The mental game........it conjures up images of superior mental powers, able to single-handedly destroy those annoying distractions so we can hold our concentration like a laser beam and build long runs,.....very long runs. OK, that sounds good but what does all that mean and how do we do that?
From Dan Schindler . . .
"I have been in the shooting sports for more than a half-century and Sporting Clays since 1979. In my personal development as a shooter and competitor, have I felt the crushing yoke of tournament pressure? Yes, I have. I can think of more fun things to do. And, if I've learned one thing out here on the mental side of our great sport, it's that “we” create the pressure we feel, not the distractions, not other people, not our score.
I've literally spent thousands of hours developing and assembling my mental training program called The Mental Training Workshop. From the very first piece of information that went into The Mental Training Workshop, one primary rule was established and I vowed never to break it. It was a simple rule. Whatever went into The Mental Training Workshop, it had to be completely understandable, totally logical and absolutely useable—no exceptions. Every question asked in the Workshop notebook; every answer given; every solution; every recommendation had to be simple, easily understood, with real, practical applications. The questions and answers in The Mental Training Workshop do not require a dictionary. My students AHA moments come directly from seeing what they could not see, right, directly in front of them, each and every day."
The number 1 priority in The Mental Training Workshop is to be able to take each new understanding straight into the shooting box. When the right questions are asked, it is amazing what we learn about ourselves, why we do what we do. Then, and only when we understand what drives us, what motivates us, where our fears “really” come from, can we successfully redirect our thoughts and our attention to the shooting in front of us. Yes, shooting pressure is real, not imaginary. But, contrary to what most believe, we are not powerless and at the mercy of tournament pressure. I guarantee, you absolutely can perform at your best under pressure—provided you understand where the pressure is really coming from, not where you think it's coming from. Once understood it is so much easier to redirect our focus and attention onto what really matters in the shooting box.
Not one single thing about The Mental Training Workshop. is mysterious or complicated. Not one. Workshop students are asked to look at their thoughts and long-established opinions differently. Simple questions. When answered, the light comes on and the perspective changes. We do this again and again, each time a new revelation. My students look at me in amazement and ask, "Why didn't I think of that?" The answer is, no one asked you the right questions. Little by little, step by step, a new understanding takes shape. The source and reasons for our anxiety, fears, cautions and expectations all begin to make sense. It is here that you take control of your performance, instead of allowing tournament pressure to steal your best score.
Tournament pressure is merely a mental, mind-made obstacle, not a fortress with your peak performance locked inside. It really isn't difficult to change this, once you understand that pressure can easily tear down a good shooting performance, but only if you let it. It is nothing more than your understanding all the negatives that come into the box with you, and then redirecting your thoughts. That's not hard to do, once you begin to look at the negatives from a completely different, common sense perspective. That's what The Workshop is all about.
When you come to know yourself, your peak performance will appear. Those are not mere words, but a working, self-explanatory blueprint, a Workshop strategy that you can trust to get you there!
Michael Bane, Shooting Gallery, Outdoor Channel