Yesterday I decided to go the 10m range and get in some air pistol practice while listening to the week's Torah portion sermons on mp3. This week's portion includes instructions regarding the Red Heffer (Cow), whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body. The portion is significant in that its logic is difficult, if not impossible to grasp. It is said that the purpose of the commandments surrounding the Red Heffer are placed in the Torah to remind us of our intellectual limits, that human connection to the Torah is deeper than logic and reason.
I was quite happy with the results, considering I hadn't touched the pistol for a week! I had been keeping up with the grip and hold exercises, which I think paid off. I shot 90%, a 540 on the dot. (Have I mentioned that 10m air pistol is shot one-handed?)
Most interestingly, I shot the target shown above. The 5 shot string got off to a bad start, I wasn't mentally focused and let loose a seven. That kind angered me and caused me to focus more. I proceeded to pop off four tens in a row. That result lit a few bulbs for me upstairs. For one, I've come to notice that unlike when I first started shooting, now I shoot very well when I put pressure on myself. I've noticed this at matches as well. Match pressure no longer manifests itself as a "fear" of not performing well, rather, now it manifests itself as a sort of motivator to do well. And it made me realize that mentally I'm not 100% focused on each and every shot. In the target above, after the seven I just decided I was going to shoot only 10s and did so.
But how to return to that mental state for every shot? As usual, something new to practice, I guess?!