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kita

The pressure of being watched.

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This past Sunday I finished up taking an RO, class and so by taking that day off from work i was able to attend a local match.

At the local match my buddy, who took the RO class with me, was squad mom and aside from me and a couple other shooters we had practically all new shooters.

With getting some experince running the timer, i elected to go first on every stage to give the new shooters an idea of how to run a stage safely. Most of the new shooters were production and i was L10 so i was able to give them advice once i was done shooting.

I ended up 3rd overall and i remember after the match i talked to my buddy saying how relaxed i felt. I had no pressure, it could be a result of not trying to be better than i am whenever i squad with really good shooters.

The pats on the back wont make you better, ingrain your walkthrough, visualize...and attack.

I know thats what i like so much about this sport, its just as much of a head game as it is a skills game.

Moral of story, shoot your game and your speed. No need to shoot out of your class just to get the proverbial pat on the back from shooters in a higher class.

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...ingrain your walkthrough, visualize...and attack.

I know thats what i like so much about this sport, its just as much of a head game as it is a skills game.

Moral of story, shoot your game and your speed. No need to shoot out of your class just to get the proverbial pat on the back from shooters in a higher class.

Very true. BUT, when that good shooter/instructor/coach sees your improvement and gives you a pat on the back, it can increase the confidence level, which does help you to relax and just shoot.

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...ingrain your walkthrough, visualize...and attack.

I know thats what i like so much about this sport, its just as much of a head game as it is a skills game.

Moral of story, shoot your game and your speed. No need to shoot out of your class just to get the proverbial pat on the back from shooters in a higher class.

Very true. BUT, when that good shooter/instructor/coach sees your improvement and gives you a pat on the back, it can increase the confidence level, which does help you to relax and just shoot.

I 100% agree, getting the pats are a result of what i did. I was trying to convey that shooting FOR those pats on the back shouldnt even be a priority.

Biggest thing is to have fun. And i did :)

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For me it has always been about "me" and my expectations. I ruin my own runs through my own expectations way more than anyone watching me. I never could care about who was watching because I've taken the time to actually watch a squad when someone shoots, frankly, most shooters are not watching the shooter. They are talking and yaking it up.

At your next match, turn your back to the shooter and observe the squad. Unless the shooter is really good, most of the squad isn't paying attention. See for yourself.

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How can I get over this "stage fright" so to speak?

Embrace the spot light! This is your opportunity to teach all those "amateurs" in the super-squad how to shoot the stage.

Yep! It is the mental that is the problem. The fear of failure in front of those you respect. There are several mental games you can play with yourself until you get the confidence to execute what you know you can do. This is coupled with the ability to shed the bad stage and go out and just shoot the next stage the way you know you can. The power of positive thinking is not just a saying.

sounds about right for me, struggling with going to a match right now, because I was overseas and feel unprepared, but the real reason is the feel of failure and the pressure to perform to the abilities you know you have, but that may not be attainable without preparation.......(rusty)

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For me it has always been about "me" and my expectations. I ruin my own runs through my own expectations way more than anyone watching me. I never could care about who was watching because I've taken the time to actually watch a squad when someone shoots, frankly, most shooters are not watching the shooter. They are talking and yaking it up.

At your next match, turn your back to the shooter and observe the squad. Unless the shooter is really good, most of the squad isn't paying attention. See for yourself.

yes sir, I just came to read and fell on the perfect thread.......it is me. :blush:

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Like others have said, very few people watch you with any interest. We just really are nowhere near as important as we think we are. Unless you are one of the top two or three or have a rep for breaking the 180 you will will be pretty much just background noise for everyone. This really isn't a spectator sport. Just a bunch of us waiting our turn to shoot. LOL

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Like others have said, very few people watch you with any interest. We just really are nowhere near as important as we think we are. Unless you are one of the top two or three or have a rep for breaking the 180 you will will be pretty much just background noise for everyone. This really isn't a spectator sport. Just a bunch of us waiting our turn to shoot. LOL

funny thing is I know that already, it is a self image problem, it is me watching me perform and coming up to that standard is the "real"problem

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Oh that! Well, I don't wrestle that head of the ego Hydra until after I shoot the stage. :-)

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I was looking for a copy of "Feel the fear and do it anyway" by Susan Jeffers and just found it. It was given to me 11-12 years ago, time to look through it again....

