What are Mental Skills?
Mental Skills are skills which are developed to handle situations in life, whether in sports (obtaining high performance) or in any other profession or personal life.
The moment we speak about a ‘situation’ there is always a desired outcome. For example, when a shooter takes part in a competition or match, the desired outcome is delivering the peak performance which has been obtained during practice sessions.
Mental Skills for 10 M Air Pistol
If a shooter shoots 560/600 in his practice matches, then obviously this is what is the desired outcome in a match situation. For those who have mastered Mental skills, scoring 560/600 in a match is quite easy.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of shooters are not skilled mentally to handle match pressure, as a result, a shooter who consistently shoots 560/600 ends up way below his practice match score.
And the vast majority of shooters do not understand that Mental Skills training requires as much time and dedication, as is required for mastering the technical skills for shooting, which is to shoot 10s consistently.
The first step towards mastering mental skills is to understand how the Mind works?
The Mind has three parts – The Conscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind and the Unconscious Mind.
The Conscious Mind
The Conscious Mind is our thinking mind, it begins working the moment we are awake. When we get up in the morning, we begin thinking of the different activities which need to be done.
Now the Conscious mind can think of only one thought at a time. It helps us to focus our mental energy on the single thought which is occupying our mind at any given point of time.
For example, on the day of the match, you begin thinking about your match and suddenly you see images of you shooting in the match. This mental imagery or visualisation is the ability of your Conscious Mind.
So, the Conscious mind is capable of the following;
1. It can think of any thought one at a time.
2. It helps you to mentally focus on that thought.
3. It is capable of visualisation.
4. The conscious mind does not have a memory, for this it relies on the subconscious and unconscious mind.
In Module No. 5 Mental Skills, the working of the conscious mind is explained with the help of videos and text lessons.