In this concluding final part, I will be dealing with the overarching philosophy of sports in general and your attitude or approach to shooting.
The Olympics signifies the Pursuit of Perfection of the human spirit.
The Olympic motto – Citius (faster), Altius (higher), Fortius (stronger) signifies this Pursuit of Perfection.
In the Pursuit of Perfection, the Spirit of Mankind strives to soar up to achieve goals, far out of the reach of normal physical abilities.
For example, the breaking of the 10 second barrier in the 100 m and similar such barriers which were subsequently broken in different events.
I had penned a poem many years ago which depicts this Soaring Spirit of Mankind…
Than have no ambition at all…
Like Tall trees,
Vying for the Sun,
Never to be Reached.
Yet! Taller still,
Than the Grass growing at their feet.
Almost every shooter sets his sights on the next competition and trains with his eye on improving his SCORES.
This type of training and attitude, to my mind is at best PEDESTRIAN.
You will only be able to compete at the Olympics, if you strive for achieving perfection for each and every shot, which is a 10.9!
You may not shoot a 10.9 every time, that is okay!
What is important is, that your mental focus, your attitude and your entire approach should be on raising your abilities -physical, technical and mental for each and every shot, so that you come as close to PERFECTION – 10.9. for each and every shot!
And therefore, you need to make a PARADIGM SHIFT in your entire approach to air pistol shooting.
What is this Paradigm Shift?
The Cambridge dictionary explains this as follows;
A situation in which, the usual and accepted way of doing or thinking about something changes completely.
The usual and accepted way of doing things, in air pistol shooting, is to check the score after each and every shot is fired.
Checking the SCORE gets you involved in the thought process which leads you to think, on how each shot will affect your final score at the end of your match.
This thought process leads to negative emotions or feelings which are caused by MATCH PRESSURE, which in turn cuts down on your shooting performance.
Instead of looking at the shot placement on the target as a score, you can change your thinking in such a way, that each shot placement tells you how far or how close you are to a 10.9.
And how much you must lift your shooting abilities – physical, technical and mental to bring your shot as close to perfection – 10.9.
Your attitude will then be, to STRIVE towards raising your abilities, to strive towards perfection and this is what I mean by the Pursuit of Perfection for each and every shot.
This attitude and approach, for striving for perfection is MONK like. And the pursuit of perfection for each and every shot is a form of MEDITATION or YOGA.
The Title of Robin Sharma’s book, says all that is to be said in the pursuit of perfection – The Monk who sold his Ferrari.
If you see the book cover;
You notice a Monk walking on a path…
The Ferrari denotes worldly pursuits, such as scores, medals etc…
The path that the monk treads is the road to self perfection. The Pursuit of Perfection.
And this is the Paradigm Shift that I am talking about.
Every Athlete who qualifies for the Olympics is on this path of self perfection…CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS.
And the good news is, that this can be developed quite easily.
There is a science and methodology for developing this attitude. The steps and exercises for developing this attitude are spelt out in Module No. 5 – Mental Skills.
The choice is yours to make, to be like tall trees or to be the grass growing at their feet…