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      Keeping your Mind focussed between shots

      Keeping your Mind focussed between shots

      Hello friends,

      In the last video we had discussed on the methods on how to focus your mind while shooting. In that video I had mentioned that you should avoid scoring, instead you should concentrate 100 % on each and every step of the ‘shot sequence’.

      In this video, I will be discussing the second part of how to develop 100% Mental Focus while shooting. In the last video I had discussed that your mind should be focussed entirely on each and every step that you take right from the time you pick up the pistol and bring it onto the target and you execute follow through.

      What is very important is the gap between one shot and the next shot. This gap is very critical in keeping your mind focussed because it is within this time between one shot and the next shot that your mind tends to either go into the future or go in the past.

      When I say go in the past it means that you tend to think about the result of your last shot. And when I say that your mind goes in the future, it means that you are expecting a very good result in the next shot.

      So, your mind keeps flipping either to the future or to the past, instead you should be keeping your mind ‘grounded’ in the present between one shot and the next shot.

      I am suggesting a couple of methods on how you can keep your mind grounded in the present.

      Pranayam between shots:

      One method is to keep concentrating on your inhaling and exhaling. In India we have a very good technique called as ‘Pranayam ’and in pranayama you concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling.

      When you concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling it helps you to focus and ground your mind in the present. So, concentrating on inhaling and exhaling is a very good method for keeping your mind focussed and grounded in the present between one shot and the next shot.

      Visualisation:

      The second method is and you can use it along with your inhaling and exhaling is to visualise your next shot. In visualisation, as is shown in the next video, you should be able to visualise your sights going up and coming into the aiming area and you should be able to visualise the correct follow through with the shot going into the 10.

      Now visualisation is a method which we will be discussing in great detail in the future but these two techniques: inhaling and exhaling and visualisation in the time between one shot and the second shot will help you to keep your mind focussed on the task on hand or to keep you grounded in the present and stops your mind from jumping into the future or from flipping your mind into the past result of the last shot.

      So, these are the two techniques which you can use to keep yourself complete focussed 100% between one shot and the second shot.

       

      Developing a focussed Mind

      Developing a focussed Mind

      Hello, friends, in this video and the following videos, I will be suggesting a few steps and a few techniques for improving your mental focus. I would like to start off with a short story.

      When Swami Vivekananda was in America. One day, he went out for a walk and he saw a few boys standing on a bridge, taking aim and shooting at eggshells, which were floating in the water below.

      The boys fired several times but they missed hitting the egg shells each time, so Swami Vivekananda asked the boys if he could try a few shots. The boys sportingly handed the gun over to him. Swamiji fired 12 shots and each of the shots fragmented and broke the egg shells each time.

      The boys were surprised, when Swamiji gave the gun back to the boys, one of the boys asked him, how did you manage to do it? Have you done any shooting before? Swamiji replied that he had never, ever fired a gun in his life. The boys asked him. How did you manage to do this? Swamiji said “whatever you do, if you concentrate your mind, 100 percent and if you are mentally focused, 100 percent, you will never, ever miss the target.”

      In our case, we have to concentrate 100 percent on mentally focusing on our sights.

      To achieve mental focus 100 percent on each and every shot you fire, the first thing that you must do is to keep your emotions aside. Unfortunately, this does not happen with most shooters when they’re firing a shot. Their mind is on the result of the last shot. If the last shot is an ‘8’, then they are emotionally disturbed, they become emotionally unstable. Instead of maintaining a clear state of mind, the emotions related to the shot clouds their thinking, as a result, this has an effect on the next shot. Now they want to shoot a ‘10’. So, again, the emotions come into the picture.

      If the last shot was a ‘10’. then they get excited and once again the emotions get ruffled and disturbs the mind. This prevents you from focusing 100 percent on your next shot. The first step that you must take in order to develop one hundred percent mental focus on your shot execution is to avoid ‘scoring’.

      Now in the SIUS systems or electronic target systems. This becomes a little difficult because the score is on the monitor. And the series-by-series score is also provided, however not scoring on the SIUS systems is not impossible. You can train yourself not to score.

