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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I might write a little on a subject I know quite a bit about... improving your shooting through building your self confidence.

The thing that separates the truly great from everybody else is that the they KNOW they can hit the target and then they DO. They believe in themselves and their abilities and then "IT" happens. Examples of this phenomenon exist all over the place and in every sports discipline. Boxers visualize successful attack and counterattacks, archers "see" the arrow go through the target, and slingshot shooters "feel" the shot.

So, how exactly do you develop confidence and the ability to hit the mark whenever you not only want to but need to? It's actually not that difficult. Most of us have abilities that are far beyond what we're allowing them to be.... here's a real world, recent example:
There's a show on G4 TV called "Ninja Warrior", it's an obstacle course challenge show... one of the obstacles is called the new and improved "cliff hanger" and it is an extremely difficult challenge that no one had been able to accomplish in the last few years... so difficult was this obstacle that it basically crushed the hope and confidence of any man who would even begin to attempt it.... That is until this last series, Ninja Warrior #27... all the sudden one of the competitors made it all the way across! Then as if by magic, several more competitors were all of the sudden able to do it as well!
After seeing it done, and KNOWING it's possible now, gave the others the confidence to be as competitive and strong as they were actually capable of being. I'm sure in your own personal life you've seen many many examples as well... the dog who jumped the fence and the rest following, the kid who went all the way across the monkey bars and all the sudden half the class can do it as well etc. etc...

Back to slingshots and specifically how to tear out the bullseye....
There's basically three things you can do to make yourself a better shot very quickly.
1) Watch video of guys shooting that are really good shots and try to emulate what they do.
2) Once you know the fundamentals of how to shoot and how to aim, push yourself so that you are always shooting at targets that are just a little smaller than you can comfortably hit, and a couple of steps further than you think possible to hit well from as well... smaller from further.
3) Visualize, SEE the trajectory and impact of your shots... close your eyes and review, open your eyes and adjust.. simple as that! Once you've mastered it, you won't even need to close your eyes, you will replay in your mind automatically and correct as your subconsious tells you.

Now, here's a couple of videos that utilize all the concepts I've written about:

In this one, I simply KNOW I can hit the targets, as I've done the same from further away so doing it in one take on a video will not be a problem:


And in this video, I have the confidence to take the long explanation and then KNOW I'll cut the card... because I've done it many times before under much more difficult circumstances. Notice how I always refer to the shot as "anybody can do it" and stuff... just psyching myself up... good technique for you to try as well!


You want to be a winner, ACT like a winner... you want to be happy, MAKE yourself smile, hold it and the external will help to control the internal.... You want to hit that can from 400' away, go out there and just tell yourself I CAN, and you WILL!
 

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One time I was on the forum bellyaching about a prolonged shooting slump. A bunch of my fellow members said things like "it's ok, man, you'll get through it". Bill Hays said "if you want to be a sniper, act like a sniper. Go out there with a positive attitude, put a smile on your face and hit the **** thing"
Best advice I ever got and I use it every day. You want to be a sniper, act like a sniper. And now I feel like I almost am.
The tip about shooting smaller targets is a good one, too. If I go out and shoot at a can from 10m I'll probably go about 6/10 on it unless it's on video as part of a contest. I just can't focus on it. But a 3" circle or a can hanging sideways so as to shoot at the bottom of it gets my attention and my percentage goes up greatly, even though it's a smaller target. My regular target from 25yds is a 4" square and I hit pretty good on it because it takes all my concentration. Three months ago it wouldn't have seemed possible to me to hit over 50% on a 4" square from 25yds but through practice now I can.
Bill Hays is the man!
I love slingshots
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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5,252 Posts
I thought I might write a little on a subject I know quite a bit about... improving your shooting through building your self confidence.

The thing that separates the truly great from everybody else is that the they KNOW they can hit the target and then they DO. They believe in themselves and their abilities and then "IT" happens. Examples of this phenomenon exist all over the place and in every sports discipline. Boxers visualize successful attack and counterattacks, archers "see" the arrow go through the target, and slingshot shooters "feel" the shot.

So, how exactly do you develop confidence and the ability to hit the mark whenever you not only want to but need to? It's actually not that difficult. Most of us have abilities that are far beyond what we're allowing them to be.... here's a real world, recent example:
There's a show on G4 TV called "Ninja Warrior", it's an obstacle course challenge show... one of the obstacles is called the new and improved "cliff hanger" and it is an extremely difficult challenge that no one had been able to accomplish in the last few years... so difficult was this obstacle that it basically crushed the hope and confidence of any man who would even begin to attempt it.... That is until this last series, Ninja Warrior #27... all the sudden one of the competitors made it all the way across! Then as if by magic, several more competitors were all of the sudden able to do it as well!
After seeing it done, and KNOWING it's possible now, gave the others the confidence to be as competitive and strong as they were actually capable of being. I'm sure in your own personal life you've seen many many examples as well... the dog who jumped the fence and the rest following, the kid who went all the way across the monkey bars and all the sudden half the class can do it as well etc. etc...