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Performing for others approval is always more difficult than just performing and usually doesn't work out very well. You have to have the confidence in yourself and you abilities, weather at the GM level or the D level. Blocking out the outside influences and shooting each shot as you come to it is what you should strive for.

Movie reference-in Bull Durham when Nuke was pitching and his dad was at the game filming it. Crash came out to the mound to find out what was wrong. Crash told Nuke his dad was as full of sh*t as anyone. Don't think just throw. Similar here. Don't think, just shoot.

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been shooting about 67 years now. my attentiveness to shooting, regardless of watchers, merely required me to

cease thinking about ANYTHING, people, noise, movement, etc, while I'm shooting. It's like being in a nice quite place during shooting. In short, don't think about ANYTHING except my target and sightpicture

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Kita The "Zen state" or what ever you want to call it will help you a lot but this is something that won't come without a lot of experience. The mental side of any game is a lifelong pursuit. It is the only part that you will never completely master. For now when you know others are watching just look at it from their point of view. They don't want to see you fail they want to see you suceed greatly. It is a rare competitor that wishes others do bad. So they are there to help you not see you fail. Even if you do badly they will help and nothinghas really changed in your world. If you loose or win how much has it changed your lot in life? None...So don't sweat the watchers and shoot for yourself and only against yourself.

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I'm with "1644" on this one. I'm a Super Senior and been doing this for over

20 years and I'm just happy to continue doing it. Best thing to do is relax and

have fun.........................:).

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As a cop it wasn't good to have tunnel vision, but as an IPSC shooter tunnel vision is ok.

I guess you could call it focus. I recently shot a Sectional Match and I cannot remember

on any stage where the thought of being watched entered my mind. Some would say

that one would have to have a mind for it to be entered:).

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The wonderful thing about IPSC and stage fright is that we perform with our back turned most of the time. We never have to address the crowd in any way. Even if we're facing the crowd we don't have to look at them...and I prefer NOT to.

I've found the easiest thing is just to completely ignore everyone except the R.O. starting when I'm on deck. Don't even take a peek, just completely ignore them like they totally don't exist and just do my thing.

Certainly not what I'd want to do if I was a Police Officer but it works for IPSC for me at least.

Edited by smiley1

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I was assisting with setting up stages, running errands, etc. for a Mink/Stoeger class this weekend, and had the opportunity to step in and shoot a couple of the drills with the class. Whenever Ben or Matt walked up behind me to critique and offer pointers, I fell apart and couldn't shoot. At all. If I'm going to shoot matches, other people are obviously going to be there while I'm shooting. How can I get over this "stage fright" so to speak? Does anyone else have this issue?

Just understand that we aren't watching your shooting.

Hahaha, yeah thats probably true

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It occurs to me that shooting a stage is the only place where I can get an audience. The rest of life, no one pays any attention to what I do.

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I just read your post - at least thats something :)

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Recite any or all of these 3 times, then keep reviewing your stage plan until you hear "Make Ready". Then get ready to focus on shooting Alphas

"If you're nervous, that's good, you're ready to compete"

"Rule 62. don't take yourself so seriously."

"Unless you're doing this for a living, the worst that can happen is nothing"

'Don't worry about what people are thinking, they're not... most of them are battling their own demons'.

Finally, if you did well congratulate yourself.

If you did poorly, tell yourself what you need to work on.

JMHO

Edited by t0066jh

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I got over that from two things. Having past jobs dealing with strangers (Salesperson, Pizza Delivery) and racing motocross. There is no possible way to "look cool" when you crash a dirtbike. You can be entertaining! But, never cool. So when it happens, you learn how to accept when 2 friends in the woods, or 25 strangers on quads or Jeeps or hundreds of race fans watch you make a mistake. It happens. So the pressure is off.

