Mental rehearsal is a technique practised by professional sportsmen and is one of the biggest assets a skeet shooter can have, especially if they are learning skeet shooting as a competitive sport.
When practicing this technique the shooter imagines the outcome of the shot in their minds eye just before calling for the shot.
In order to effectively use the technique for mental rehearsal, and awareness skills, the shooter must first understand that these techniques can only be learned over time and with practice.
Basics Of Mental Rehearsal Skills
Consider mental rehearsal skills as a daydream, or a visualization of the events that are about to unfold before they have actually happened.
Many people find it helpful to visualize the events unfolding in slow motion first, and then re-run the events in real time.
What this will achieve is to make the shooter aware of what has gone wrong when a target has been missed. The shooter will immediately be able to pick up, and learn from what has gone wrong, simply because what has been visualized earlier is not the same as the events that have unfolded in real life.
To make your visualization real you must mentally go through your usual rituals, as well as visualizing the shot and your success. Start off by looking at the space between the gun and the house, visualize yourself calling “pull” and looking hard at the target.
See yourself moving your gun ahead of the target, and then pull the trigger, and watch the target breaking. Keep following through.
The reason why it helps to imagine your shot in slow motion first is that from the time the target is seen leaving the high house, until the shot is made takes less than half a second.
Be Positive To Get The Best Results
The only way that any mental rehearsal procedure will work properly is to finish your visualization on a realistic, and positive note. Shooting is a learned skill that will take you time and patience to develop, and use to its full potential, it will also prove useful for motivational, and self-assessment processes.
So lets recap on the steps that you should be practicing.
- Positive Rehearsal: Visualize the whole ritual from beginning to the outcome of your shot before taking it, and always make sure that you visualize the outcome in a realistic and positive note. See yourself hitting your target, and see your team-mates commenting on a great shot after.
- Focus on your next target: Once you have made your first shot focus fully on the next shot, forget about the previous shot, and keep following all the way through until you have finished. Never linger too long on the target that has just been shot at.
- Use a ritual: Find a ritual that works for you, and stick to it, you may need to try a few different approaches to find one that works well for you, once you have found the right ritual stick to it in your mental rehearsals, as well as in real life.
- Keep practicing: Remember that skeet shooting like any other competitive sport, can always be improved on. Be proud of your accomplishments, but never be fully satisfied with the outcome of your shooting.
One last thing that you should always remember is that although skeet shooting is a competitive sport, even if you are only being competitive with yourself, it is also meant to be a fun sport. Take the time to enjoy the company of the other people in your squad, and watch and learn from their techniques.