The Directive Affirmation is a paragraph written in the first person present tense that describes a person's goal, pay-value of the goal, plan to reach a goal and habits and attitudes affecting the goal. It is rehearsed repetitively, causing the Self Image to change.So following his steps to develop the Directive Affirmation:
Step 1. Define the goal. To always shoot 96% or better in the standing stage at matches. [This is only 2 points higher than my personal best, lower than my bests in practice, and only 1 point higher than my practice average. I think it is realistic and achievable.]
Step 2. Set the time limit. March 31, 2014. [I shoot 2 matches a month, so by that time, I'll have shot 16 matches, assuming none get rained out or other interference. This is plenty of time.]
Step 3. List the personal pay-value of reaching the goal. I have taken my next step toward earning High Master classification. The personal pay-value of earning High Master is:
- the great sense of personal achievement
- inspire my blog readers to pursue shooting sports excellence
- Run a Mental Program (more on this in a moment) on each shot.
- Visualize taking 10 perfectly executed shots in the morning when I wake up, and before I go to bed.
- During practice, visualize myself having shot several 10s in a row, and then shooting another unfazed or influenced by the prior shots.
- Keep a written reminder to dryfire every 3rd shot in competition to ensure I am flinch-free and only the muscles in my trigger finger are activated in the shot.
- Read and visualize my Directive Affirmations daily.
March 31, 2014. I always shoot at least 96% in the standing phase of competition. I have taken my next step towards earning High Master classification. I always run a Mental Program on each shot in practice and in competition. I visualize taking 10 perfect shots when I wake up and when I go to bed. When I practice, I visualize myself unfazed by the fact I am shooting 10s, because shooting 10s for me standing is as normal and like me as shooting 10s in prone. In competition I dryfire after several shots and my body simply flows with the rifle's recoil. The muscles in my trigger finger are the only muscles in my entire body that move during a shot. I always shoot at least 96% in the standing phase of competition.Step 6. Write down the Directive Affirmation in my own handwriting on cards, at least 5, and put them in key locations each day. Every time I encounter a card, I read the Directive Affirmation.
That's it! As for the Mental Program, that is basically a mini-mental rehearsal for each shot. I have started using this technique but not consistently. Sometimes my mind is just blank, which is OK I think. When I find myself thinking about anything else, I run the Mental Program. It is probably better to run the Mental Program every shot, so I will start keeping track. Basham gives a Mental Program for shooting in his book, so I'll just use that. Basically, you just visualize yourself and how you feel after making a perfect shot. Then you visualize yourself doing it. Then you focus your attention on what you need to do to shoot and shoot.