Delivering food puts you in tough to handle situations at times. Being 30 minutes late in snow to your best customer. They usually understand and still tip you the $10. Or they freak out. And you explain. You become a master of defusing the situation. Keeping cool under pressure.

So buy a dirtbike and deliver pizzas this year. Then you'll feel no pressure. And you'll be ready for anything! Loool

I honestly usually shoot better under dire pressure. Two examples.

#1 I was playing Texas Hokd Em Poker with a gun. An older range officer at my indoor range measured cardboard to fit a deck of playing cards (minus Jokers). We started at 60 feet. You got 5 shots. Fast time limit. You studied the target and memorized cards. Say 4 aces, and sent the target out. Each card hit was removed, and the target came back 1 foot per hit card. So if I hit 5 cards and he hit 5 cards, the target would be at 50 feet for the next round. Anyway, he had like three 7's. At 37 feet, the ONLY WAY to win was for me to shoot three 10's.

I memorized the cards on the grid and he sent the target out. The timer went off and I shot at the first 10. Thought I missed. Shot again. Same. Shot again. Thought I missed and went to the second 10, one shot and last 10, one shot.

When he brought the target back: I drilled the first 10 three times, second 10 once and third 10 once. Claimed my Three Tens poker hand and the victory.

#2 Went to train with an ex RO at the same range before my first IDPA match. Tirns out the ex Instructor was going to be there. But I didn't know. So thought "Cool! Maybe he'll give me a few pointers!"

The guy gave me a full 50 round defensive pistol class. 5 hours, free.

Why was it pressure? I had never drawn from my holster with live rounds. I had never had a pistol class.

I drilled all 50 rounds on the official IDPA target in the down zero except for ONE shot on the -0/-1 line (my first one handed shot ever weak handed). All the rest were in -0. All while learning to draw and doing new drills.

The other thing I do is this:

When you are at the indoor range and someone has a Smith & Wesson .500, or a 44mag or .454 Casul, .357 Mag etc... Ask the RO if you can have a lane next to them! Why? Because if you can shoot 3-shot drills and block out the BOOM and physical shake of a .500 round 3 feet away during your string of shots, nothing will ever shake your awareness.

Also: If you can't keep your cool shooting NEXT to a high powered revolver, how in the heck can you expect to focus being shot AT by a high powered revolver in a bad home invasion scenario etc... Lol Only half-joking about this last point! Just illustrating the point that if BOOMS shake your focus, it's NOT a good thing.

You have to get over your own gun BOOM and recoil. So don't let the shooter one booth over shake your focus with their BOOM!

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'Don't worry about what people are thinking, they're not... most of them are battling their own demons'.

That's a good one.

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When I hear the command "load and make ready," I mentally relax, and forget anyone is even there. I do not notice anything outside of my plan of action once the buzzer goes off. I do not even realize anyone is there. Its just me, the stage, and a buzzer that'll let me go and shoot it.

In my mind I am in my backyard on my personal range. Its just me, my pistol, and a bunch of targets. I know I am an excellent shooter if I allow myself to be, so I need to allow myself.

Once the stage is over and my pistol is clear and in my holster, then I come back to real time. I come back to the world and start going through the stage looking at my hits. Then and only then, do I realize there are other people there.

Shooting is so EXTREMELY mental. Once you have the basics down, you MUST master the mental game. Its the mental game that will kill you. Its your mental game that allows you to shoot GM runs in practice and low B runs in matches. Its just you, your pistol, and the targets... Nothing else. If you think of anything else outside of this, you have failed at the mental game, and will not be successful.

When I think of stages I have blown, its because I was not in the "now." I wasn't focused on my current shot, rather I was thinking of the next array or reload. That's when I have failed because I am not in the NOW. Not in the moment.

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Benos is dead on. Yes, there are people watching. But, they can't pull your trigger for you. You're the only one that can. Focus on the sights, focus on the targets, focus on the trigger. Those are the only things that matter at that moment. Focus on what you have to do and screw everybody else (except the RO :mellow:).

Focus on the task at hand.

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