Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mental Prep, AKA The Way of the Jedi


Mental Preparation/Visualization

AKA – “THE WAY OF THE JEDI”


*Disclaimer* I am not an expert and probably shouldn’t even post this, but refer to the authors and SME’s I refer to for more info.

My first exposure to the “mental” side of being a warrior was in the early 2000’s when I read the book NO OTHER OPTION by Marcus Wynne. I then read this two other books out at the time – WARRIOR IN THE SHADOWS and BROTHERS IN ARMS. In 2010, I found that Wynne was writing books again in the form of E-Books and pushing valuable links out via various social media sites (Facebook and Google Plus). Wynne pushed several more links out that involved pre visualization of things as well as going into more depth of visualization in his most recent E-Books. (Available from Amazon and Smashwords as well as his blog marcuswynne.wordpress.com).

September 2011, I read an AAR from a Northern Red class where the concept of “Positive Neurological Linguistic Programming” was mentioned. In this AAR it was mentioned that believing a mantra of knowing you’re a “Rockstar” helps with your shooting. This is not to say you wont miss, be slow, etc, but it will help you accomplish your goal if you believe you can.

There are many terms used to describe Mental Preparation/Visualization. Since they are all pretty much the same thing, I’m going to call them Mental Prep for this article.

When you go to do something, I assume you pre plan it as much as possible. I.E. pack accordingly to what you will need, dress accordingly (Day at the Range, Easter Sunday Church Service and a day at the office are probably all different styles of dress). Consider trying this next time you go to do something “big.” Walk through the event in your mind, from start to finish. Then after you’ve walked through plan A. Do the “If this, then this” variations also called plan B, C, D, etc.

Its easy to do this with small things. For example, the next time you want to shoot the famous FAST drill from Pistoltraining.com, do the following.
  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Relax.
  3.  Visualize the test, step by step.
    1. Beep
    2. Hands move to gun/clear concealment.
    3. Acquire master grip.
    4. Drive towards target taking slack out of trigger.
    5. Acquire sights.
    6. Press trigger.
    7. Sights.
    8. Press trigger.
    9. Begin reload – support hand moving to spare mag, firing hand engaging mag release.
    10. Index mag, drop slide release.
    11. Sights.
    12. Press Trigger
    13. Sights
    14. Press Trigger
    15. Sights
    16. Press Trigger
    17. Sights
    18. Press Trigger
    19. Sights.

Thinking things through before hand helps. You know the “what if scenarios” you inevitably play out in your mind? Like the “Bank robbers while I’m in line at the bank” one inevitably you are imagining every time your at the bank? Now turn that into a “IF this, then I do this” game. If I’m traveling along the interstate and a semi truck swerves into my lane what am I going to do?

This pre incident “mental prep” has helped me. I was involved in an incident where if I hadn’t mentally rehearsed my response many times before hand, believe I would have reacted, not responded. There is a difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is not controlled and frequently is better known as PANIC. Responding involves control – emotions, actions, etc. I can’t go into much more detail on this, but I know what I did, only because I couldn’t have ended up at G, without doing A, B, C, D, E, and F.

Hope this in some way helps at least give an overview of “Visualization” and how to use it. I’m by no means an expert or even qualified enough to make this blog post but maybe it will help.

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