      Ninety nine percent of the shooters, when they’re shooting a training match or an actual match. They are stuck in their scores, when they start off, they start counting the score of each shot and the effect it will have on the result of the first series or the second series, the third series and so on to the sixth series. Thus, you get stuck in ‘scoring’ and the result of what it is going to have on your ultimate score. Thus, you get emotionally disturbed.

      You have to train yourself not to score.

      When you fire a shot, you know what the result is, but it should not arouse any emotions in your mind and body. If you overcome this habit of scoring, you will find that every shot you shoot, you will be free of this emotion and you will be able to concentrate 100 percent.

      Now, I know this will not happen from tomorrow, but you have to start training yourself, start with each series, try not to score a couple of series, gradually learn not to score the entire record series. After some time, what will happen is you will realize that your mental ability to focus 100 percent on your short execution improves hugely.

      Now, I will tell you the biggest problem, the biggest hurdle that a shooter faces. Ninety nine percent of shooters are stuck in scoring, as a result, they get embroiled or get involved in this in this emotional cycle of up and down, the good feeling and bad feeling, which, as I told you, disturbs your mental clarity.

      When the shooter decides that he would like to adopt the system of not scoring, suddenly he will feel completely flat, like a soda bottle whose cap has been opened and has been left out for a few hours. As a result, all the carbon dioxide gas escapes. And when you taste it, it is completely flat. This is what is going to happen to shooters who decide not to score. The whole essence of their shooting will disappear. And this is something that they do not like at all. So, they will go back to scoring.

      But if you persist, if you continue, if you develop this habit, slowly and gradually, you will learn to replace this emotion with another emotion which is the joy of executing each shot as perfectly as possible. This should be our goal. Instead of getting emotionally entangled with the score of the last shot and spoiling the next shot with expectations of shooting better or a higher score, you will be able to have the mental clarity and the mental focus on each step of your shot execution.

      Now, shot execution in pistol shooting comprises of several steps. The first step is taking your stance and position, the second is gripping. The third is lifting the pistol on to the target, coordinated with your breathing. The fourth step is getting your sight alignment, correct. The fifth step is to get a very good focus. The sixth step is to reduce the arc of movement when the sights come into the aiming area. The seventh step is your trigger operation. And the eighth step is the follow through of the first seven steps.

      If you don’t change your grip and stance for each and every shot, then the first two steps can be avoided. After each shot, you can go straight to adjusting your grip slightly, very slightly, just to relax the tension in your grip. Then the second step would be lifting the pistol onto the target and so on alignment, focus, reducing the arc of movement, trigger operation and then follow through. This could happen for 10, 12 shots or depending upon the ability of each shooter.

      These are the steps in your shot execution. Once you remove the emotions out of your system, you will be able to concentrate far better on each of these steps.

      When you take a grip. Concentrate 100 percent on getting the feel of the grip.

      When you lift a pistol up coordinated with your breathing, you should be 100 percent concentrating on lifting a pistol up and onto the target.

      When you’re concentrating on sight alignment, it should be 100 percent making sure the sights are aligned. And so also with focus, arc of movement and then the final trigger operation. And finally, the continuation of all steps, which is follow through.

      But if you’re emotionally clouded with the result of the last shot. You’re not going to be 100 percent focused, so even where you’re taking your grip. You are thinking of the next shot or you’re thinking of the last shot and that 100 percent concentration on getting the correct feel of that grip, will be slightly less than 100 hundred percent. When you’re lifting the pistol up and follow the next few steps if you’re still emotionally clouded, with a little bit of tension or negativity, it is going to affect all these steps, the hundred percent which is required for short execution of each of these steps, mentioned before will not be there. As a result, your shooting is not going to be phenomenal, its not going to be great.

      When you keep your pistol down and check the result of your next shot, once again you get emotionally clouded and this vicious cycle goes on. But if you keep your emotions aside, don’t score at all, you will find a lot of improvement in your mental stability and clarity. You will be a little bit more relaxed; you will be more focussed and this what you need to develop.

