Visualization is a mental preparation technique used by some of the best athletes in the world. Creating a picture of the stadium and player spots in their head before the game makes players feel more confident. It is not only athletes but many artists, musicians, actor and directors also visualize their concepts before going ahead. For example, a director visualizes a particular scene before communicating it to his actors.
Similarly, many soccer players claim to lock themselves in a state of solace where they can’t hear anything, not even the roaring crowd. They say visualizing on the field helps them focus better on the ball and the goalpost.
This form of mental training is also very popular among professional gun shooters. Many Olympic gold medalists have said to practice visualization techniques during the games as it helps in calming down nerves and focusing straight on the target. Visualization techniques are useful for not only veteran shooters but also for those hoping to become a better shooter.
Rehearse Visualization Techniques
Visualization techniques don’t require expensive training or consultation. They can be easily done at home or at the beach. All you need to do is find a quiet place that’s away from all distraction and just close your eyes and let go of yourself. It is suggested to keep these sessions short during the initial days and stop as soon you feel tired and can’t maintain focus.
It is also important to only foresee success in your imagination and never failure, as visualization is to boost your self-confidence. For example, a shooter can visualize drawing a gun and hitting the bull’s-eye.
A gunman must use this mechanism to train their mind and body to certain visual and kinesthetic movements needed in during shooting. These include being prepared to safely draw and target your weapon while deciding whether to shoot or not. In a more literal sense, this means to integrate actions into your muscle memory and cement them for repetition later.
Some of the important aspects of Visualization are described below.
Practice Situational Awareness
Visualization techniques help in increasing your situational awareness by removing every other commotion around. Shooters can practice visualization to improve their environmental awareness by following the below guide:
- Find a quiet room and sit in it with your eyes closed for around 5 to 10 minutes.
- Now, jog your mind through the whole sequence from drawing the weapon to firing it.
- After this, securely hold your gun and smoothly retrieve it from the holster.
- Now grab the gun with both hands forming a perfect grip, set both eyes on the target and align a picture in your mind where you have to fire.
This process makes shooters better oriented with their surroundings, enabling them to focus on the target more accurately. Apart from improving focus, situational visualization also develops better sight portrait, hand positioning, stance, pressure and trigger grip.
Find Your Anchors
Anchors are the little physical points that help in activating the mind and body after one has already imagined and practiced those actions. For example, smelling cookies reminds you of your grandmother’s kitchen. Similarly, as soon as a shooter holds a gun, an anchor can kick in and generate a feeling of self-assurance and strength.
Remember To Breathe
Breathing and good oxygen control is also important for preparing for any future armed altercation. One must visualize stress managed inhalation of air. This kind of breathing is deep, extensive and slow. Good shooters learn to control their breathing not only at the ranges but also in the streets. Breathing is important to be a good shooter because no one can do anything effectively if they are out of breath. Deep breathing trains the person in inhaling more air at a time so that they don’t have to breathe-in several smaller ones.
According to a research, a special type of yoga called Danjeon breathing is recommended for shooters to improve their firing accuracy. This type of breathing involves taking in a large breath of air, holding it briefly and exhaling. Practicing this deep breathing cycle continuously helps in keeping a clear mind when imagining through visualization techniques.
The main goal of visualization techniques is not to get ahead of yourself and imaging impractical things. But it is used as a confidence boosting method by those involved in tasks that require having maximum control over oneself. Therefore, shooters need to practice this art for enhancing their skills and abilities.
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