“When you are not sitting quietly, you may be distracted without knowing it; but once you are aware of it, distraction itself becomes a mechanism for getting rid of distraction.”
-T’ai i chin hua tsung chih
If I rushed I usually failed.
If you made an error—you forgot to shoot a target or skipped a shooting position—more than likely you became distracted because you were rushing.
Since your score is the total points on the targets divided by the time it took to shoot the stage… At the start buzzer, it’s easy to ditch the plan and begin shooting like you were running out of a burning building.
The mind, fluid and ready, waiting for the buzzer, freezes solid upon hearing it. For consistent success, this unconscious response must be eliminated.
The Masters, circa late ’80’s… One of the rare occasions I beat Robbie in a man-on-man shootoff. And don’t let his smile fool you.
Our naturally aware mind stops because we were not fully attentive to the moment. It’s just a bad habit: thinking, rather than attending to the action.
Whether on the range or doing various activities throughout the day, train your mind to be fluid.
Notice when your mind and body are not in sync. Like when you exit a room, then realize you forgot something, or back-pedal to turn out the light. Watch your mind relentlessly; such examples are in endless supply.
As you become more aware of the out-of-sync state, its occurrence will naturally diminish. Realizing that benefit will motivate you to be more attentive until your body and mind are always in sync.
Since everything about practical shooting appears to encourage and reward rushing, you must overcome this natural tendency. I do that by carefully creating a detailed plan including EVERYTHING I will see and do. More importantly, I back up that plan with a firm conviction to just do exactly what I have planned to do—nothing more, nothing less.
Do that, and banish rushing without trying to.
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.