Ask Bob: How to build Zone concentration in the shooting sports

I frequently get questions from readers of my book, blog and monthly articles in Trap & Field and other magazines. Shooters are stymied by some component of their game and turn to me, aka ASK BOB, the “Ann Landers” of the shooting sports.
This month I received a question from Frank:
I have a lot of concentration problems but I feel like I may have changed my mount in the last week or so and I can’t seem to get back to where I was.  What should I do?
In the video below, I’ve broken down the answer into two areas:
1) How to prevent concentration losses generally, and,
2) The need to get new techniques working subconsciously before you step up to compete.

I’ve also provided this training tip in written format below:

Stopping Zone drift 

The solution may be twofold. First concentration problems may or may not be related to your new mount.  Sometimes shooters have what I call Zone drift where they lose the Zone incrementally from post to post, station to station. A good way to cure this is to visualize yourself smoking the target before you step into the post or station, every time. It will take about two seconds. Make sure you supercharge the visualization with the good feel of adrenaline as adrenaline is an alertness booster.

Stop thinking and get subconscious

Second, the lack of concentration may be caused by your new gun mount, as any new technique requires thinking.  And thinking leads to a struggle with focus as concentrating on the new technique takes you away from concentrating on the target.  All of your technique needs to be routine and subconsciously driven.  The solution here is to practice your new gun mount repeatedly at home and on the range until it feels smooth and non-thinking. You can have a friend or coach watch and give you feedback just to be sure. Once it feels fantastic and totally routine, without any thinking, you can take it into a competition and test it out.

So, Frank, apply a quick visualization technique as one solution to building concentration and ensure all new techniques are well-practiced before you take them to a competition. Both should do the trick to turn your game around.

Do you have  a high performance training question for Bob to help you in your shooting sport?

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MIND VS TARGET: New book for the clay target sports now out

Bob Palmer’s new book for target shooters is now available!

The highly acclaimed SportExcel system is a revolutionary way to win, and it is changing the way clay-target shooters approach their game in North America and around the globe. With Bob Palmer’s easy-to-read and easy-to-understand, step-by-step system, you learn to see the target as huge, to eliminate distractions and to stay totally focused.

Mind vs Target is NOT psychology. This book is your mental handbook on winning—it’s a tested and proven system and it is your prescription for taking your game to the next level. This book is filled with tools and tips as well as short cuts to learning—And it’s backed by winning clay-target shooters, professionals and Olympians. And it’s backed by science.

Mind vs Target builds a strong mental game by:

  • Giving you consistency, where you stop thinking and get rid of all distracting self-talk and affirmations
  • Putting you in control by stopping people from distracting you
  • Putting the brakes on embarrassing death spirals, so one dropped target means nothing
  • Making your eyes dynamic where you see targets slow and bright and as big as garbage pail lids, and by
  • Shooting with purpose and learning to forget all past mistakes

This book teaches you the Zone, how to stay in it and how to use it for fun, success and winning.

The book is available in both e-book and paperback.

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www.sportexcel.ca

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