In my Basic 10 meter air pistol shooting videos, I had discussed ‘Focus’ and how it is important to develop the ‘focus lock’.
What is ‘Focus Lock’?
When the sights come into the aiming area, you must develop a sharp, well aligned foresight with the focus remaining steady and sharp till follow through is completed.
A correct focus lock is achieved when your conscious mind which is in the habit of constant chattering (self-talk) shuts up. You are just focussed on the foresight while your conscious mind locks down, no chatter, no noise, no self-talk, no thoughts…
Just a blank silence in which the mind is concentrating completely on the foresight. Yet, you are aware of the smooth trigger operation without any background thoughts. This state is also called as the ‘stithi’ in yoga.
When you achieve this state, your subconscious and unconscious mind delivers an excellent and perfect follow through, resulting in an inner ‘10’.
To develop this mental focus lock, in my Modules No. 3 Basic Training and Module No. 4 Advanced Training, I have discussed some fantastic yogic techniques which will help you to achieve optical as well as mental focus lock, thereby improving your follow through which will deliver more number of ‘10’s.
The Yogic techniques are based on Pranayama, ( Yogic breathing technique), Then the use of ‘Tratak’ which is an advanced yogic technique are explained in great detail.
And finally, we use the CUE card which is a simple 10 M air pistol card with the sight alignment picture in the aiming area of the card.
How to develop the optical and mental focus lock is shown in Mod. 3 and 4.
I will give you an example of how it will help you. Presently I am not shooting for the last two to three months, however, I recently bought a pistol for my wife which has an extra small grip.
Testing out the pistol was difficult for me because I use a Medium grip while holding the extra small grip, my last two fingers were outside the palm rest. Thus I was holding the pistol grip with my middle two fingers only.
Even with this improper gripping, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my sights remained dead steady and perfectly aligned in the aiming area.
How did I achieve this?
Years of training on the CUE card and practising the Yogic technique of Tratak had imprinted on my subconscious and unconscious mind the mental program that whenever my sights come into the aiming area they will be aligned, dead steady and I will achieve a sharp focus lock both optical as well as mental. This is precisely what happened, even with an improper gripping.
Another very interesting example which I wish to share with you is as follows;
In the early 90’s, when I was just starting off in shooting, there was a Doctor who won all the club, and state level air pistol competitions. One day, while competing in an event, his pistol malfunctioned during the sighters.
He quickly borrowed another pistol. He found that the grip was too small for his hand. So what did the good doctor do?
He removed the wooden grips entirely and shot the match holding only the metal frame on which the wooden grips were screwed on. And yes he won that competition also, scoring almost the same score which he normally shot in matches.
When asked, the Doctor replied with a wry smile, “It’s all in the Mind”.
Shooting being a mental sport, the Doctor had programmed his mind to deliver his best scores whatever be the situation. That is why programming your subconscious and unconscious mind with the correct training delivers miraculous results.
Systematic training through the yogic techniques discussed above will help you to master both mental as well as optical focus lock which in turn will deliver excellent follow through leading to an increase in your scores.