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Step 1 - Mindset

Discussion in 'Beginner Articles' started by SIG_Fiend, Jan 9, 2011.

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  1. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

    Feb 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I would like to start your learning experience with what I feel is the most important factor in approaching a new subject. Mindset. Whether it is learning to play a musical instrument, learning how to dance, learning a sport, etc the same basic principles apply. Your success is dependent on the mindset with which you approach the subject.

    So how do we have the proper mindset to excel? Well, there are a few key aspects to consider:

    Pay Attention To Detail

    Sounds simple right? Though this aspect is often overlooked. As humans, we have ways that we blow things off with justifications. We tell ourselves things like, "I'll worry about it later.", "I'll do it right next time. Right now doesn't matter", etc. Instead, we should tell ourselves that what we are doing right now is the only thing that matters. Don't live in the future, focus on the here and now. Forget about everything else and just focus on the task at hand, and performing it to the best of your abilities. Most tasks are relatively easily accomplished if we simply pay attention to detail. This may not seem true at first, but learning to proficiently use a firearm is actually very simple. Where it gets difficult is when people start playing mind games with themselves, doubting themselves, and making it out to be more difficult than it really is. When you feel yourself slipping into this mindset, just remember pay attention to detail. Think about the simple mechanics of the technique or task you are trying to learn, and then perform it to the best of your ability. It's that simple.

    2) Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

    Many of us have heard this before, but what does it mean? This subject has much to do with "repetition", which is the aspect we'll deal with after this one. When you are learning a new technique, it is very important when practicing to focus on the task at hand. We want to pay attention to detail, and ensure that we are doing the best we possibly can during practice. Many people approach practicing any new technique with a sort of nonchalant attitude. In the same manner as we've seen above, it is important not to fall into the mindset of telling ourselves we'll worry about doing it right some time in the future. No one is 100% perfect, and we will always have the occasional failure in practice. Analyzing and working on these failures is the only way that we improve our skills. Regardless, we should not use the "lack of perfection" as an excuse to stop practicing to the best of our abilities. Do your best to do it right the first time, keep doing this, and eventually proficiency will come. It's that simple.

    3) Repetition Builds Muscle Memory

    So how does perfect practice make perfect? Well, there is a wonderful physiological aspect every single one of us experiences EVERY day, and many of us never even realize it. It is called subconscious competence. What does that mean? Well the beauty of the human body is that it develops muscle memory through repetition. Do something enough times, and eventually you will no longer have to think about it, your body will do it subconsciously. Think about how this is true for yourself. Whether it is waking up in the morning with the same routine, driving the same stretch of road every day, jogging the same route every day, performing a repetitive task at work, etc. We all have times where we perform and complete tasks and think back, "Wow, I don't even remember doing that!". I'd like you all to give that some serious thought and try to name at least three tasks that you perform daily in which you truly have subconscious competence. How did you achieve that subconscious competence? The answer is repetition. You've performed that task so many times your body has developed muscle memory and can now perform it even when your mind is focusing on other things. Studies show that anywhere from roughly 3,000-5,000 repetitions starts to ingrain a muscle memory. Consider this when approaching a technique. Do a few reps a day, and eventually in very little time you will have started building that muscle memory. It's that simple.

    So in closing, to simplify all of this lets think about our approach to learning. Remember these 3 concepts, especially when you feel yourself playing mind games and doubting yourself. Remember it's really not that hard. Just pay attention to detail, remember to practice what you've learned as perfectly as possible, and do a few repetitions every day, and in very little time you will start to excel! It is really just that simple.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2018
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