Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 25

shooter, but if you allow a negative attitude into your competitive mindset, you could lose because of it. Instead, I think, “This is my time to really feel alive.” It’s like the moment before bungee jumping or the moment you start to move on a crazy roller coaster ride—you feel everything pumping through you in that moment. Harness that nervous energy as positive excitement. It can actually help you shoot well if you accept it and not fear it. The second thing, while you have all these emotions racing through your system, is to focus on technique. As an action shooter, I tell myself to micromanage everything about my stage—every little thing that I can, instant by instant. Nothing is on auto pilot when I’m preparing to shoot. Hear the buzzer, draw the gun and bring the sights in line with the target. Smoothly engage the trigger. Trigger the shot. I think about all these things and focus strictly on what to do. I micromanage the moment as best I can, focusing on the individual skills necessary for the particular event I am shooting. This helps me to avoid thinking about pressure. This type of visualization is like getting a free “perfect” run at the course. When you’re actually competing, it’s possible to shoot in what many athletes call “the zone.” But if for some reason you can’t get there, focus on all the steps needed—the process, that will help you to do the best you can.

At the end of the day, I think some shooters get angry with themselves for not having a perfect performance. You have to be proud of yourself for putting forth your best effort. Don’t be angry with your performance, just learn from it and focus on the positive for the next time.

BL 550
Dillon’s
Basic Loader

Jason Parker, Smallbore & Air Rifle
The best way to deal with shooting so well that it scares you is to have prepared yourself for those days when you are successful. You have to be ready for those big scores to hit you at any point, which starts with training. When you’re about to shoot a record or are trying out for an Olympic team, you say to yourself, “I’ve been shooting these scores in practice, it’s okay to shoot this score now.” I do a lot with breathing techniques. I don’t have to shoot a particular shot if I don’t want to, so I take a couple of deep breaths, let my heart rate go down and then I’m ready to shoot the shot. During my preparation, I have a pre-shot routine that I can depend on—how everything is supposed to be positioned and how it is supposed to feel. When I feel my heart rate go up, I go back to my pre-shot routine. If you do every single shot the same way, you can take it anywhere, be comfortable with that and shoot a 10 at any time. I’m just doing the same thing I did in practice. I was shooting in a world cup and shot a world record. When I felt that extra anxiety coming on, I embraced it, and then I used my breathing and relaxation techniques to calm down.

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It’s like the moment before bungee jumping or the moment you start to move on a crazy roller coaster ride—you feel everything pumping through you in that moment.

If you missed the preceding series, just go to www.shootingsportsusa.com, select the current issue and then look for the archives menu choice.

SHOOTINGSPORTSUSA.COM 25


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Shooting Sports USA - October 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - October 2011

Shooting Sports USA - October 2011
Competitor’s Corner
Contents
Shooter’s News
Editor’s Diary
Score Sheets
2011 Camp Perry Pistol Champion—Phil Hemphill
2011 National Rifle Championships
How Not To Crack Under Pressure—Part II
A Page from History
Coming Events
Member Info./Classified Ads
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Shooting Sports USA - October 2011
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Competitor’s Corner
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Shooter’s News
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Editor’s Diary
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Score Sheets
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 11
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 2011 Camp Perry Pistol Champion—Phil Hemphill
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 13
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 2011 National Rifle Championships
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 15
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 16
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 17
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 18
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 21
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - How Not To Crack Under Pressure—Part II
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 23
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 24
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 25
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - A Page from History
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Coming Events
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 28
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 29
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 30
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 31
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 32
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 33
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 34
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 35
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 36
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 37
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 38
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Member Info./Classified Ads
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - 40
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Cover3
Shooting Sports USA - October 2011 - Cover4
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