Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters

Tony's Bullseye Blog posted an excerpt from an article published in the Summer 2013 CMP coaches newsletter On The Mark. It's an article titled Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters.

I don't shoot Bullseye, but I follow Tony's blog. He did a good job of summarizing the full article, but I recommend, as he did, that you read the whole thing. It starts on page 4 here. It doesn't matter what kind of shooting sport you are involved in, this is good advice.

 Here's a quote. The bolded emphasis is mine.
LESSON 10—YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE -- This lesson has to do with a mindset that real sports champions all seem to develop. It has to do with whether a record score is a mountain peak or a stepping stone on the way up to a mountain peak that one never quite reaches. It encompasses the idea that no matter how good a winning score or new record was, there are still ways to make that score even better. This was a lesson I unintentionally started to use early in my competition career. However, I didn’t understand it until much later. From the very beginning, I kept careful records in my “shooting diary.” As I recorded my scores I added pages in the back of the diary to list personal records in both practice and matches. This meant that every time I shot, I engaged in personal contests to improve those records. Of course there were practice sessions where I shifted the emphasis to experiments or work on a particular aspect of my technique or positions, but almost every training day included a competition with my personal records. Later when I was shooting with the Army International Team, the same coach who insisted that I analyze my bad shots also began to insist that I find things I could do better even after I won a big match or shot a new record. Yes, even when there was a new world record, there had to be things I could do better.

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