And You're Thinking That Because...?
April 2012 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
This is the 2nd TIP in a short series to introduce some of the basics of the mental approach to shooting. I believe this training is critically important, once the shooting basics begin to come online consistently. I add that condition because extensive effort poured into the mental aspects of shooting simply won't be able to make up for for a swing that lacks precision, is inconsistent and, at best, semi-reliable. A good swing and a good mental approach work together beautifully-provided both are working. Training for both simultaneously is a splendid combination, recommended highly.
In my humble opinion, most folks shy away from the mental side of training because of the unknown, the mystery involved, believing that what's out there can't be explained,.....so how can it be useful? That's unfortunate because the process of learning to manage our thoughts and focus our attention can be explained in a completely logical, step-by-step process with down to earth explanations that make perfect sense.
Last month we talked about our thoughts, our "self-talk," or "inner voice." That's the chatter, the dialogue that goes on in our mind throughout our waking hours. Because it's been with us for so long, most folks just accept this dialogue as the truth and never question its validity. While teaching in WA state a few years ago, I was walking in downtown Seattle and came to a vendor selling flat stones with sayings imprinted on them. The one I liked and bought said, "Don't believe everything you think." Good advice.
While our thoughts can have a positive affect on our shooting performance, too often they have the opposite. And it's not like us to stop and question our innermost thoughts, but maybe there are times when we should? Because so much of what we do and how well we do it-especially in competition-is guided by our thoughts. Consider listening to your thoughts during the day and watch how much they influence your feelings and behavior-much like they do in the shooting box.
Yes, you can move your attention away from the negativity and distractions, provided you first begin to pay attention and listen to the self-talk. Become an observer, a third party listening to the "self-talk" conversation. Maybe even reconsider the conclusion you just came to? Only then can we talk about how to deliberately move 100% of our attention onto the target in front of us.
I encourage you to follow through on this very worthwhile exercise.
Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
I recently said in my article that at times I feel like a dinosaur out here. That's true. The Editor of Sporting Clays magazine thought enough of my work to publish over 115 of my articles, every single one I submitted. Thank you George. That's a lot of my personal thoughts and opinions, more than 207,000 words to be exact.
So I think, collectively, a whole bunch of writers have now covered a lot of our game sufficiently............
From last month's Tip: "Yes, you can move your attention away from the negativity and distractions, provided you first begin to pay attention and listen to the self-talk. Become an observer, a third party listening to the "self-talk" conversation. Maybe even reconsider the conclusion you just came to? Only then can we talk about how to deliberately move 100% of our attention onto the target in front of us."............