Back to slingshots and specifically how to tear out the bullseye....
There's basically three things you can do to make yourself a better shot very quickly.
1) Watch video of guys shooting that are really good shots and try to emulate what they do.
2) Once you know the fundamentals of how to shoot and how to aim, push yourself so that you are always shooting at targets that are just a little smaller than you can comfortably hit, and a couple of steps further than you think possible to hit well from as well... smaller from further.
3) Visualize, SEE the trajectory and impact of your shots... close your eyes and review, open your eyes and adjust.. simple as that! Once you've mastered it, you won't even need to close your eyes, you will replay in your mind automatically and correct as your subconsious tells you.

Now, here's a couple of videos that utilize all the concepts I've written about:

In this one, I simply KNOW I can hit the targets, as I've done the same from further away so doing it in one take on a video will not be a problem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3HA_4jc8ps[/media]

And in this video, I have the confidence to take the long explanation and then KNOW I'll cut the card... because I've done it many times before under much more difficult circumstances. Notice how I always refer to the shot as "anybody can do it" and stuff... just psyching myself up... good technique for you to try as well!

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaW0BUgeb98

You want to be a winner, ACT like a winner... you want to be happy, MAKE yourself smile, hold it and the external will help to control the internal.... You want to hit that can from 400' away, go out there and just tell yourself I CAN, and you WILL!
yes indeed our own worse enemy is us, doubt, fear, we can do amazing things if we only try, my sensei some 40 years ago taught me the word cant does not belong in my vocabulary, he said do! do! do!
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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One time I was on the forum bellyaching about a prolonged shooting slump. A bunch of my fellow members said things like "it's ok, man, you'll get through it". Bill Hays said "if you want to be a sniper, act like a sniper. Go out there with a positive attitude, put a smile on your face and hit the **** thing"
Best advice I ever got and I use it every day. You want to be a sniper, act like a sniper. And now I feel like I almost am.
The tip about shooting smaller targets is a good one, too. If I go out and shoot at a can from 10m I'll probably go about 6/10 on it unless it's on video as part of a contest. I just can't focus on it. But a 3" circle or a can hanging sideways so as to shoot at the bottom of it gets my attention and my percentage goes up greatly, even though it's a smaller target. My regular target from 25yds is a 4" square and I hit pretty good on it because it takes all my concentration. Three months ago it wouldn't have seemed possible to me to hit over 50% on a 4" square from 25yds but through practice now I can.
Bill Hays is the man!
I love slingshots
funny, if its mundane so are we.
 

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Well with the arrowshot you don't need confidence. It hits the target without aiming.
 

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Yep agree with that Bill never say never just go out and do, I think of something to shoot at no matter how difficult it might seem and try it. I don't think about the difficulty it's a negative thought and will not help you achieve your goal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Definitely MJ... you want to BE a Sniper, then ACT like a Sniper! Pretty soon you'll shoot like one as well.

One of the most interesting things I commonly see is how people become better Martial Artists by simply being awarded a belt.... what I mean is, in reality almost all the skills a person will develop they get by red belt.... as an instructor I know this but for some reason the student doesn't... no matter how much encouragement or how many trophies they win, they simply can't beat the black belts on the board.... and even during testing for the black belt most can't handle the black belts in sparring.... the very next day after achieving black belt that same student can all the sudden hold his own... amazing what a little confidence can do for a person!

You as a shooter have already developed the skills you need to do the "impossible".... what you need to do now is get out there and just "do it"!
 

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Very useful. I noticed this in regard to Skateboarding / extreme sports awhile back, each generation of practitioners were doing things that were exponentially "more difficult" than the previous. As soon as the mind recognizes something as a possibility > it can be done.
The only thing that has changed in the meantime is the mind. Now, if we could just.... ahh, I will stop here by saying that this is a valuable observation to keep for just about everything we do. Thanks Bill.
 

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Excellent Shooting I am always working on that I do about 20 to 30 feet with Weeds large sunflowers I have been breaking them also doing leaves off trees. Cups and of course cans . But have not gone to smaller items yet Yep Bills a great shooter hope I can get that way with time.
But I do get lots of good shots..... I have not tried match lighting.. gotta try that ...
 
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