How to Mentally Prepare for Competitive Shooting

Posted by Team Springfield

Oct 13, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Competitive shooting requires an immense amount of preparation and practice. While much of that preparation is physical, there should also be an appropriate amount of mental preparedness.

The Power of the Mind

If you don’t believe in the power of being mentally prepared, just ask some of the most successful competitive shooters about their pre-competition rituals. Rarely does a shooter just show up and start the competition. Almost all successful participants take time to gather their thoughts and drown out distractions before competing.

Many believe shooting is more mental than physical. Anybody can position a firearm in the right direction, but knowing when to pull the trigger and how to remain calm requires skill. If your mind is in the wrong place, your body will never deliver accurate results.

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Tips for Mental Preparation 

Being mentally prepared requires careful attention to detail. Here are a few tips that some of the top shooters swear by:

  • Forget everything else. Easier said than done, you need to forget everything outside of the competition., Your focus should be on the target the sights and the course of fire; everything else is a negative distraction in the middle of a competition.
  • Set small goals. While it’s great to have an end goal of winning the competition, there must be smaller checkpoints along the way. Broad goals are difficult to attain, while small goals allow you to focus and progress. Link to above 
  • Visualize positivity. It may sound like a new-age idea, but visualizing positive results can have profound effects in a sport that requires so much mental fortitude. Instead of thinking about your goals in broad strokes, take the time to mentally picture everything that’s involved in accomplishing it. 
  • Accept your skill level. There is no good in wishing you had additional skills; that’s what practice is for. When it’s time to compete, accept the skills you have and be content with them. Longing and wishing for talents you don’t have will only hold you back.


At Springfield Armory®, we offer a number of competitive shooting firearm solutions. Contact us today for additional information. 

Topics: Competitive Shooting

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual.  These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory®.