What is Self Image|Role of Self Image in Air Pistol Shooting

What is ‘Self-Image’?

Self-image is how you see yourself in your mind.” And it is related to each and every activity that you do in life.

A self-image related to any activity can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas.

For example, if you are asked to jump in the deep end of a swimming pool and if you do not know how to swim, the self-image which will flash through your mind and body is that of drowning, your self-image prevents you from jumping into the pool, thus risking your life.

However, if you are an expert swimmer, you will dive into the pool with confidence because your self-image is that of a strong swimmer.

If your self-image related to your shooting in a match is poor, then your result or performance will match your self-image, regardless of how many hours you may train and shoot brilliantly in your training sessions.

Can we change our self-image?

Thankfully YES!

In Module No. 5 Mental Skills, I have introduced the systematic method for developing the match winning Self-Image. It is further developed and fleshed out in Module No. 6, The Mental Shot Program.

Just like you train hard in your home range, the same way, you have to put in systematic effort in developing your self-image.

Many shooters have asked me whether they can improve their practice matches scores in an actual match.

For example, if a shooter is shooting 565/600 in practice then can he improve his score to say 570/600 in a match after undergoing self-image training.

The answer is NO.

If you have never scored above 565/600 in your practice matches then you cannot realistically hope to score 570/600 in a match however superbly you may have mastered the self-image development exercises.


The expert swimmer dives into the pool with confidence because over the years, he has swum confidently in the deep end of the pool.

Therefore, he has developed a self-image of a confident swimmer, unlike a person who has never stepped into the pool, who does not have any images of himself swimming in the shallow end of the pool leave alone the deep end.

In shooting also, the Self-Image of a Match performance can never go beyond the practice matches performance.

In other words, you cannot reproduce the skills which you do not have, simply by imagining a match performance which demands skills which you do not possess.

With proper self-image training, a shooter who scores 565/600 in his practice match can reproduce the same score in his matches.

What is the method of developing your self-image?

This is explained in Mod 5 Mental skills, briefly I will discuss the steps as follows;

  1. Understand the different parts of our Mind – Conscious, subconscious and the unconscious.
  2. Understand how the body relates to each part of your mind.
  3. Understand how to relax your mind and body.
  4. Understand the steps of how to visualise correctly.

Please note, that haphazard practice without understanding any of the steps stated above can lead to failure. Systematic training of Mental Skills as explained in Mod 5 should be followed.