Competitive shooter Bruce Piatt was asked: What mental preparation do you go through before a match?
“Mentally preparing for a major match is done on many levels and it is done in different stages. I need to mentally focus while preparing my gear. Sometimes this occurs weeks before a match. Building and test-firing my guns takes focus and can’t be done haphazardly. Once the guns are set up, then its ammo development and sight-in time. All that takes focus and discipline. Actual match practice needs a mental state of ‘constant evaluation’ because practice should be filled with technique experimentation until your most consistent performances are realized. Match day needs a ‘forget everything’ and a ‘be in the moment’ total focus on performance. All you are doing on match day is applying the technique you’ve already learned and practiced, so talking yourself through the steps while you are on the firing line is usually unnecessary. I strive to empty my mind and simply ‘be in the moment.’ watching myself execute my desired technique without conscious thought.”
Bruce Piatt’s shooting disciplines included Action Pistol, Tactical 3-Gun, USPSA/IPSC, Steel Challenge and Sportsman’s Team Challenge. A highlight of Bruce’s competition career was getting married in 1993 and spending his honeymoon competing at and winning his first Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Mo. Bruce is the founder of Bruce Piatt Training Concepts, LLC and provides R&D consulting to firearm industry manufacturers, shooting instruction and is a valued industry spokesperson.