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Guruís Grumblings.

Australian Squad. Anxiety notes.

Anxiety is something that affects even the finest of sports people.
So do not be concerned that you are the only one.

For starters, have you thought about what anxiety is? How does it
affect you?  I know how it affects me, and I also know what to do 
to take advantage of the nervousness that comes with this state of mind.

When you really think about it, you will understand that this is
all it is, just a state of mind.

Anxiety is purely fear of failure, or FOF as I call it. 

FOF can manifest in several different ways, and by far the major 
concern with most team shooters is your fear of letting the team down.

I actually saw this in our recent training weekend when we slathered
the Qld group, and it was mentioned to me when I discussed it with
one of the guys who thought he was on the way to let the team down.

You cannot let a team down, as a team score is merely an addition of
a set of numbers. How those numbers are arrived at is a collective
effort by all of you. Any team is only ever as good as the lowest result
and even when you get a result that has incredibly high scores as the
lowest result, you just havenít let the team down Have you? Like I said,
just an addition of numbers.

Anxiety is often felt as a negative influence deep within your mind
and I would like you to consider just what shooting well is. You see
, shooting is a mind sport, a sport of strong mental control, and
this team is one of the strongest mentality I have had the pleasure
of working with.


Anxiety is necessary to perform well, and each and every one of you
will feel anxiety accelerating your pulse, that gut wrenching 
feeling that goes hand in hand with extremely high performance 
levels. I remember my first world record distinctly, and I can 
assure you that the total mastery of that performance came directly 
from between my ears.

I learned that performance at that level was a matter of attention 
to detail not only of the techniques, but of the mental gymnastics
entailed within.

You see, big scores can only be achieved by adherence to the 
(one at a time routine), and I would like you all to consider what
I am about to tell you in a completely personal sense, as everyone
of you know what to expect, and how to overcome the personal 
feelings that anxiety brings within your mind.


The symptoms of anxiety that affected me were a very negative 
response as I moved along the pathway to success. FOF came in an 
ever accelerating  worry, and I had to re-train my thinking and focus
entirely on the shot that I had in the barrel only. Not the previou
s results of my individual shot performances, or the addition of the
score as I moved along that pathway.

My mind set was one of experiencing a completely new set of mental
techniques, and what I had to do to retain the performance level I
was reaching. 

I knew I had to develop a relaxed attitude, yet maintain the very
high levels of performance I was putting together shot by shot. So
all the training I had done with my beautiful small bore rifle 
developed a strength within my mind that I knew I had to take
advantage of.

The relaxation techniques I had developed with my Sports Psychologist,
(Graham Winter of the South Australian Sports Institute, and later
the Australian Sports Institute in Canberra) were devoted to 
specialising in the shot I was about to fire. None other than the 
round I had in the breech. Total attention on firing this particular shot.

Graham and I called this particular technique (Wave Effect concentration)
and when explained to you all you will understand just how simple
it is. I can assure you that this method will develop a steel trap
mind when it comes to fighting the effects of anxiety, as it actually
turns the effects of anxiety around so that it helps the performance!

Wave effect. How to use it to produce what you are after. Your Goals.

Wave effect is connected to relaxation, and breathing.

To explain it, think about your preparation for your first sighting shot
, and the preparation that has already gone into your performance. 
You are fit and ready to shoot, having gone through your rehearsal an
d mind set routine that comes with a level that each shooter in this

So the first sighter shot is approached, and all your training to
achieve the preparation needed is in place.  Position acquisition
etc, sighting anomalies down alongside the wind coach on the mound. 
You are ready.

The rifle is loaded with a round, and this is when it starts, because
this is the last time you will get a chance to fire this particular
projectile. Make it a good one!

Go into easy breathing, relaxed, and bring your attention to the techniques
needed to fire this shot right up to maximum attention on the sights and 
shot release. The mind is totally fixed on belting this shot right on the
scriber hole.

When the shot breaks, follow it through and then allow the breathing to
take over the relaxation curve as you come down from the effort needed 
to fire that shot. Feel relaxed about it, easy within yourself as you
proceed through the loading process for the next shot.  This is the first
of the (wave) you will feel as you move along the bottom of the wave,
relaxed and comfortable with where you are.

The next shot is approached, and the wave upwards starts to accelerate
as the focus is lifted to once more fire the shot onto the scriber hole.
All your aiming attention is focussed fully. This is the high point
of the wave as the shot is released under a full effort, followed 
through, then down the other side of the wave of concentration to
the relaxed side of the bottom of each wave for each shot.  This is
(Wave Effect) concentration.  This is the way that world record scores
are reached by attention to the details of performance within your mind.

Every shooter in this team is fully aware of where they are in terms of
performance.  I can assure you that just how high this team reaches on
the 29th June is a matter of course, as it is an open ended top end
when you look at goals connected within the squad.

If we do the work, the result will just add to the kudos connected
with this team.


Feel comfortable with the adrenalin rush that anxiety brings, it
will help you to achieve your personal goals, and when we achieve
these goals, what do you reckon will be the result after we add the
individual results into one set of numbers?

Be relaxed, confident within yourselves, and fire the whole lot,
one at a time.
Think about it,


Last Modified -  12:10 8 Feb 2008