Have you ever slipped into something more comfortable, dimmed the lights and thrown a little mood music on? Oh yeah, I know you have! Don't worry, I'm not asking you to disclose the results of the combination of mood music, dimmed lights and slinky lingerie...Just trying to indicate that music can "put a person in the mood."
Feel free to comment your experiences if you wish though, I'm sure they were titillating and we'd all like to hear ❤️
Anyway, enough about night-time shenanigans...This time tomorrow I'll be be busy competing in a big sporting event, the South Australian IPSC State Titles. I've written about it previously, the last of which is here if you care to peruse it.
I've been busy preparing because...well...Because I'm a very prepared sort of dude and going off half-cocking ain't my style. However there's an area of preparation people may not expect and it's that which I'll talk about today.
Not the fact that I want to talk about it...Mental is the preparation!. Mindset and attitude.
You see, it doesn't matter what other preparations I make, how much practice I do, how well I clean my handguns or how organised I am; If my attitude is wrong then peak-performance will
probably certainly elude me.
I tend to get a little nervous before big events like this one and so I have to manage it, my attitude and apprehension. Until I get that first shooting-stage out of the way on Saturday morning I'll feel anxious which will make me shoot poorly, or at least, not at my peak; A condition I'm never willing to accept. So, I gotta do something about it.
So, what do I do?
Besides the usual things like practice, training, confidence in my equipment, problem-solving and strategy skills I listen to music. Yep, music.
This is a technique I learned a long time ago when I was racing go-karts. I found that if I listened to certain music prior to events and races I settled into the right mindset, was able to block out everything but the task at hand and focus my energy towards bringing all my skills, the training and practice, together jamming it all into the moments of the race. It brought me clarity.
I'd do what I had to do in respect of go-kart preparation then simply put the head set on and focus on the music whilst running through the race in my head: The turns, the movements of the steering wheel, the brake and accelerator plus the apex's and points on the track I had to hit, where I needed to place my kart to make the track as short as possible, to straighten out the track...It made me better, bringing all of that together with my skills and visualising it whilst listening to music, excluding all else. I found it was the most effective way to imprint it and create a situation in which I was better able to think about what I was doing and nothing else.
So, with my shooting I do the same thing, especially for the major events.
OK so...What does the G-dog listen to?
I'm glad you asked.
Back when I was racing go-karts it was usually something upbeat, typically heavy rock or heavy metal. It seemed to work as a certain amount of aggression is required on the track (Controlled aggression). With a gun in my hand and a belt full of magazines...Yeah, no aggression required.
So, I listen to instrumental music, usually taken from movie soundtracks, rather than more traditional classical music sources. I've thrown a few down below, links to YouTube, to give you a bit of an idea about what I mean. You'll note that all but two, the Joe Satriani and Oblivion track, come from war movies or an HBO series, that's not by design, just that I love those tracks...And the movies and HAB series too, I'll admit.
What I like about these is they calm me, bring a certain peacefulness, rather than raising my heart beat through fast-paced or rhythmic beats. What I'm looking for is a mind empty of all but the job at hand, the course of fire, where I'll run and stop, change my magazines, what target sequence is the fastest and most efficient...The key, other than speed and accuracy, is a clear and focused mind which is more capable to react to the changing scenario on the course of fire. Instrumental music is the best I have found to allow me to detach and find that clear mind I need; It also has no words so I don't sing the words all damned day in my head.
I will listen to this music on the 90 minute drive to the range and as I'm preparing my equipment, prior to shooting stages and of course, after.
I mentioned detachment which in my case is very important, especially at these big events when there's a lot riding on every single stage.
On a battlefield a leader may detach from the firefight to find clarity of thought, not something easily done when being shot at, with men shouting, explosions and gunfire, but that detachment may save lives through better decision-making. It may be a simple turning of ones' back away from the fight, a few steps away maybe, but it's often enough to make that detachment work. It's the same for me. I'm not calling in a Warthog A10 to strafe and enemy position, but I may need to detach from the event at some stage nonetheless.
If I've shot poorly on one stage for instance, made an error, I don't want to allow that to stay with me for the next stage as it will effect my performance...So, I detach through the music you see above, take a few steps away from the others. Reset. Find my centre-point.
This is often done whilst reloading my magazines, hydrating, chomping some food and organising for the next stage.
I can't change the result of the past stage, but I can impact the next so want that impact to be of a positive nature, not residual feelings from the last which can negatively effect my result. Each stage is a brand new opportunity and needs to be approached that way.
So, that's about it I guess. Just on a slightly different note...I doexactly the same thing in my professional and personal life, and music plays a part.
Music is a large, and positive element of my life and I use it to trigger certain things, find clarity or to obtain a degree of detachment as above. It works for me and I'm not sure if that's unique to me or if others use this technique or not. How about you? Have you ever done something similar and if so please feel free to share it, the music even too.
Ok, have a good day y'all.
Tomorrow isn't promised - Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default
An original post written by a human
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