August 16th, 2015

Experts Explain the Brain — How it Controls Shooting Skills

Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellum

The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA has a “new and improved” website. The new mobile-friendly format makes it easy to access current articles as well as locate interesting archived stories.

One great recent Shooting Sports USA article, Shooting is 90% Mental, was penned by Chip Lohman (SSUSA’s former Editor). With the help of two very smart Ph.D types, Judy Tant and Mike Keyes, Lohman examines the mental processes involved in the shooting sports. Chip’s co-authors have impressive credentials. Dr. Judy Tant is a Clinical Psychologist and National Bullseye Pistol Champion. Dr. Michael J. Keyes, is a licensed Psychiatrist and former physician for the U.S. Shooting Team.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Online Magazine.

If you shoot competitively, this is definitely a “must-read” article. The authors examine how the brain functions under stress, how “visualization” can be used to improved performance, how “brain speed” can be enhanced through proper training, and how the brain stores learned routines into “muscle memory.” And that’s just for starters — the article gives many concrete examples of techniques top shooters have employed to improve their “mental game” and shoot higher scores.

Brain Speed and Trigger Control:
Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellumResearch: Scientists believe that the newer frontal lobe may not be able to keep up with “deep” brain signals that transmit at nearly 300 mph. This is explained when athletes talk about “letting go,” rather than over-thinking the shot. This conscious signal can take up to 0.3 seconds from recognizing the desired sight picture to moving the trigger finger—too long to capture the opportunity for a perfect shot. However, if the signal is initiated spontaneously in the cerebellum where such procedures are thought to be stored through repetition, the reaction speed is much quicker. Signals are processed by the “deep brain” almost twice as fast as the problem-solving frontal lobes.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 1st, 2014

Read FREE July Edition of Shooting Sports USA

Mental Training shooting neuroscienceThe July 2014 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA magazine is now available. Along with the cover story on the Bianchi Cup, this month’s issue has many interesting articles. And the price is right — this month’s Shooting Sports USA eZine is FREE for the taking. Just Click This Link to load the July 2014 eZine edition right in your web browser.

For all competitive shooters, we highly recommend a 6-page article on Mental Training by Editor Chip Lohman. Drawing on scientific studies, Lohman reveals that practice and specialized training can actually improve mental function and create beneficial physical changes in the brain itself. Lohman quotes one study which revealed that “Brain scans of concert violinists and taxi drivers show enlargement of the areas important to the practice of their profession.” Morever, Lohman notes that “the trained brain has a better idea of tripping the correct nerves and muscles, leading to memory within the muscle itself.”

Mental Training shooting neuroscience

What this means is that competitive shooters can benefit from mental training in profound ways that were not previously understood. If you want to shoot higher scores at your next match, you should definitely read this article, part 2 of a series.

From the ’50s — How to Shoot the High Power Rifle
Another highlight of this month’s Shooting Sports USA eZine is a “golden oldie” article, “How to Shoot the High Power Rifle”. First published in American Rifleman way back in August, 1955, this article covers basic High Power technique. Lt. Col Jim Crossman talks about position shooting, sling use, practice methods, and procedures for relaxing between firing sequences. Much of the advice Lt. Col. Crossman offers can still benefit today’s High Power shooters.

Mental Training shooting neuroscience

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »