The blunt force way to achieve excellence at any skill is repetition.
As you repeat a skill—correctly–over and over, you progress through different levels of mastery:
Unconscious Incompetence—where you don’t know what you don’t know.
Conscious Incompetence—where you know how little you know and seek wisdom.
Conscious Competence—where you know how to perform, but you still have to consciously think about the individual steps.
Unconscious Competence—where you are able to perform amazingly complex skills using only the subconscious mind and without having to consciously think about the steps.
Excellence—where you begin achieving feats that you or others may have thought were impossible.
As you move through the steps, your fluidity, efficiency, speed, and precision improves. As your cognitive processing during the execution of the skill moves from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind, creativity and HUGE, almost quantum leaps in performance begin to happen.
Malcom Gladwell famously stated that, regardless of the skill, it takes 10,000 hours or 10,000 repetitions to reach this level of proficiency.
It’s true with golf, basketball, martial arts, and shooting.
With most skills, you can put in your reps with minimal cost. But there aren’t many people who can afford the time and money requirements to put 10,000 rounds through their gun for each specific skill they want to become excellent at.
Now dry fire and mental imagery are obvious solutions to the time and money hurdle, but that’s not what I’m writing about today.
I want to share 5 high speed, high leverage hacks with you
that will help shortcut the process of getting from where you are to where you want to be.
Once you decide that you want to become excellent at shooting…excellent enough that you can respond effectively in extreme stress situations without delay or a serious degradation in performance, there ARE high leverage hacks and shortcuts to the process besides dry fire and mental imagery.
These other shortcuts may help you compensate for less-than-ideal genetics, health, or other factors, or if you’re a genetic specimen in the prime of your life, they will act as rocket boosters.
This is the kind of stuff that elite athletes use to eek out a little more performance than their elite competition.
It’s the kind of stuff that Tier II warriors embrace to make the jump to Tier I.
What are these other hacks and shortcuts?
I’ve been working with experts in some very unusual fields over the last few years to track down these hacks. Some of them are mind bending, but here are 5 that are the easiest to understand. I’ll touch on all 5 now, go into a little detail on one, and, based on feedback, go into detail on the rest.
- Vision training—training your eye to see more of your environment, move faster and smoother, and focus faster and sharper. This helps you see threats/targets easier, speeds up the time from stimulus to precise shot on target, and dramatically speeds up transition times.
- Proprioception—hand-eye coordination and knowing how your body, hand, and muzzle are oriented in space at all times, regardless of whether your eyes are open or closed. This is one of the tools that will help you transition from aiming with your eyes to simply using your eyes to verify sight alignment. It will also help you get on sight quickly after getting your bell rung and help you stabilize your vision when turning your head quickly between targets that are widely spaced.
- Brain chemistry—to make sure that your brain/body have the raw materials to be able to transmit messages from the 5 senses to the brain, process information quickly, transmit accurate messages to the muscles quickly, and have the muscles be able to execute the commands from the brain quickly, precisely, and at the exact right intensity.
- Neural health—Besides brain chemistry, did you know that there are simple, specific movements and exercises that you can do (at any age) to increase your mind’s ability to quickly and precisely communicate with your muscles? These exercises have the effect of turning your nerves from old, brittle, rotten wire into a fiber optic trunk line.This can help with balance, ability to shoot from non-standard positions, the ability to get on target and transition between targets quickly, and the ability to isolate hand movement to the trigger finger so that your sights stay perfectly aligned, regardless of how fast you run the trigger.
- Winning the mental game—amazingly, some of the same techniques that you can use to control, blunt, and insulate yourself from adrenaline and other stress chemicals can also help you learn faster and achieve “excellence” WAY faster than 10,000 hours or 10,000 rounds.
I want to cover this last one a little bit more today.
Did you know you could make a fast, simple tweak to your front sight, without the help of a gunsmith, for less than $10, that will trick your subconscious mind into automatically centering it between your rear sights to 1/1,000th of an inch?
You’ve heard of pro athletes and experts getting into “flow state” or being “in the zone” where they switch over to subconscious thought, time slows down, their minds calm down, ice runs through their veins, and their performance shoots through the roof, but did you know that you could learn how to trigger this at will…even if you’re a novice shooter?
Want to see it in action? Then check out this video showing an experiment from earlier this year:
This was after 6 months of NO live fire practice…just dry fire. If you want to see the details on the experiment, go to www.1holechallenge.com. If you want to see more on the one-hole-group mental dynamics shooting system, go >HERE<
Do you have questions or comments on any of the 5 hacks? Let me know.