“You can imagine far more than you currently can achieve. If you consistently rehearse what you want to achieve, what you imagine can become reality. Let me give you an example. Back in the 1970s, I was shooting good kneeling scores and began approaching the national record of 396/400. I wanted to set the record at 400, a perfect score. But I had never actually fired a 400, even in training. Nonetheless, I vividly rehearsed shooting the first 100, then another and another. I visualized each of the last ten shots building toward the record. I rehearsed what I knew would happen at that point: I would realize that I was above the record.
“Next, I rehearsed hearing a voice say, ‘That’s OK. I do this all the time.’ then I imagined shooting the final ten easily and saying to myself, ‘Another 400, that’s like me.’ I rehearsed this sequence several times a day for two months. In my first competition since the beginning the rehearsal, I started with a 100 kneeling. My next two targets were also 100s. I began my last series with ten, ten, ten, ten, ten. Only five more to go. Ten. Ten. Ten. Then reality set in. I was above the record. I heard an internal voice say, ‘That’s OK, I do this all the time.’ I shot two additional tens, setting the national record at a perfect 400.”
Bassham basically mentally rehearsed shooting a perfect record of 400/400. And when (in his mind) he hit the 400/400 he positively reinforced it by saying, “That’s like me,” and “I do this all the time.” He’s programming his mind and tells it over and over and over again that hitting a perfect 400/400 is “like him” and that he “does it all the time.”
Lanny had never actually shot a 400/400. Not even in training. But of course, he then did it straight away in the next competition after using this mental rehearsal + positive reinforcement technique.
Have A Winning Mindset!