“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.” 
-Robert Collier

Fill your mind with a living, fluid image of everything you will see and do to accomplish your goal.

Do not allow unnecessary worries. TRUST: You will do what have visualized.

For shooting, visualize everything you will see, which will vary for every target in each course of fire. For some targets, just knowing you saw the front sight on the target will fire the shot. For more difficult targets, you may need to know you saw a stopped sight picture on the target to secure a hit.

Note the word “know” in the above. There is seeing and there is knowing. When you know, there is no doubt.

Visualize how you will see your body as you enter various shooting positions. Will you see your foot as it enters the position, or will you see your entire body, from the “outside,” or “above,” slide into the position.

Random ol’ days from the Cactus Match League…. Left to right, a formidable trio… BE, Mike Henry, and Rob Leatham

Occasionally, I’d add a “visual-feeling” to my visualization. At the end of a long field course, for example, I’d program a conscious, relaxing exhalation as I entered the shooting position. (At that point in the stage, any trace of calm awareness may have fled the area.)

When throwing darts or shooting pool, I’m more consistent if I visualize the entire event happening. Shooting pool, I visualize the entire path of the cue ball, see it strike the object ball, and the object ball roll into a specific part of the pocket. If I don’t shoot until I visualize all that, I’m usually successful. 

I was practicing at 50 yards, and remembered a quote from Ed McGivern’s, Fast and Fancy Shooting: “A good man with handgun is capable of drawing and placing a solid hit on a torso-sized target at 50 yds in two seconds or less.” I was doing that, but for some reason that day, his words inspired me to continue perfecting it. My resolution, determination, and visualization became so strong that I was shooting two A’s on that target faster than I ever had. The sound of the buzzer produced a perfect, stopped sight picture and an effortless shot; the front sight lifted and slammed back in the rear notch for the second shot. Both A’s were under two seconds. It felt like I was in a trance… Hammering two shots into the A-box in under two seconds until I ran out of ammo. 

I had lost all doubt about the creative power of visualization.

The beautiful thing about visualization training is that you can do it to improve anything.

Each day, set aside a few minutes… Sit quietly in your favorite place and imagine: you are completely at peace.

Comments are welcome, and all questions will be answered.

I’ll post a new topic each Friday afternoon, in one of two categories. One will be on shooting, and the other will be on living. Or: how I learned to live from what I learned by competing.

Thanks for coming in. 

One comment on “¡Visualize!
  1. cam1 says:

    Thank you for the posts. I am working a lot on visualization, but it’s still a work in progress. I used to kick box professionally many years ago (I’m 62). I can still see techniques and combinations in matching I had. I can smell the smells, see the sweat flying and hear the punches and kicks land. I haven’t been able to transfer it to shooting in that detail yet.

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  1. […] While visualizing an upcoming stage, decide how you will visualize each shot, as either moving or stopped. […]