I’m so happy I followed a comment in a social media post and bought this book to add to my ever growing collection of pistol shooting training books from which I’m trying to learn as much as I can. Thank you Theo!
Bullseye Mind is very helpful and easy to read. It has insight and practical tips, plus some examples that really come in handy. If I had to choose a single sport shooting psychology book it would be Bullseye Mind.
Raymond Prior has written a small book that is a major reference for sport shooters.
Raymond is a psychologist that has been working with shooters and athletes to improve their mental game and some of them have written short texts that can be helpful and motivating.
Seriously, you have to read it. If you had to only read one book about sport shooting psychology it would be Bullseye Mind.
In case you need further convincing, here are the top of my highlights which I hope will be useful. There’s much more in the book and you will learn and benefit more if you read it all (you will read it again and again).
- Your performance follows your thoughts.
- Think about performing well regardless of your situation.
- You choose your thoughts.
- Thinking vs Trusting mindset:
- Performance really happens outside your thinking mindset.
- Use thinking mindset for short periods to make small adjustments and manage your match.
- Mastery = trusting mindset.
- The main objective in shooting is hitting the target as deep as you can.
- Shoot to win and for great scores.
- Focus on process of performance. Outcome is never more important than your process.
- Focus only on the things you can do to take better shots, assess match conditions, manage match, & make adjustments.
- Care about your shooting, not what others think of it.
- Process based objectives that lead to direct & controllable action (I need help with this).
- Ego & mastery aren’t exclusive, they are both present.
- You cannot perform at your best if you are protecting yourself from performing at your worst.
- Attitude is more important than what you are doing.
- Attitude determines how you do things.
- Keep positive and productive attitude regardless of performance (your confidence will go up).
- Learn from your performance and forget about it.
- Focus on things you can control right now.
- Talk about what you did well.
- Ok to be unsatisfied at times.
- Memory exists only in the brain, not in muscles.
- Brain guides performance.
- If you have a negative though, think about performing well and trusting mindset.
- Let go of mistakes when they happen. Forgive and forget.
- Last thing to remember before shot is what you want to do with the shot you are taking.
- Unemotional demeanor for mistakes, setbacks & failures.
- Enjoy good shots and performances.
- Personal highlights reel.
- Allow yourself to dream big and see yourself as you want to become (disregard odds).
- Make dreams part of your everyday life. Take action to achieve them.
- Action plan = list of things to do to achieve your dream.
- Action plan only works if you do.
- Grade yourself everyday on how well you committed and executed action plan.
- Dare to be great and do what it takes to be great.
- Commit to singular purpose of record shot and get into trusting mindset before every shot.
- Pre-shot routing:
- Prepares body to take a good shot.
- Prepares mind for shot by shifting into a trusting mindset.
- Quiet your mind.
- Relax your body.
- Sharpen your focus.
- Trusting mindset.
- Find something meaningful to quiet mind.
- Tense muscles and slowly relax them.
- Fully focused on exact sight picture you are looking for.
- If overthinking start pre-shot routine again.
- Sharpening your focus to your sight picture allows you to assess your hold and be decisive with the shot you are about to take.
- Being decisive is being committed.
- A green light hold is the exact but realistic hold that you want in order to take a great shot.
- Look for a green light hold every time you look down your sights.
- All other holds, lower your arm and start again.
- When running out of time take the shot.
- Shooting in the present.
- Focus on pre-shot routine and getting into trusting mindset.
- Source of confidence is what you choose to think about.
- Confidence is choosing to think about what you want to happen when you are performing: think about taking great shots.
- Confident= only thinking about green light and squeezing trigger. Only think about what you want to happen.
- If you don’t think about shooting great, don’t think about shooting.
- Choose to think about your great shots and successes.
- Train your confidence.
- Bad shots are just a learning opportunity.
- Progress is better than perfection.
- Think in ways that help you focus on making progress.
- Don’t accept limitations on how good you can be.
- Accept that you will never be perfect. Don’t worry about your perfectionism.
- The better you get, the smaller your increments of progress will be.
- Take note of every progress you make everyday.
- Take breaks.
- Nerves are a good thing: welcome them and relax.
- Visualize yourself performing exactly as you want to.
- Focus on your breathing, deep breaths.
- Remember that your fear is just a thought and you have the choice to let it go.
- Choose to think about something else.
- Accept whatever happened in the previous shots and move on. Get back to the present.
- Right level of intensity.
- Control nerves, stay calm and composed.
- Visualization vividness and control.
- Visualize how you want to perform in different scenarios (also difficult scenarios).
If you are having trouble with visualizations, the book includes a script that you can practice with.
I’m left over with a question from the book that I would love to get help from you to solve: what are good key performance indicators of my shooting that can help me move towards mastery and improvement? Technical, physical, mental, etc. Thanks!