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petrojc

Need to clear my mind

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Lately, I have been suffering a lapse of mental focus at matches. It reminds me of the part of The Last Samurai where Tom Cruise's character is told he has too many minds. So much is going on personally and professionally, that I can't shake it during a match. It is messing up my fun. I used to be able to laugh about hitting a no-shoot or two, now a really bad stage kills my entire day. I need some suggestions (not necessarily shooting related) books, techniques, etc... to help get my head right.

Thank you in advance,

Jason

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you will get a lot of advice.

there are a couple of different things you need

one is to clear out your minds

the other problem is they come back quickly.

I use a big grey cloud and mentally fly into it.

most times that get me a quiet space.

keeping the voices/minds/self-coaching noise at bay

takes tossing myself into the task as hand and giving the noise no attention.

I practice the cloud flight part as I try to fall asleep.

that part I am good at...

luck.

forgot my name.

miranda

Edited by Miranda

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Lanny Bassham

With Winning in Mind

Great book all around for the mental game. You learn what is happening and how to deal with it. He happens to be a shooter (Olympic rifle) but the concepts apply to all aspects of life.

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Ok, thanks. I have ordered the book. Please keep the suggestions coming. I really need some help.

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Bassham's book is really good. I am just getting started, but have already read some stuff that will be very helpful.

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Brian Enos

Practical Shooting - Beyond Fundamentals

I don't know how I overlooked this one... :blush:

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"Champions Mind", written by a sports psychology phd and far better than Lenny in my opinion.

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a really bad stage kills my entire day

​I'd take some time off from matches until I straightened out the "mental lapses".

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It's tough especially when you have a bad stage and you know you are better than that. But that is part of competing in any sport you have to let that go and stay focused on whats next. After a bad round just get back to basics and use that negativity as energy and stay up and positive. Maybe try shooting with some guys that stay fun and keep upbeat they will usually carry that into the whole group. I am not sure if your sponsored but try to get back to when you first started and remember that it is actually fun. Everyone has bad stages, find the fun.

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Read Brian's book and don't ever relate anything to Tom Cruise. You'll be fine.

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The people I shoot with are great, and I really haven't been shooting USPSA very long (around a year). Some months I don't get to shoot at all, because I have two sons who play club soccer. August-November are a bust. I was shooting fairly well, and improving each match until the last month or so, then I seem to have trouble focusing. I have a lot going on personally, and recently changed jobs. It just seems that I can't shake it when I make mistakes that shouldn't happen. Then I push harder, causing more mistakes. Switching between my production and limited guns did not help at all. I thought shooting a different division would help me take the pressure off myself in the other.

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changing guns only works if the gun is the problem.

are you the competitor or are you the commentator or audience? you're the competitor so be the competitor. no need to do the jobs of others as well.

your family will still love you if you're last place or first place. you'll still have your job after the match like you did before it. so ignore all that crap and turn your selective attention (focus) towards what you have to do right this very moment in a match.

absolutely nothing else matters but what is going on right NOW.

you can't change the results so stop worrying about them or thinking of them in the moment.

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1 year is very new, don't be too hard on yourself, a lot of these guys been shooting 5 plus years. Relax and focus on having fun and shooting the targets like a kid running thru an obstacle course. It is almost like golf for me, that one good shot or good stage keeps you coming back. My first stage I always under perform from jitters/nerves, but that 1 good stage I shoot to my potential keeps me coming back to try to shoot all stages to my potential. It is hard to keep it fun and not so competitive, but that is the key for me, to go out and enjoy the day, the atmosphere among shooters and to have fun and enjoy your good shots and laugh at your bad ones.

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Today was much better. I went back to my production gun, and just tried to shoot alphas. Didn't stress at all, and didn't freak out when I hit the no shoot on the classifier. It was hot as hell, literally, and the stage designs were interesting and long, but I had a great time. I am having to come to grips with being the new kid on the block, and old at the same time. I am normally a very competitive person....learning some patience with this, because I am not progressing as fast as I would have 10 or 20 years ago. I wake up some mornings feeling like I'm twenty and then my eyes, knees, and back remind me that I am nearly 50.

