July 18th, 2018

Mental Preparation for Competition — A Champion’s Perspective

Tyrel Cooper Camp Perry
Photo by SFC Brandon Green, 2018 National High Power Champion.

Some of America’s most prestigious rifle matches take place at Camp Perry later this month. The President’s 100 Match will be held on July 29th, followed by Individual and Team Trophy Matches. For those competing at Camp Perry this month, we offer some insights from Tyrel Cooper, a multi-time National Champion. A past member of the USAMU, Cooper’s shooting resume includes five national championships (one each in 2008, 2011, 2012, and two in 2013). He won the 2013 NRA National Long Range Championship, as well as the 2013 NRA National Service Rifle Championship. In this article, written in 2014, Cooper explains the mental preparation that helped him win National Titles in 2013.

Below is a 2012 file photo of Ty Cooper shooting a service rifle. Cooper won the 2013 Long Range Championship using a Nesika-actioned bolt gun chambered in 7mm SAUM.

Mental Preparation
by Tyrel Cooper
Tyrel Cooper Creedmoor SportsGetting focused mentally is an important part of preparation for Perry. In 2011 I was chasing Sherri Gallagher, since then I have been chasing Brandon Green[.] If I get beat by a Service Rifle I am going to make him or her work for it. So there is your peak into my mental process. I go for the top and if I am hanging with them then the Service Rifle National Championship will come, Kind of like how I shoot for X’s and Tens will come.

Now I understand everyone is at different levels. You have to figure out what your goals are and then lie to yourself that you’ve already achieved them. Here is a trick that I used back in 2008: When I was a kid just starting out, my Dad made me read several books on shooting. One of them being With Winning In Mind by Lanny Bassham. One of the things I remember from his book is that he would make notes and place them where he would see them often. They contained his goals or stated he was already a world champion. I took a page from his book and did the same thing.

I made 3×5 cards and wrote my personal best 500 and 800 aggregate scores and taped on the horn of my truck, above the radio in my truck, on my laptop and a few other places I would see them often. Every time I saw those I would tell myself that I average those scores and I would get used to seeing them. By doing this you are lying to yourself to overcome the mental blocks the subconscious mind lays out for you.

I went from my worst year in 2007 to winning my first National Championship in 2008. I kind of slacked off in 2009 because I had reached my goals and didn’t set new ones and it showed, so I had to find new goals and motivation which I did and that pushed me back to the top.

Long story short, this is a mental sport and you have to figure out what you need to do to perform at your highest levels and breaking through those mental road blocks. You have to figure out how to get yourself to relax and control your mind keeping calm when you are shooting a personal best, either standing or on the day.

Here is a tip from my mental process from shooting. First I shoot for Xs, I took the line from the movie The Patriot and applied it to my shooting, “Aim small, miss small” and it is true. If you accept wide shots then you will keep shooting wide shots.

Winning Techniques for Rifle Competition


Slow, Solid, Smooth, Center

Always focus on the positive and good shots, and what you did physically and mentally, when you shot them. When I am nervous and need to calm myself down I tell myself: slow, solid, smooth, center.

Slow
I want my movement to be slow…
I can shoot Tens and Xs all day with slow movement.

Solid
Solid like a rock, a rock doesn’t move and that’s how I want my positions. By saying solid it reminds me to go through my little checks to make sure I am doing what I need to do make that happen.

Smooth
Smooth — that is my trigger word for smooth movement. You don’t want fast choppy movement but slow and smooth. This also reminds me to be smooth on the trigger. You can be smooth-fast or you can be smooth-slow but you have to be smooth and most people aren’t when they think they are. Just before leaving the USAMU, I walked up and down the line of five shooters during a rapid fire string and only one of them was smooth with their trigger control. It’s the second most important thing when it comes to shooting.

Center
This reminds me that I want my shots in the middle. It is just a positive reinforcement of where I want my shots to go. I shoot a reverse flat tire so it also kind of reminds me as to what I am looking for.

Tyrel Cooper Creedmoor Sports

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
July 18th, 2018

Savage Offers Expert Advice on Updated Website

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Savage Arms just completed a major overhaul of the Savage website. Now the SavageArms.com site is more mobile-friendly and easier to navigate. Savage has expanded information on its rifle products, and also created a new Expert Advice area. This new section of the website offers informative technical articles/videos, as well as numerous helpful tips for hunters.

You’ll find 47 informative topics in the Expert Advice section of the updated Savage website. Below are FIVE of our favorites, all with linked videos. Even if you don’t own a Savage, these features are useful. And all new shooters should definitely check out the Eye Dominance selection. This features a very helpful video that explains this important topic.

1. How to Determine Eye Dominance

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

2. Customizing Fit for Competition — Stan Pate

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

3. How to Mount a Scope

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

4. How to Sight In a Rifle

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

5. How to Adjust the Savage Accutrigger

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

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July 18th, 2018

Video Shows How to Replace Remington 700 Trigger

Remington 700 trigger replacement Timney installation

Many Remington 700 rifle owners swap out the factory trigger. This is not a difficult task, but you need to follow the proper procedure so you don’t damage any important parts during installation, and so that you don’t interfere with the operation of the bolt and safety. This Do-It-Yourself video from Brownells leads you through step by step how to safely and correctly replace your Remington 700 trigger. This installation video covers the common methods used to install most of the popular after-market Rem 700 triggers. Importantly, the video also shows how to function test after installation, and how to make sure your safety is working properly.

Many Rem 700 owners fit Timney triggers to their rifles.
Remington 700 trigger replacement Timney installation

Video find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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