FEATURE // EXPERT FORUM NOT UNDER PRESSURE PART II THE FINE ART OF CRACKING Doug Koenig mentally reviews his X count on his way to winning the 2010 Bianchi Cup. At this mid-point in the match, however, he was uncertain of the outcome, yet focused on his process. LANNY BASSHAM, Smallbore Riﬂe My answer might not be the same as others. It doesn’t mean they are right, or I am right. There are multiple ways that people deal with pressure. One of the things I learned in my early shooting career is that I had some wrong ideas about pressure. The reason that I wasn’t able to deal with it was because I didn’t understand what the right ideas were. Initially, I was able to ﬁnd some information outside of shooting. When I started working on this in a lot more detail, I found a lot of misinformation about the sensation of pressure. The major reason why this has become a problem for some is because people are very interested in outcome 22 SSUSA OCTOBER 2011 and accomplishment—they want to do well. They want to ﬁnish the event on top of the leaderboard. While we’re thinking about outcome, the probability is that we can’t simultaneously be thinking about executing the shot. This can cause us to “over try”—and that’s the number one reason why good shooters don’t shoot well under pressure. Shooting is a “trust sport” not a “try sport.” You need to train so well that you can trust your training. The minute that you try to get that national record, things come unzipped. You are applying more mental effort than it actually requires. Our conscious thoughts are interfering with our subconscious mind. The best scores that people shoot happen when they are not thinking about the outcome.