Visual Patience for faster hits—how to take your time and be quick about it…

Talk about a contradiction in terms!

How can you be patient in a hurry?

And what is visual patience?

Visual patience is simply waiting until you can see to take action.

If you’re doing sighted shooting, it means waiting until you can see your sights to press the trigger…sometimes clearly, sometimes not.

It means waiting until you can visually verify that your sights have come back into alignment before taking followup shots.

In low light, it means leaving your light on long enough to actually see what you’re lighting up and positively identify it.

When you can see that your sights are aligned on the target and you press the trigger without disturbing sight alignment, you’ll hit what you want to hit.

If you rush things and press the trigger before you see your sights, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss your target, have to take a makeup shot, and be slower than if you just took the time to make the first shot count.

So, to get HITS as quickly as possible, it’s important to be patient and verify that your sights are pointed where you want them to be pointed. It takes time, but when you combine it with solid trigger manipulation, it guarantees hits.

You just don’t want the process to take any longer than necessary.

For most people, it takes .3 seconds or even up to 1-2 seconds to shift and stabilize focus. And that’s time that you simply don’t have in a gunfight or in a timed shoot.

As a result, people try bigger sights, focusing on the threat, and other techniques that may work, but bring significant baggage with them.

There are advanced techniques that I teach, like how to shift your focus to the point in space where the front sight will be…before it gets there…to speed up the process, but there’s even more you can do.

The brain operates on a principle called SAID. It stands for specific adaptation to imposed demand. It means that if you stress a muscle, it will get stronger. If you practice running fast, you’ll run faster.

And when you stop imposing demands on the body, the brain has a “use it or lose it” policy. Unused muscles get smaller and flabby. If you don’t keep moving fast, you’ll slow down.

The same laws work for your eyes and visual cortex.

There’s a really good chance that you see slower now than you could at some point in the past (use it or lose it).

And there’s also a REALLY good chance that you can speed up how quickly you see with minimal effort (specific adaptation). From my experience, most people have ignored the performance aspects of their eyes and, as a result, can double or triple how quickly they see.

This isn’t a case of seeing at superhuman speeds as much as it is taking the brakes off so you can see as quickly as you were made to see.

So, how do you do it? How do you eliminate visual deficits and get back the vision you should have?

Here’s 2 quick & easy drills

They’re called saccades (jerks) and near-fars.

With saccades, simply extend your arms straight out so your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width apart and make a “thumbs-up” gesture with both hands. (you can also hold a pen or pencil in each hand)

Now, practice shifting your focus back and forth between both thumbs (or pens) as quickly as you can for 10-20 seconds at a time.

Shifting focus back and forth 60 times per minute looks kind of like this:

You’ll want to make sure to be patient enough to wait until you can see your thumb clearly before shifting focus to your other thumb. << This is key. If you cheat at the drill and shift focus before you can see your thumb clearly, you won’t get as much benefit from the drill.

Why does it take so long?

There’s a few reasons…

  1. Coordinated movement of the eyes (having them look at the same place in space) is a skill…like any skill, you can lose it if you don’t use it and push it.
  2. Saccadic suppression/blindness.  Your brain cuts out all of the “frames” between when you’re looking at the previous point in space and when you’re looking at the new point in space.  You’re technically blind and unaware of what’s happening visually during this time.  This can be improved.
  3. Muscle speed.  The 6 muscles around the eyes get slower with disuse…this is a skill.
  4. Lack of independent movement of the eyes, head, and torso.  If you only have to flick your eyes back and forth, it’s faster than if you flick your head and eyes together, which is quicker than if you have to turn your entire body to shift focus.  It’s common for people who wear glasses all of the time to have reduced range of motion with their eyes, independent from their face.  This is a skill.
  5. Lack of precision & overtravel.  It’s common to over-shoot the target when shifting focus.  This is a skill.
  6. Slow visual processing.  This is a skill.

(Believe it or not…there’s more that goes into shifting focus, but almost every aspect can be trained and improved with super-simple drills)

With near-fars, first, pick something you can see clearly that’s 10 or more feet away. Then, make a thumbs-up gesture with one thumb straight out in front of you between your eyes and the distant object.

Now, shift your focus back and forth between the near object (thumb) and far object as quickly as you can while keeping clear focus.

You only want to do this drill 10-20 seconds at a time too.

If you wear bifocals, trifocals, or progressives, this will be challenging.

You can also do this in your car while stopped at stoplights…shifting focus back and forth between your speedometer and the license plate of the car in front of you.

Vision drills are INCREDIBLY powerful.

They’ll make you a quicker, more accurate shooter, a safer driver, and in many cases, they’ll help with flexibility, muscle strength, and joint pain. (there’s some complicated neurology involved with why this happens…you don’t need to know why it works for it to work, but if you want to know why it works, I cover it in Upgraded Shooter).

The best thing about vision training is that it’s quick and easy.

You can get dramatic, life changing results with only a few minutes of vision training per day…This isn’t training you need to make time for. It’s training that you can do while you’re doing other things.

Unlike gun training, you can do Tactical Vision Training at work, in a restaurant, or other crowded public places without causing a stir.

So, I want to encourage you to try those two drills. And if you’re serious about shooting, I want to encourage you to check out my Tactical Vision Training Course

This ground breaking course is the only vision training course on the market designed specifically for defensive pistol shooters…home defense, law enforcement, military, and concealed carry.

It’ll show you how to improve your vision speed, visual clarity, peripheral awareness & threat detection, peripheral vision (it’s different), and how to integrate your sighted and threat focused aiming systems in the brain.

Learn more and see the difference that tactical vision training can make by clicking >HERE< now.

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