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Match Focus : Serious or Loose

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It's a balance you have to find yourself.

I agree 100%, don't overthink it and do not just wing it. Everyone has a different point of balance, you just gotta find yours. I laugh and joke with my squad at every match but still stop and run the stage in my mind a few times before the buzzer goes off.

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Be who you are the day of the match. If you are laid back, be laid back. If you are hyper focused on details do that. What ever allows you to stay calm and focused when the buzzer goes off. The bulk of your your performance will be determined by your experience and practice. Having confidence in that and knowing your strengths and weaknesses goes along way in any sport.

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Can you over focus?

IMHO, you CANNOT over focus. :sight:

Don't worry, no one is shooting back at you, but if I don't

focus on the task ahead, what will I focus on? I'll focus

on that AFTER I shoot, and focus on shooting while I'm

shooting. :cheers:

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Its like tuning a guitar string. Not too tight, not too loose = Just right.

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When I focus too much , I can slow the time down and shoot the wings off the fly. :):):):)

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I go in and go over the stage. I walk thru it and make plan. I go over it 3 or 4 times. When I step to the line I am then relaxed as possible. I find that if I am nervous or trying to concentrate too hard, I forget things and do horrible. relaxed, i go thru and do my plan to the best of my ability.

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The biggest thing for me was having confidence in my abilities and just shooting. The more I pressed the worse I did. Bad stage compunded for me. Having confidence and letting go of bad juju helped me more than anything. Another thing is make your plan and stick to it. Changing or getting talked out of a stage will kill you too

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There seems to be an assumption that serious != loose, and vice versa. I am both. Focus on the task at hand (typically planning and visualizing the stage, but for a few seconds the task will be just calilng your shots), but don't freak the &*#$ out about it and get wrapped around the axle. Do your job.

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Is there an option for loosely focused?

I like to make sure I'm clear one plan but don't want to over complicate things or not be able to let go of a stage if it doesn't work out like I wanted it to.

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Some of my best results came from being loose and having fun. That did not mean I forgot entirely about the plan or the task at hand, just that I was more relaxed and less focused on the outcome.

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I played recreational softball for some years and one team I was on had a few players who took things far too seriously. Maybe they had never come to terms with the fact that they never became elite athletes. I don't see this so much in shooting but I imagine it must be out there. Most of the people seem similar to me -- wanting to improve and trying their best but wanting to have fun and socialize as part of the whole thing.

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I played recreational softball for some years and one team I was on had a few players who took things far too seriously. Maybe they had never come to terms with the fact that they never became elite athletes. I don't see this so much in shooting but I imagine it must be out there. Most of the people seem similar to me -- wanting to improve and trying their best but wanting to have fun and socialize as part of the whole thing.

U can certainly do your best and still have fun. If you look at the supersquad shooters at nationals, they are generally extremely focused, but loose and enjoying themselves.

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I played recreational softball for some years and one team I was on had a few players who took things far too seriously. Maybe they had never come to terms with the fact that they never became elite athletes. I don't see this so much in shooting but I imagine it must be out there. Most of the people seem similar to me -- wanting to improve and trying their best but wanting to have fun and socialize as part of the whole thing.

I used to play softball as well and there are more than a few that took it way beyond serious. I can say that I met more jerkoffs in one tournament than I've met ever shooting. Definitely a breathe of fresh air.

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In sports where you compete as an individual it is very easy to over analyze something and lose focus.

I'm not any classification to brag about, but I don't find it helpful to go through a stage more than a few times. I plan my reloads I make sure I've covered all the targets then I sit down. Then I refresh myself right before my turn.

I also find I do far better in the one or two slot than I do in the last few spots.

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Brian wrote some precious thoughts about that in his book, so did Saul Kirsch. I think the important thing is to find out what works best for you. For myself that's trying to get cold blooded when I come on deck, because (!) I'm taking that serious. Means: the cooler I am before the beep the better I perform, I don't give other competitors the advantage of me getting nervous or too stressed out.

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U can certainly do your best and still have fun. If you look at the supersquad shooters at nationals, they are generally extremely focused, but loose and enjoying themselves.

Totally agree, and that's the sweet spot of being in the shooting sports.

