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Guided Pre-Shooting Meditation

Kristina Kiisk

Mar 1, 2024

Everybody seems to agree that the key element in shooting is mental preparation. Advice ranges from breathing exercises and visualisation to meditation techniques. The word meditation may sound scary, especially to those shooters who have never done any relaxation techniques before. More experienced athletes, too, may find it difficult to find exercises done especially for this sport. In this blog, we propose a very general and introductory guided pre-shooting meditation that you can try before a practice or a competition. You just need a semi-quite place and a pair of earphones.

Kristina Kiisk has recorded this session for you to listen to. It is 9 minutes and 40 seconds long. We are also publishing the text; you can translate it into your own language and record it yourself as it will perhaps feel more personal. You are also free to modify it in any way you feel for personal use.

Shooters' mindfulness and meditation exercise

A female sport shooter in Slovenian national team uniform sitting behind a desk, arms crossed, headphones on her head, listening to a guided pre-shooting meditation.

Stand, sit or lie down in a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed for the next few minutes. Take a moment to settle into a relaxed position.

Getting started – deep breathing

With your eyes open, inhale deeply through your nose, feeling the air fill your lungs fully. Exhale slowly through your mouth, releasing any tension. Repeat that a few times now, inhale through your nose; exhale through your mouth. Inhale through the nose; exhale through the mouth. At the next exhale, close your eyes gently. Let the breath return back to its natural rhythm.

Body awareness

Become aware of your body in the space around you. Feel the contact between the external environment and your body – your feet grounded on the floor if you’re sitting or standing, your sitz bones on the seat if you’re sitting, your arms and hands at your sides or in your lap. Become aware of the sounds that surround you. Make them part of the exercise rather than seeing them as a distraction. Go from sound to sound without analyzing them, just hearing and noticing. If your mind has wandered, no problem, just notice the distraction and gently bring your attention back to the sounds. You might need to do it quite often, so please be patient, be kind and gentle with yourself.

Centering Breath

Start noticing your breath, allowing each and every breath bring you into the present moment. Don’t try to breathe in a certain way, just allow the body to breathe naturally. Follow the breath in and out of your body. In and out. In and out. Like a wave. You might find it difficult to stay focused on the breath, but it’s ok. The only thing you have to do in this moment is to notice when you get distracted, so don’t try too hard, don’t make it complicated. Again, when your mind has wandered, simply notice the distraction, be it a thought or a feeling, let it go, and gently bring your attention back to the rhythm of your breath. Don’t get discouraged if it happens often, remain patient, kind and gentle with yourself. Simply keep breathing in and out for a few moments.

Grounding Visualization, Gratitude and Stillness

Now imagine yourself standing on the shooting range, surrounded by a sense of calm and tranquility. Picture the target in front of you, perfectly aligned at the 10-meter distance. Feel the stability of the ground beneath your feet, as if you are rooted to the earth. 

Take a little moment here to reflect on the opportunity you have to shoot and compete. Feel gratitude for your skills, the support of your team, and the chance to showcase your dedication and passion for your sport.

Imagine a peaceful bubble starting to form around you, shielding you from any external worries or pressures. When distractions come, simply let them go. The concerns of the outside can wait for a little while. As you enter the bubble, your mind becomes clear and focused, ready for the shots ahead. Again, be patient, be gentle with yourself, getting the visualization right takes time and practice.

Affirmations for Confidence

Repeat now, silently or out loud, a few affirmations that boost your confidence. You can use your own mantras if you have them or you can repeat after me:

  • “I am skilled, precise, and focused.”
  • “My breath is steady, my mind is clear.”
  • “I trust in my training and preparation. I am ready.”
  • “I am calm, centered, and in control of my performance.”

Shot visualization

Now we will visualize a few shots. Be sure to do it with utmost precision and care. See in your mind exactly what you want to see happen when executing your shot. Picture the perfect alignment, the steady hold, and the shot release with unwavering accuracy. See each shot hitting the center of the target. Follow your shot process thoroughly. Pause this recording now and give yourself some time to visualize one or two shots.

Breath Awareness

Bring your attention back to your breath. Let your body breathe naturally, but imagine yourself inhaling the confidence and calmness, exhaling any doubts or tension. Continue breathing in and breathing out for a few moments. Inhale, exhale. In and out. Feel the breath flowing through your body, energizing every cell and preparing you for peak performance.

Take a final deep breath, inhaling confidence and exhaling any remaining tension. Start connecting to the outside world. Feel your body making contact with the floor or the chair, hear the sounds in the room. When you’re ready, open your eyes, carrying this sense of calm and confidence with you onto the shooting range.

Final Wishes

As you step onto the range, know that you are prepared, focused, and capable. Trust in yourself and your abilities. Good luck, and may each shot be a testament to your dedication and skill.

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2 thoughts on “Guided Pre-Shooting Meditation”

  1. Soo lovely and interesting and am sure that with this my game will change. Am Lawal from Nigeria shooting athletics.

    1. Hello Lawal! We’re glad to hear you find this Practical Pointer useful! