Q My friend is always making excuses when he shoots badly or misses targets. He says things like: “I’m tired, I didn’t sleep much last night” or “I am not in the mood to shoot today” or “I had a busy week at work and I am still thinking about it”. It is very annoying as I know he can shoot better than he is doing. What can I do to help him?
Oscar Fowler, Staffordshire
A This is an interesting question, as there are different factors at play here. There is the fear of failure and maybe a fear of winning as well. So the excuses are a shield to protect his ego, as a “just in case I don’t do well” strategy. Unfortunately, the other factor is that he is programming negativity into his mind meaning the mind only does what it is expected to do to – produce a poor performance.
Imagine this: you are sat in a building feeling really tired and almost at the point of falling asleep, then the fire alarm sounds. You’re immediately alert and make sure you get yourself out of the building as soon as possible – what happened to the tiredness? It was banished from your mind. Remember, thoughts become things.
Next time your mate comes up with an excuse before he shoots and says “I am tired”. Reply “go home then, no point you being here”. Or if he says, “I am not in the mood today” reply “well now you have told yourself that, you won’t be, will you?”
Small replies like that will make him think about the negative words that come out of his mouth, (I am sure he does not know what he is saying and programming into himself). Remind him that he enjoys shooting as it is his pleasure and his hobby and it does not matter what score he shoots, as long as he enjoys himself.
Remember, we all start shooting because it is fun. We have no expectations, we just enjoy pulling the trigger and it is a bonus when we break a target. Get him to go back to having fun, stop the excuses and he will enjoy his shooting again. And guess what else happens? He hits more clays and so do you! Enjoy. Lesley Goddard