      Stop scoring, yes check the result, it is inevitable and unavoidable. You can be aware of the result but don’t think of the effect it will have on the score of the series and how the score of the series will affect the ultimate score of your match. This as I had said earlier that it is easier said than done. It takes a lot of discipline, a lot of mental discipline. This what most shooters find it extremely difficult to adopt because their entire shooting career, two years, three years, four years whatever is based completely on scoring. So, their entire psyche, their shooting system, their mental shooting system is based on their scoring which is like the carbon dioxide gas in the soda. It charges them up.

      And if you remove this gas, the scoring out of their system, their entire drive towards their shooting will become flat, like the soda bottle which has been opened and kept aside for a few hours resulting in a very tepid taste. There is no taste to it.

      And this inner discipline is the most difficult thing to achieve and I find that shooters will continue scoring. They may try it for a few sessions, they may try not scoring for a few sessions, for a few shots for a few series but then they feel like a fish out of water. They are in their comfort zone, which is really not a comfort zone. It is just a vicious cycle. You need to break out of it, you need to imbibe this discipline. To get out of this vicious cycle you need to change.

      Try out this suggestion, sincerely and seriously. The results don’t happen immediately but you will see the results of not scoring, you will see a great improvement in your mental focus and your shooting will definitely improve, by and by. Don’t expect the results overnight. They will happen after one week, two weeks, three weeks maybe it will take you months. But if you are prepared to do this, you will see the results for yourself. So, till the next video, thank you and goodbye.

       

      Horns of Dilemma

      Horns of Dilemma

      Hello friends, In the last two videos, we discussed What a surprise shot is? and we discussed What flinching is?. Now, in this video, we will discuss how each and every shot should be a surprise shot so that it goes in the ten.

      In order to shoot a surprise shot and to avoid flinching. You have to mentally concentrate 100 percent. Focus only on the trigger feeling before, during and after the shot is fired.

      Now, that is easier said than done, because as you can see in this video, the moment you start concentrating on the second pull of the trigger, your mind gets diverted to the foresight shaking, and then you wait until your foresight stops shaking, then you go back to concentrating on your trigger operation.

      Then it may also happen that your mind gets distracted to the entire sights shaking as shown in the video. You wait till the sights become steady and then you go back to concentrating on your trigger operation.

      Sometimes your mind gets distracted by an improper focus as shown in the video. And then again, you wait so that you get a good focus and then again, you go back to concentrating on the trigger operation.

      And sometimes it can so happen that your mind gets distracted by the arc of movement, so you wait till your arc of movement is reduced, then you go again back to concentrating on your trigger operation.

      So even before the shot is fired, your mental focus is completely diffused.

      What happens is when the shot is fired, your mental focus is completely diffused and your shot can go anywhere. So this is the dilemma that each shooter faces, when the sights come into the aiming area, when you should be concentrating 100 percent on the trigger operation. Unfortunately, it gets diverted.

      The key to shooting a surprise shot and to shoot a ‘10’, is to keep yourself mentally focused on the trigger operation, which means that you must have immense confidence in your aiming process.

      As you know, the aiming process is when the sights come into the aiming area, the sights should be aligned. Your focus on the foresight sight should be excellent and your arc of movement should be reduced, this should happen automatically for each and every shot.

      And if you have the confidence in your aiming process, only then you can concentrate 100 % on your trigger operation.

      Your mind can focus only on one thought at any given point of time. You cannot think of the aiming process and the trigger operation at the same time. Its either the aiming process or the trigger operation. So if you want to concentrate 100 percent on the trigger operation, you have to make your aiming process automatic and you should have the confidence that your sights would be aligned, your focus will be sharp on the foresight, and your arc of movement is reduced.

      Now, to do this and to keep your mind focused on trigger operation before, during and after the shot. Requires systematic training, and this systematic training will now be available. On my website through a series of videos. Those who are seriously interested in mastering the aiming process and mastering the trigger operation so that both the aiming process and the trigger operation becomes automatic. Please go on my website, check out the questionnaire which is in Hindi as well as in English, just fill it out and I will receive it.

      I will go through these applications. I will shortlist them and I will call the shortlisted students personally till then. All the best, thank you.

       

      What is Flinching?

      What is Flinching?

      Hello, friends, here I am again with a brand new video. In the last video, we discussed what a surprise shot is. A surprise shot is a shot where you become mentally aware of the shot being fired, a split second after the shot is actually fired. This was explained to you in the previous video.

