Why I Use ANS For Competitive Shooting
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Why I Use ANS For Competitive Shooting

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Why I Use ANS For Competitive Shooting
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If you have not read either parts or both of the Autonomic Nervous System series, the what and the how. Click below to view Part One and Part Two.

After reading those first two articles and gaining more of an understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System, as well as practicing controlling and activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System in the previous article, the big question is why should we apply this.

Everyone has something they are working on, a skill or a personal goal that they are pursuing consciously or subconsciously. It is important for folks to have a key understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing those things.

Let me give you a personal example. The Autonomic Nervous System and its separate parts are one of those areas that I am learning more about to improve my performance in competitions. I read articles, talked to professionals, and worked with my coach to learn the best strategy to apply this technique to my craft. In shooting, the Men’s 3x40 is one of the longer events in shooting, with exactly 120 competition shots and a competition time of over two and a half hours. With a dozen focus areas to be working on throughout every shot, one’s level of excitement, focus, and intensity can fluctuate. A great tool for controlling my level of intensity is activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System multiple times during a course of fire.

The first course of fire is 4 series of 10 shots in the kneeling position. A score that is on par with international standards is between 98 to 100 out of the 10 shots (10 points maximum per shot). One thing I am still coming to terms with is my potential to shoot those high scores; I still tend to do the human thing of look at the potential outcome instead of maintaining my focus on the process in order to succeed. After failing to maintain consistent focus and intensity for countless of matches, I started to invest in looking for a way to maintain that level of constancy.

During training, I started to feel where my body is in the room or range that I was in. How my feet felt on the floor, where the pistol grip felt in my hand, and where my elbows were placed. I started to consistently breathe from the stomach to consciously activate my parasympathetic system. I found that I didn’t improve immediately but over the course of several weeks, I gained a point here and there. Those few points were the difference between having a decent performance and winning a National Championship.

As you strive for the things you want, understand that everything you do must be a calculated decision with a known and desired outcome. Controlling your Autonomic Nervous System could be another aspect of your craft that you need to learn, or it can be the very thing that is crowding your judgment in a stressful situation.

Now you know the what, the how, and my version of the why, tag a friend and share this with someone who would benefit from this!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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