found the perfect visualization arena. The physical exertion and the time clock on the machine helped set the stage. Now, visualizing myself on the line, I begin Match 1. I picture the range, my shooting box at my feet, etc. Then, I mentally place my feet in my stance and consider my entire body’s posture (stance). I purposely draw a deep breath and thoughtfully let it out; not as easy as it seems due to the treadmill counteracting the slow and steady process I execute (breath control). I picture the target turning and my hands engaging the weapon, drawing it from the holster, wrapping one hand around the grip of the gun and the other hand around that (grip). I’m breathing again, lowering my shoulders out of my ears. I mentally key my brain onto how the sights need to align with each other and on the target, “focusing” most keenly on the front sight (sights). I visualize my trigger pull, slowly and steadily pulling that trigger back towards me, using my fingerprint on the trigger, not my knuckle (trigger control). I “see” myself in this aura of total concentration and then, as it should in a match, the round “fires” and I hold my position for that breath of a hair of a second so the bullet can travel down the barrel of the gun without being disturbed (follow through). And I have just visualized firing the perfect shot. The timer on the treadmill helps me “see” myself firing consecutively for whatever match I mentally practice, training my brain to “fire” within the allotted time for each Match. This exercise forced me to concentrate at a level that helped me tremendously at my competitions.  “Watch” yourself shooting and correct your errors before you get to the range. I guarantee you will experience marked improvement.

Nancy’s Suggested Reading:


About admin

"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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