By Kyle Jillson | September 2 2011 17:34

Iain Harrison, the original Top Shot from The History Channel, focuses on the target and prepares to fire on NRAblog

The September issue of Shooting Sports USA has a great article tackling the issue of how to keep your nerves calm and make the shots that count when a championship is on the line. In the article, the first of a three part series, professional shooters who are well known in the shooting world tell you how they deal with competitive pressure.

The Fine Art of Not Cracking Under Pressure
By Jock Elliott // Photo by Lloyd Hill

One day I was shooting groups under fairly bad conditions when suddenly a really terrific group began to come together. As I looked through the scope at the three shots through one hole, internal voices began to pester me: “Don’t blow it! You know it only takes one bad shot to ruin a great group like this.” Listening to these messages, my breathing became shallower and more rapid. My heart rate accelerated. I could feel myself “blowing up” inside. I knew this was not going to help me shoot more accurately.

I mentioned the experience to a friend, and he suggested I write an article on dealing with pressure while shooting. Chip Lohman, Managing Editor of Shooting Sports USA, thought this was a good idea and added, “We should interview a list of champions and see how they deal with pressure on a personal level.” So, with Chip’s help, I approached a number of past and present champions with the following:

The focus of this article will be to find out how champion shooters in various NRA disciplines manage the pressure of competitive shooting. This could be the pressure of “Hey, I’m doing really great, I hope I don’t blow it,” or the pressure of, “I’m doing really badly, I need to fi x it now,” or simply the pressure of, “This is the biggest, most important match of the year. I need to shoot my best.” What I want to know is how you, personally, deal with pressure in competition or how you prepare to minimize pressure when you are shooting competitively.

What follows is what those champions had to say about the fine art of not cracking under pressure.

Read the rest of the article, and what the real experts have to say, by clicking this link.

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