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I too am new at this game, and also self distract. Last match, there was a person saying a mantra during walk through. I doubt it was interventional, but they were saying "look at the A, shoot the A" over and over. Then I realized.... I was only looking at the brown, not a spot to shoot in the A zone. When I was able to do that, the stages were easier and the A hits were piling up.

Forgetting it, led to 2 mikes on a classifier, zeroing it out. Mentally fubared the next (last) stage. Decent points, but horrible that time because I "got lost". Oh well, it's just a game!

Edited by johnbu

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I wake up feeling like I'm 20 and then my eyes, knees, and back remind me that I am nearly 50.

You are a mere Child ...

Wait until you see what your eyes, knees and back tell you when you're 71 :(

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I have been using a BCAA from Purus labs. KC Eusebio turned me on to it.

I have great mental focus when I take this stuff, and it is also time release

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It has to be a game for me. I used to make my hobbies stressful by turning the fun into work. I am trying to balance that with my natural competitiveness.

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Simplify your match focus / plan. As you are shooting each target, just know that you are shooting good hits. And see what happens.

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Hey jason, I got a taste of what you were going through last Saturday. I had so much going on in my head (work, vacation, wife threatening my life if i was late) plus the heat was brutal, I had virtually no sleep the night before, and I'm suffering either a pulled or strained muscle in my upper back. I should have opted out of the match, but I went anyway and I had an aweful showing to say the least. Felt like I couldn't do anything right. Usually I can turn the outside world off as soon as I get to the range, but Saturday I was overwhelmed. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know you're not alone, but im glad to hear your head game is improving! Shooting Hattiesburg this month?

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I plan to be there. We have a match coming up next weekend as well. I am trading away my limited gun to build a glockenstien for fun in open class. If I like the dot, I may convert my beloved production gun to an old eye friendly carry optic. I am also considering resuming my jiu jitsu training to help with fitness and mental focus.

Edited by petrojc

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On 7/1/2016 at 8:30 AM, petrojc said:

The people I shoot with are great, and I really haven't been shooting USPSA very long (around a year). Some months I don't get to shoot at all, because I have two sons who play club soccer. August-November are a bust. I was shooting fairly well, and improving each match until the last month or so, then I seem to have trouble focusing. I have a lot going on personally, and recently changed jobs. It just seems that I can't shake it when I make mistakes that shouldn't happen. Then I push harder, causing more mistakes. Switching between my production and limited guns did not help at all. I thought shooting a different division would help me take the pressure off myself in the other.

I'll throw this out to you and it took me many years to get to the point where I completely understood: you MUST make time for your hobbies. That's it. Your mental happiness is just as important as any other task. Your daily life. I own a business and I coach soccer. I make time to shoot. I sometimes feel guilty for what appears to be neglect of my "duties" but I try to remember that one of my "duties" is enjoying my hobbies as much as my wife or son does. I am going through a bout of mental block now like you are. Even though I make time to shoot it's still difficult to focus at the range or matches. That's another item I haven't got figured out yet. But make time for yourself. I made a huge stride in my percents after I did. All of the mommy websites and Facebook pages tell them to do it. If youre an active dad then you have just as much a rite to go enjoy yourself. Happy shooting. 

Edited by CrayCray72

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The best book I ever read to help me get my mind straight is Phsycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.  If you can, get the original.  It's been reprinted a number of times with some improvements but the original helped me the most.

It really helps you to let go and believe in yourself and your capabilities.  It helped me as a writer, a salesman and an athlete. 

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Brian Enos and Steve Anderson!

Buy the books, read them and Listen to Steve Andersons podcast.  

The subconsious mind can only do one thing at a time.  Call your shots.

At a match: Remove the emotion when things go bad or good.  Get back to calling your shots on the next stage.  That's all you can do in order to shoot at your current level of skill.

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