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1st stage nervousness ...how to shrug it off?

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Wow thanks for all the replys!!. I just read with winning in mind. It has helped greatly. Last night I walked up to the first stage and told myself. It is like me to shoot do very well on a stage like this. ..and I did.

I get it now. If you tell yourself. I always do badly in xxxx. You will do badly. You have to chance even before you start.

Thanks for all the awesome pointers.

Hugh

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Yes Yes Yes.

You shoot how you expect to shoot, not how you want to shoot.

Your subconscious mind uses your current skill level to deliver the performance you have expected.

Why do you think it's so hard for TGO to lose? Winning is who he is.

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I will say that it's difficult to eliminate emotions (for me anyway) but when you have programed your mind as to how you are going to execute the COF that is what you need to do. No emotions just execution. No fear of losing or looking bad or winning or kicking ass- these thoughts/emotions will destroy you... I know they do for me. Just shoot,

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I'm really new, forget first match jitters or first stage jitters. It's more like every stage jitters. I've found that knowing all my gear is GTG is a small help, so make sure your gear functions and work out any bugs or placement issues or whatever.

When given Make Ready command, I draw and hold the gun with two hands, I look at it and say to myself I've done this a bunch of times before. I can physically feel tension leaving my arms and neck, your just a gun and I'm just gonna shoot you Mr. Pistol. We have done this so many times, let's do it once more. We are NOT going to shoot without seeing, all we want to do is see, shoot, repeat. Let's do this I say to myself, then I just blank my mind and wait for the buzzer. No thoughts of technique or mental reminders on grip or feet position on entry or exit or whatever. All that is for practice. I just let my body and eyes drive my gun, while I observe very keenly. Any problems encountered while on the stage, I just handle it and continue. One thing I tried on the last stage of the day was just that, only real thought of any kind is just CONTINUE ONWARD. I tried the whole "stay in the present moment" mindf***k trick. Pulled my first classifier over 70% out of that stage.

Only when I'm done do I look back on it and discover weaknesses or things to put onto my next practice session.

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I too suffer from the first stage jitters. I don't know why but sometimes it seems worse than others. Although it has gotten better. Trying to relax and visualize what I'm about to do helps. For the past year or so all I have shot was steel challenge and rimfire matches. Last month I shot an IDPA match after about a 1 1/2 break. When I got finished with the first stage I realized that I didn't have the jitters or nervousness that I normally have. I don't know exactly why I didn't but I think it just came down to getting comfortable with the whole process of match shooting. It may also be because I had no expectations of a great performance because I hadn't done IDPA in a while. Either way I'm going to incorporate these two principles in my pre-game thought process. A.) Knowing I've done this before and I'm comfortable with the format and B.) Having reasonable expectations of performance. That's not to say that I will lower expectations, but knowing what I'm capable of at that particular moment and then follow through and making sure I shoot the best I can, learn from mistake, and shoot better the next time.

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At the next few matches volunteer to go first on every stage, after a few matches you will settle down.

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At the next few matches volunteer to go first on every stage, after a few matches you will settle down.

There have been times when I have done just that. I do the walk through and get my plan set. I hate having to wait to put it in motion.

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Read Lanny Bassham's book, and learn to tell yourself that you LOVE the first stage of a match! This is your opportunity to shine and gain ground on your competitors. While they are stressing about getting grooved in, you are focused and ready to give the performance of your life.

First stage anxiety is a headgame that people play. Once you get past that, you can add your first stage in your portfolio of strengths.

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I usually get jittery before a match starts, but as soon as the buzzer goes off I go brain dead. Recently I have been trying to focus my nervousness into getting amped up instead. Especially on the opening stages, when I do this I have been shooting much better. When I have a good first stage, the effect usually carries through the rest of the match with me.

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You can't win a match on the 1st stage, but you can loose it! Take your time and see your sights. I also think it is similar to test anxiety. If you are well prepared for an exam and know you have a mastery of the material.... No test anxiety. Get a handle on your stage plan. I find it helps to close my eyes and rehearse the stage until it is second nature. When I have a couple of plans and am not sure which one is best, that's when the wheels come off.

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If I may, I would like to recommend another good book. "The Mental Game of Golf" by Patrick J.Cohn, PH.D. Here is a list of the chapters.