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What Brian said. I used to be a big time bowler in my late teens to my early thirties. I found the less I thought about it between shots the better I was. So I started doing things to keep myself occupied until I got back on the line. Thinking things over between frames was the same to me as thinking while shooting now. And once I was there everything I was trying to do came back to me and my focus was right there when I needed it. My "game face" and focus came back as soon as I picked the ball up from the rack all the way thru the shot. Once I stepped off the approach I was back to normal. So I tend to like shooting with someone I know either a teammate or a good shooter I have faced before. I like to joke around right up until I am getting ready to get into the box. The make ready time is all the time I need to prepare.

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The times I don't do as well are when I'm paying too much attention to pure mechanics and forgetting the bigger picture. The times I do better are when I shoot what I know how to shoot while trying to keep in mind my visualization and positioning.

Unless I'm out of practice to begin with, in which case I just suck all around.

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I find that I am struggling on classifiers lately. I think I am placing too much importance on them, rather than treating them like any other stage in the match. This doesn't seem to be over focused, but rather over stressed. Any suggestions on how to "fix" my head on this one?

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While there is a huge variability in skillet, personality, intensity, etc. I really beleive it comes to balance for you. A good coach, who knows you may be able to give you a specific answer, but most of these responses (with the notable exception of Brian's and others like his) are irrelevant to you as a shooter unless they happen to have your same skillet and personality.

Yes, I know a few top shooters who can walk onto a stage and get a stage win with no focus, no plan. But they are rare, and sometimes they crash and burn. I know others who need so much focus they do not appear to have fun and only appear to have fun from shooting by meeting their performance expectations. Neither is appealing to me.

There are some stages that I will look at and then not walk at all. They are so straight forward, or fundamental, that walking it too much can hurt my performance. Other stages I need to be in my own bubble, not watch anyone else shoot and visualize my stage plan over and over. Including markers to change speed, identify danger targets, etc. Since reset needs to happen, I often pick one segment and just reset that over and over until I am in the hole. I will often predict my time based on my metrics. Goal setting for a single stage.

Works for me.

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I tried something new today. I DQ'd my last match and after some evaluation decided I'd not place so much importance on my success. So today I just chilled, socialized, had fun and coasted through the day. Much looser focus. My performance was okay (not great) but I think the one day break from seriousness may have helped avoid burnout. I'll get my head back in the game next match.

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I get really shaky as I am up to shoot. Anyone else have that problem?

Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk

There is a thread or two on dealing with match jitters.

Yes.

I find that I am struggling on classifiers lately. I think I am placing too much importance on them, rather than treating them like any other stage in the match. This doesn't seem to be over focused, but rather over stressed. Any suggestions on how to "fix" my head on this one?

Speaking for myself, I have started trying to shoot them too fast, pretty much no front sight focus and no ability to call shots at that speed.

If I shoot at the speed that allows me to call shots then I classify consistently probably at where I ought to be classified. So that is my thing at the moment, call all shots on classifiers and do not target focus when I need front sight focus.

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There are two forms of focus that I like to use; wide (external) and narrow (internal) focus. Good article https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201007/sports-understanding-focus-in-sports I gotta get Brian's book!

Lets use Golf as an example, as I had to get my mental game in line there first.

Wide focus - You're paying attention to the course, the birds, the sunshine, and the nice easterly breeze on a 75* spring day. But you're also walking up to your second shot analyzing the lie, the 145 yard shot over the bunker to a protected pin location. Upon stepping up to start your pre-shot routine, you switch to Narrow focus.

Narrow focus - You're walking up to your 2nd shot, replaying in your head how the tee shot swing was out of time; your hips rotated before your shoulders cleared. You will swing better next time and get that draw to allow an easier shot into the green. Coming up to your 2nd shot, you notice it's a bit of an off-level lie, it will want to cut naturally so the 145 yard shot will stretch out to 151 yards. That's a little long for the 9 iron but you hit it better than the 8... If you chose the 8 it'll be a 80% swing with a cut shift....

Narrow focus will burn you out. Ever gotten to the last stage and just felt wiped out? For me using both narrow focus and wide focus is extremely important to mental acuity on the course/match and having fun with my friends. I've found that at first arriving on the stage, narrow focus to analyze the stage & walk during the pre-walk, mentally rehearse 3 times and then switch to wide focus. When I'm in the hole, back to narrow focus. During the wide focus time, that's when you chat with your buddies about the lastest celeb Ooops pic or the new safety on your 2011 or whatever.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

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