Seven Mental Skills of Champion Shooters: The Power of Goals Part 2

Previously I’ve mentioned that there are seven essential mental skills for shooting success, all of which are learnable and teachable :

  • Precision Visualisation Skills
  • Positive Self Motivation
  • Powerful Goal Achievement Strategies
  • Emotional State Mastery
  • Positive Mental Attitude
  • Strong Concentration & Focusing Abilities
  • Positive Self Image & Unshakeable Self Confidence

All these skills of the SPORTS MIND can be learned and improved with some simple mental training techniques.

I have spoken of Visualisation, noting that it is the most important mental skill for shooters, and that to direct your shooting performance effectively you want to use clear visual images with feeling, not words, and that visualisation works because it has a measurable, physiological effect on our body. I also noted the importance of getting into the right mental state to visualise, outlined six specific visualisation applications for shooters, and gave some simple tips for getting the best out of your visualisation sessions.

I also introduced the important topic of motivation and said that motivation is an energy – an energy which is influenced by how you communicate with yourself. I noted that there are basically two simple motivation strategies : positive motivation and negative motivation. Negative motivation moves you away something you don’t want to happen, while positive motivation moves you towards something you do want to happen.

This led to a discussion about the power of goals and of the importance of setting a direction for yourself by identifying some short, medium and long term goals, and explained the difference between outcome and process goals, and the importance of knowing WHEN to focus of each type of goal.

So if you haven’t set some goals yet, then do so now! If you have, then ………….. congratulations …. by setting some specific goals you’re way ahead of most average sportspeople already!

However, just setting goals is only the first step. Anyone can set goals. The difference between the person who sets a goal and achieves it, and the person who sets the goal and just dreams of achieving it, is twofold.

Firstly, the achiever makes a committed decision backed by powerful reasons.
Secondly, the achiever designs an action plan, and puts it into practice.

Pick the most important goal you want to achieve, and write a paragraph about WHY you want to achieve it; what are the reasons for wanting it? How would you feel if you didn’t achieve it – what would you miss out on? And how are you going to feel when you DO achieve it?

After you’ve written the reasons, design an action plan – what you’re going to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. to achieve the goal. How will you go about achieving it? What help do you need? What areas do you need to improve? What process goals do you want to set in order to achieve the outcome you want?

Ask yourself :
* What skills would I have developed, and to what level?
* What will be my fitness, strength, flexibility, agility, concentration, emotional control, desire, etc., and how will I have developed these?]

Finally, write your name in the space below for the committed decision and sign it. Commit yourself to your goal – but only do so if you really want it. If you’re really serious, have your coach, or parent, witness it and enlist their help in your achieving it.

Finally, remember to celebrate when you achieve your goals – and thank those who helped you!

I want to achieve _______________________________________ (goal), because …………..

I plan to take the following actions to achieve my goal …………….

I __________________________________________ (your name), truly want the above goal. I now make the decision to fully commit myself to achieve it.

Signed _________________________ Date ________

Witness ___________________

About Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc.(AES) M.Sc.(Hons)
Jeffrey Hodges is a performance consultant to elite athletes, sporting teams and corporate clients. He is the author of the widely acclaimed “Sportsmind – An Athlete’s Guide to Superperformance Through Mental & Emotional Training” and “Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings”; creator of the Sportsmind performance enhancement workshops and audio tapes; and Director of the Sportsmind Institute for Human Performance Research.

He is a NLP Master Practitioner and Associate Trainer, and his Sportsmind programs have been endorsed by the NSW Dept Sport & Recreation, and recommended by top sportsclubs and successful athletes. Jeffrey has competed in many sports, notably Volleyball, Squash, Soccer and Golf, and currently trains in Aikido, holding a black belt.

Some of his clients to date include :
Australian Rugby Union
St. Joseph’s College
Woodlands Golf Club
Financial Institutions Remuneration Group (FIRG)
Societe Generale
Qld. Swimming
Network for Fitness Professionals
North Sydney and Penrith Rugby League Clubs
Qld. Athletics Assn
NSW Netball Assn
Northern Inland Academy of Sport
Victorian Soaring Assn
Orange Agricultural College Equestrian School
Qld and NSW Departments of Sport and Recreation
Qld Academy of Sport
and the RAAF.

For more information, contact :
FLAXTON Qld. Australia. 4560.
PHONE 61 7 5445 7994
email :
website :



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