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When I was a contender my strong suit was my mental game.

Each of those made the other easier.

Now I am no where near to being a contender and my mental game is zilch.

Which went first - No mental game, or no longer a contender?
 

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Absolutely NO liquor or sex for at least a week before a major competition. I would also not eat ANY beef especially grilled meat such as steaks and such. Get your mind right without ANY distractions--turn OFF your cell phone and just CONCENTRATE!!!
WHAT! I suddenly don’t like you! I thought beef, liquor and sex make the world go around. I’ve actually heard this before but have also heard trainers tell their boxers to go have as much sex as they can a day or 2 before a fight.
My mentality is one of not thinking about the event. If I spend a large part of the week thinking about a competition I have on Saturday I’d be worthless. I do my best if I stay occupied up until it’s go time.


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It's hard to be thinking about stupid stuff that makes you miss with a raging hangover and headache.
 

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Mastery of the fundamentals and absolute confidence that if you exercise those fundamentals, the target will break is absolutely required.
Very true statement. I would just add Don't count missed targets that is what the score kipper is for. You start to think to much then you lose another target. Stay in the zone one target at a time.
If you exercise those fundamentals the targets will break, confidence, confidence, confidence.
 

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My tournament prep always involved Hydration (I started 5 days in advance if it was a big shoot) and equipment prep. I had a checklist and went through it. I had a stretching routine that I did in the morning with some eye exercises. I would get to tournaments early and shoot at least one practice round. Big shoots were easy to prep for mentally. I was just excited to be away for a week or two and I knew that I could work things out during the week.

Local tournaments were more of a mental challenge to get up for. On tournament day I usually felt that it wasn’t going to be my day and on several occasions I considered turning around and going home. I remember one time driving into the parking lot, turning around and leaving, and a mile away making a u-turn back to the club. After a while, I just learned that was my pre-shoot anxiety. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to shoot well. I made it a point to get to shoots early, knowing that how I felt didn’t matter, and I got dialed in on the practice field.

As I became more seasoned, I benefited from a self-hypnosis/visualization routine that was developed for me by a sports psychologist. Part of the challenge is to discover what works for you. Self-awareness is an important part of self-improvement.
 

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One part of my prep was NOT to shoot a practice round* the day of the event.

Two reasons why I didn't -

a) It is a crutch. And what if circumstance don't permit a practice round. Now you just lost your crutch.

b) If you shot good, what did you gain? A little more confidence? But what if you shot bad. Now you have that thought hanging on you.

b.1) One exception is if it was a long drive and I arrived the day before, I might shoot part of a practice round.....and not all the targets......just a few until I started feeling good about my shooting.

I generally avoided prelims too. Shoot a good prelim and you don't gain much. Shoot a bad prelim and you have that monkey on your back. And....if you shoot a 100x100 in the prelim, then have a good score going into the final event, you have this monkey to deal with.....you just wasted that 100x100 in an prelim.....don't you wish you saved that 100x100 until now.....when it counts?

MENTAL PREP RULE #1 - Don't put monkeys on your back!!!!
 

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To get ready for the big shoot.
I make sure my shells and equipment is ready to go.
No rules about food, liquor or sex.
I like to get to my trap early as I don’t want to be in a hurry.
Henry
 
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