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?

Please fill out the contact form below to have an opportunity to have Bob answer your question.

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Sport high performance in the mountains of Spain

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Our host, Julian Pena, welcomes Bob to Hotel El Ciervo in Xares, Spain

I just got back from Spain, where I had the opportunity to work with an international skeet-shooting client in the mountains of Galicia.  He had invited me to Spain to conduct a high performance clinic for Spanish shooters and coaches.  To get there, my wife and I wended our way straight up thousands of nail-biting feet to Xares.  For the faint of heart, Julian also has a helicopter pad! Continue reading

The Parent’s Choice: Being a sport spectator or a mentor

Coach and shooterLast night I worked with a particularly dynamic coach, staff and team. A previous clinic had awakened the sleeping giants in the players, as they had been shell-shocked from a negative prior coaching experience.

But last night, after applying my system for only a couple of months, and reinforced by their new coaches’ style of leadership, they were a completely different group of players. They were boisterous but respectful, loud but in the Zone, supportive and leadership-driven, yet humble enough to understand what they still didn’t know.

As were the parents in attendance. Yes, the parents. And they positively beamed.

Parents are a part of the team

I include parents in the clinics, at least the few interested ones, because they need to know what their children are learning and they can also benefit by learning the same tools, an effective process I use in my Skype clinics for parents and their teen athletes.
I know some of you must be saying that this must surely squelch the enjoyment of the kids. Continue reading

So much advice on trap shooting but so little improvement. Why?

   Back to Trap & Field

This question comes from Duncan in Phoenix, AZ who asks how it is possible to be getting so much advice on trap shooting at the club, but it doesn’t translate into improved performance.   In this video Bob Palmer answers Duncan’s question and provides some strategies on how to deal with well-meaning or unsolicited advice.

Thoughts? Questions? Please post your comments below and I’ll reply personally.

Bob Palmer, SportExcel

Click here to find out more about our online training series starting January 18, 2012:

What does a Mental Coach do?

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The question: What does a mental coach do? is answered by Bob Palmer in this video with a very basic answer. Mental coaches help you to make your game fun and easy:

Fun, because you learn the tools to fix virtually any problem and;

Easy, because you learn to make training a fun challenge.

Thoughts? Questions? Please post your comments below and I’ll reply personally.

Bob Palmer, SportExcel

Click here to find out more about our online training series starting January 18, 2012:

Is Trap shooting 90% Mental?

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Spencer asks if shooting clay targets is 90% mental.  Bob answers with a big YES.  Very skillful athletes can collapse in the big game because they become intimidated, feel bad when they make a mistake, think about a past loss, etc.

They can keep practicing harder or they can use mental exercises to make the next  competition seem exciting and familiar, and they can use various strategies to make their “fearsome” opponents disappear when they step into the are in the post.

Thoughts? Questions? Please post your comments below and I’ll reply personally.

Hit the Like button or leave a comment below to get notified when I post more videos.

Bob Palmer, SportExcel

SportExcel works all over the world via Skype – contact us today.

What is different about SportExcel?

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By learning a system and the proper tools to use the Zone as a High Performance Engine that drives your game, the athlete or sports team can get great results and avoid talk therapy and talking about problems and emotions. What does the athlete want? The Zone now, so he or she can play their game with passion and have success.

SportExcel works all over the world via Skype – contact us today.
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