Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 24

FEATURE // EXPERT FORUM
going to have tremors. Nerves will therefore throw off your accuracy and timing. Here’s how I deal with it. On match day, I expect to be nervous. The trick is to monitor yourself and not let it overcome you. Some people, especially new shooters, will have a tremor in their hands and will panic, making themselves more nervous. Know that it is coming; accept that it is here; and deal with it. Before shooting, I can feel it coming. I often breathe deeply, which does help some. I store my stress in my shoulders, so I do some shoulder rolls, look at the leaves and trees and think what a nice day it is--anything to get my mind off of the match, if only for a moment. If you focus totally on the shooting all day long, you’ll burn yourself out. The only time you have to focus is when you are on the line. At Bianchi Cup, I take a break and give myself a mental vacation between rounds. When I practice before the match, that’s when I think about the technical parts of shooting like the grip or the stance. I’m not going to change anything in the middle of the match just because I’m nervous. The gun is going to wobble some and the sight picture won’t be perfect. Just do the best you can. Mentally, just watch yourself shoot. Trust yourself to just let it happen. When I’m shooting well, it’s like I’m watching my gun go off by itself with no mental input. As far as wobble: You’re on the target more than you’re off; you just have to have the guts to press the trigger correctly. When the wobble is at its minimum, that’s when I start my trigger squeeze. W. Timothy Gallwey’s book “The Inner Game of Golf” deals with the mental aspects of the game and relates almost exactly to what we do as shooters. I would recommend this reading to anyone. the range, fire 50 shots and become accustomed to the environment there.

You want to be in your match mode in practice and in your practice mode at the match.
For standing shooting, I have a routine that takes me right up to where the trigger goes off. When I see what I need to see in the sights, the gun goes off. I try not to pay attention to the gun moving and all the self-talk that comes at you. When I see the sight picture that is correct, the gun should go off. The worst thing you can do in a match is be cautious. Being cautious makes you over think. You want to be in your match mode in practice and in your practice mode at the match. Your brain is what makes you nervous, and if you have accustomed your brain to what you are doing, that helps to minimize pressure. In summary: Deep breaths, shoulder rolls, monitor yourself, feel it coming, and don’t panic when it comes. And don’t stay focused the entire time you are at the match. Take opportunities to get your head completely away from the match.

ernie Vande Zande, Smallbore Rifle
It’s a complex issue. I’m 63 right now, I started shooting when I was 11, followed by a college team, then the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning and later shot for the Army on the reserve shooting team. I retired from active competition at 44 or 45. Back in high school, I felt that pressure was normal. I started noticing in speech class that sometimes I got pretty nervous, but I didn’t get nervous every time. Over time, I realized that I became more nervous on days when I gave a speech when I felt less prepared. I started thinking about that in relationship to my shooting. It was the same kind of thing: At those times when I wasn’t prepared, I felt more nervous. Then I thought about my shooting. Why was I prepared one time and not the next? I started studying what I was doing to get prepared, or not. I learned pretty early to prepare, to look at what I was doing, so that I would feel more confident. That was a really good lesson. When you’re shooting and you can tell that you are close to a record, you need to focus on those things that got you to where you are. When people have extreme issues with pressure, it’s when they allow their focus to shift to the outcome, rather than doing those things that lead to good performance. When our thoughts shift to the outcome– things that have essentially nothing to do with creating the

Carl Bernosky, High Power & Action Pistol
I always get excited when I am going to a match, but preparing for that is part of the training. If I train well, I am comfortable at the match, and I am going to do okay. I’m actually a lot less nervous after I have fired the first shot. The uncomfortable zone for me is waiting to shoot; shooting is more comfortable. When the competition begins, I just go through my routine. I do the same routine in practice as I do in a match, so that when I get to the match I have already rehearsed it all. For example, when I’m practicing for Bianchi, I have everything set up the same as at the match. I try to put myself in that situation as closely as I can and visualize myself shooting the score I need to shoot. I do the same thing for high power. I try to visualize myself there, shooting the score I need to shoot. If I will be shooting a target with a spotter on it, that’s what I will shoot in practice because that’s what I will see at the match. I have trees close to my practice range, but at Camp Perry there are no trees around. As a result, the team match before Camp Perry is an opportunity to stand on
24 SSUSA NOVEMBER 2011



Shooting Sports USA - November 2011

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

Shooting Sports USA - November 2011
Competitor’s Corner
Contents
Shooter’s News
Nikon’s New M-233 Scope
Score Sheets
2011 National Police Shooting Championships
A Sight for Old Eyes—Iron Sight Solutions
How Not To Crack Under Pressure—Part III
A Page from History
Coming Events
Member Info./Classified Ads
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Shooting Sports USA - November 2011
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Cover2
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Competitor’s Corner
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Shooter’s News
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Nikon’s New M-233 Scope
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Score Sheets
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 11
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 12
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 13
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 2011 National Police Shooting Championships
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 15
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 16
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 17
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - A Sight for Old Eyes—Iron Sight Solutions
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 21
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - How Not To Crack Under Pressure—Part III
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 23
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 24
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 25
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - A Page from History
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Coming Events
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 28
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 29
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 30
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 31
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 32
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 33
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 34
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 35
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 36
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 37
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 38
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 39
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - 40
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Member Info./Classified Ads
Shooting Sports USA - November 2011 - Cover4
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