All in the mind
I wanted to write in to share something I’ve been experimenting with recently that may be useful to those hoping to improve their airgun accuracy, especially when hunting. As we all know, shooting well is challenging when using an air-powered rifle; even the smallest detail can have a detrimental effect on a shot. Most of us will have experienced the frustration of a pellet veering off course when interrupted by an unnoticed twig!
Lately, I have been employing ‘mindfulness’ techniques when shooting. Mindfulness is essentially a meditative practice whereby one is open to, and observant of the present moment. How is this useful when you’re shooting? Well, as an example, many of us will have experienced a struggle to slow our breath and heart rate if we feel the opportunity for a kill slipping away. Often, we allow this situation to ramp up the pressure of the shot. Lately, as I prepare to pull the trigger, I endeavour to take on the mindset of the casual observer. I notice that my heart rate is too high for a successful shot, but I do not allow this fact to cause me frustration. I allow myself the time I need to regain composure whilst being mindful of the certain fact that if this opportunity passes there will be others. Mindfulness techniques are widely shared free on the Internet, and the best thing of all is you don’t even need to be holding your gun to practise them! Why not give it a go? Phil
Hello Phil Visualisation and ‘present centred thinking’ are popular mental skills used by pretty much all professional sports people these days, which proves to me that they must work. As you rightly say, if we’re able to control our minds, then our bodies will respond. Mindfulness is also free to understand and learn, and anything that makes us shoot better just has to be good. Too many people think that they need a new gun/scope/ pellet or some other item of equipment to improve when, in fact, our personal skill is the biggest area we should work on. Ed.
Accuracy is all in the mind ...well nearly