1. The Psychological Demands of Golf.

2. The Psychology of Peak Performance.

3. Confidence: The Key to Optimal Performance.

4. Learn to Let it Flow.

5. Immerse Yourself in the Shot.

6. Controlling Your Emotions.

7. Applying Your Psychological Skills: The Preshot Routine.

8. Practice Like the Pros: Improving the Quality of Practice.

9. Special Challenges in Golf: Comfort Zones, Patience, Enjoying Golf, and Commitment and Motivation.

Just substitute the word shooting for golf, the thought process is very similar.

Edited by toothguy

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This is what helped me kick ass and have fun last match

I would love an English translation with a bouncing ball so I could sing (yell) along. :D

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This is what helped me kick ass and have fun last match

I would love an English translation with a bouncing ball so I could sing (yell) along. :D

I WAS NERVOUS LAST MATCH BUT NOW I AM AGGRESSIVE AND MAKE ALL A'S, HOPE I DONT DQ, OOOPS I DQ'D, MAYBE I BETTER CALM DOWN

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i always try to go first ,just to get out of the cloud of flatus expelled through the anus's of other shooters just thinking about going 1st..

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Feel it, face it, accept it. Then tell yourself, "I am not that nervous. I'm going to do fine. In fact, this is going to be enjoyable."

This works for me both in shooting and musical performance.

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The first stage was also an issue for me for a time. If I shot it badly, it hurt me in the match because I was always trying to push harder to "catch up". Lately I've been doing some pre-visualization and then shooting the first stage at about 80% of my normal speed. I end up get better hits to start the match, and the day seems to flow much better afterwards.

It's worked for me to simply not start the match at hyper-speed. Maybe I'm like an old car that needs to warm up a little. B)

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On the first stage, shoot for points. Try to get 100%. You may be slower but that whole mind set will benefit you in the long haul of the match.

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If I am going to make a major foul up, either in poor hits or stage errors, its in the first stage of a match. I've found that it's caused by two things, both of which I can control. One is getting rushed. I've found if I get there early, gear up, then stand around and visit--that helps. The other is not starting to think about whom I'm shooting with and my score-- I'll catch myself saying "I'd better shoot faster than so and so...". That little voice also carries on through the match. So I stop beginning to worry about the score, concentrate on getting my grove and enjoy the trigger time for the rest of the match.

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"When given Make Ready command, I draw and hold the gun with two hands, I look at it and say to myself I've done this a bunch of times before. I can physically feel tension leaving my arms and neck, your just a gun and I'm just gonna shoot you Mr. Pistol. We have done this so many times, let's do it once more. We are NOT going to shoot without seeing, all we want to do is see, shoot, repeat. Let's do this I say to myself, then I just blank my mind and wait for the buzzer. No thoughts of technique or mental reminders on grip or feet position on entry or exit or whatever. All that is for practice. I just let my body and eyes drive my gun, while I observe very keenly. Any problems encountered while on the stage, I just handle it and continue. One thing I tried on the last stage of the day was just that, only real thought of any kind is just CONTINUE ONWARD. I tried the whole "stay in the present moment" mindf***k trick. Pulled my first classifier over 70% out of that stage. "

This might be my next Tattoo.

Perhaps I'll shorten in a smidge. :)

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Your mind is your worst enemy most of the time. Being slightly excited right before a stage run is normal. Having an excessively excited or worried right before a stage run is usually manufactured by (1) Not having a solid programmed stage plan or (2) Not having confidence in your shooting skills for the shooting task at hand. Or (3) Creating an unrealistic importance or value on a specific stage for any reason.

Eliminate these issue by having a solid programmed stage plan before its your turn to shoot. Then build the confidence in your own shooting skills so you know that you can execute properly once the buzzer goes off by practicing effectively and proving to yourself that it can be done.

Another thing that can help eliminate artificial importance being placed on a certain stage is to not think of the stage you are shooting as anything "Special". The stage you are shooting is just that, a stage. Not the first or last stage of the day or a classifier stage or whatever else that you try to artificially manufacture for the stage making it "Special".

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The short answer to "How do I shrug off the 1st stage nervousness" is to simply not allow the nervousness to happen in the first place.

Lets make it even more simple........ You hit your thumb with a hammer while driving nails into wood, it hurts and you want to keep it from happening. Do you wear a special protective gear that allows you to continue to hit your thumb and it not hurt? Or do you simply stop hitting your thumb?

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Cha-Lee... not sure about the hammer idea. ;)

However I did get some great ideas recently from someone that knows what they're talking about. Make every first drill in your practice for "real". Make it really count. I'm going to be doing a 15 yd bill drill cold every practice. The first run is the only one that will "count". Do the same thing in dry fire.

Immerse yourself in stress and those first stages won't be any different than the rest.

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