"Shooting is a mental game," That was the first thing my Marine Corps Primary Marksmanship Instructor told us. That was lesson one. That was rule one. That old ass Gunny pounded that into in every class he ran.
And the sad truth is that I never got it...not from him. I barely qualified on my first trip to the rifle range.
He was a decent enough teacher but he struggled to get a basic concept across because he didn't have a solid framework to present it. That framework or at least frameword is mindset.
Eventually I did find a shooter who was able to figure out how to get through to me. My Marine Corps career ended with repeat expert bars on both my rifle and pistol badges.
I hadn't really begun to appreciate the importance of mindset in shooting until recently when I read Mike Cernovich's Gorilla Mindset
I have for a long time advocated .22s for target practice. The ammunition is (or was) less expensive but it still gave me live fire practice. No I do not advocate .22s for defense. Yes, I am aware that more people are killed with a twenty-two than any other caliber. There is the important question of, "how long did it take for them to die?"
But I was absolutely certain that live fire was practice was preferable to anything else.
I admit it I was wrong. Dead ass, totally wrong.
In GMS Cernovich discusses a study involving basketball free throws. There were two groups. Both practicing making free throws. One group with a ball and one without.
Guess which study group did consistently better when they were actually given a ball. I think you've worked it out.
I decided to give it a try myself. I gave up completely on using a .22 for practice and dry fired with my CZ for five minutes every night before bed time for a month. Then I went to the range.
The results were night and fucking day. I had drastically improved my marksmanship.
No, I will not give you my scores on the grounds that one sample and no control gropu is terrible science. But my results impressed me enough that I can strongly recommend trying it yourself..
Just pick the smallest pin prick target you can find and then run through the fundamentals in your head.
Perfect sight alignment.
Perfect sight picture.