      Now, in this video we will be discussing, the phenomena of ‘flinching’, what is this flinching? It is related to the shot being fired. When you become mentally aware of the shot being fired, just at the point when it is actually fired. The moment the shot is fired, your mental focus, which should be 100 percent on the trigger pressure feeling breaks and it becomes completely diffused the way it is shown in the video.

      In the video, you see just when the shot is fired, your mental focus becomes completely diffused.

      What happens is because of this mental focus breaking, you get a shock and a signal from your mind goes through your shooting hand and it changes the grip pressure just at the point when the shot is fired as shown in this video.

      Now, in this video, you will see that when the shot breaks, there is a momentary change in the grip pressure and your sights move.

      This, broadly speaking, is what flinching is, and because of this flinching the shot may go anywhere.

      You will see that there is a twitch in your sights and this happens because this habit of flinching is programmed itself in your conscious and subconscious mind. So, every time you shoot, this flinching happens automatically.

      It happens automatically.

      And you have no idea why your shot is not going in the ten and it can go just about anywhere.

      Now there are different kinds of ‘flinching’, we will discuss the different types of flinching.

      The first form of flinching is when you lose your focus on the front sight, the way it is shown in the video.

      Just when the shot is fired, you lose focus on the front sight for a fraction of a second.

      In the second type of flinching, your foresight when the shot is fired flicks to the left. Or to the right when the shot is fired.

      Or it dips down when the shot is fired.

      Or it jumps up when the shot is fired.

      Now, this happens because your trigger finger pressure changes during the shot. It changes, it breaks because of this signal which goes from your mind into your trigger finger and your grip, this causes a momentary shock and it changes your grip feeling pressure. I’m exaggerating it for your understanding.

      Actually, it is a micro movement, it causes a momentary shock, but it is enough for the trigger pressure feeling to change causing your front sight to flick to the left, to the right, to the top or to the bottom. This is the second type of flinching.

      The third kind of flinching is when the rear sights twitches this is called the third kind of flinching, and it is related to a change in the grip pressure. As shown in the video. When your grip pressure changes during the moment of the shot the rear sight and even the front sight can twitch. As a result the shot may go anywhere.

      The fourth kind of flinching is when your entire sight, just when the shot is fired, will either leave the aiming area to go downwards. Or it may leave the aiming area to go to the left. Or it may leave the area to the right. Or it may leave the area and jump up, the way it is shown in the video

      And the fifth is a combination of any two or more of the types of flinching that we have discussed previously, which is a lack of focus, a breaking of focus on the front sight or the flicking of the front sight to the left, right, top or bottom or the entire sights leaving the aiming area to the left, right, top or bottom.

      It could be a combination of all the above.

      So, this is what flinching is all about, and the cure for flinching is just one. You have to keep yourself mentally focused on your trigger pressure feeling before, during and after the shot. One hundred percent.

      Now, it is easier said than done. To keep your mind focused 100 percent on the trigger feeling before, during and after the shot, in the following videos, we will discuss how to maintain this mental focus on your trigger feeling, so that you become aware of the shot a split second after the shot is fired.

      Till then I hope you enjoyed the video. Thank you.

       

      What is a Surprise Shot?

      What is a Surprise Shot?

      Hello, friends, here I am again with a brand new video. And in this video, I will be discussing a ‘secret’ and what is this secret?

      The secret is nothing but the fact that every time you pick up your pistol, you will learn how to shoot a ‘10’. Now, the secret is nothing very great. Actually all you have to do, is to think a bit deeply to realize what this secret is all about, and I will explain the secret or the skill or the technique for shooting a ‘10’ in a series of videos.

      This is the first part. In this first part we will discuss, what a surprise shot is? And this is really funny because I read about it a lot when I started shooting, that your shot has to be a surprise shot and during those days, I used to hang around these top shooters trying to pick up any clue or any tip or any technique which would help me to improve my shooting.

      Then one day I heard one of the top shooters discussing with another top shooter and he said. “Today, my shot was a surprise shot”. Well, I said to myself. Yes! This is what I had read about, that your shot has to be a surprise shot.

      So, I went quickly on the shooting range. I took out my pistol, loaded a pellet, prepared my target and I was all ready to be surprised with my shooting.

      This is where the interpretation misdirects a shooter, some top shooter is saying something, and we understand it in a completely different way. So, this is what happened. I loaded my pistol and I was all prepared to be surprised because to my thinking, a surprise was something like what siblings do when they try and scare each other. One sibling hides behind the door while the other one is passing by, and the first one jumps up and says, BOO! and the other one gets surprised. So that’s what I thought, that is what my surprise shot should be like. The moment I press the trigger, I should be surprised.

      So, that’s what I did. I cocked my pistol and I was all prepared to be surprised. And when the shot was fired, I was surprised and I said, well, that was indeed a surprise shot. Let’s see the result.

      When I got the target back, I was not surprised. I was shocked because the shot had gone in the sixth ring!

      I said. Well! This is not surprising. This is shocking! Maybe I’ve gone wrong somewhere, so let me try again.
      So, I kept on shooting a lot of shots and kept surprising myself, with disastrous results.

      The shots were all over the target. Some were in the white, some were in the seven, the good ones were in the eight. Hardly one, entered the ninth ring, not a single one was a ‘10’.

      Then I said to myself, this surprise shot business is nonsense. I’m not going to be surprised anymore. I don’t believe in this concept.

      It was many years later that I realized what a surprise shot really is. And In this surprise shot lies the secret to improving your shooting. In order to understand what a surprise shot actually means, I will take the help of this video.

      In this video you will see how the second pull begins. And you can see how smoothly and continuously the trigger finger moves before, during and after the shot is fired.

      Now, this red rectangle that you see, which is placed in such a way that the shot fired is shown by the red dashed line, which indicates a shot fired comes is right between the red rectangle.

      This rectangle indicates that you must have 100 percent mental focus and concentration on the trigger pressure just before, during and after the shot is fired. And you have to keep this mental focus on your trigger pressure for just one second, and that one second is indicated by that red rectangle. The limits of which. Indicate the one second gap. Which is before, during and after the shot is fired.

      In the next video, you will see that the red arrow, which is indicating the point where the shot is fired, if at that point of time, just when the shot is fired, if at that point that you become aware that the shot is fired, then the shot will never go in the ‘10’.

      What you have to do is to extend the awareness of the shot fired a split second after the shot is fired, as shown in the video.

      And my dear friends, this is what a surprise shot is. The split second that it takes you to realise that the shot is fired is more than enough for the pellet or the bullet to leave the muzzle of the barrel.

      If you become immediately aware that the shot is fired, the pellet or the bullet is just emerging from the tip of the muzzle. And it causes a slight movement. And because of this moment, your shot will never go in the ‘10’. You have to maintain a 100 percent mental focus on the trigger pressure for a split second after the shot is fired.

      And that is a surprise shot. So a surprise shot is an afterthought. The afterthought is a thought which follows an action and here the action is the shot being fired and when the shot is fired, you are not aware of it because you are focusing 100 percent on the trigger pressure and you are so deeply involved and engrossed and concentrating on the trigger pressure feeling that you realize that the shot is gone a split second after the shot is fired. And that my friends is a surprise shot.

      You can try it out, go on the shooting range, try it out and remember one thing, there are several states of this hundred percent concentration on your trigger pressure. It’s a state of mind where you are 100 percent mentally focused only on one thought, and that is the trigger pressure feeling.

      You have to be so deeply engrossed, that you do not realize that the shot is gone. It comes as an afterthought after the shot is fired and that is enough for you to achieve a beautiful, perfect follow through and you will shoot a ‘10’.

      Ok, this is what I would like you to do. Go on the shooting range and practice what I’ve told you. Try to concentrate 100 percent on the trigger pressure. And you will realize. The state of mind, the deep state of mind that you require to shoot a surprise shot. And when you shoot a surprise shot, it will be a ‘10’.

      If it is not a ‘10’. It means that you are not deeply 100 percent focused on your trigger pressure. Now, initially, this takes a lot of doing, but I would like you to get to know the state of feeling. In the next videos, we will discuss the state of mind more deeply. And we’ll discuss how you can learn to master this feeling for not one shot, but rows of shots. See you.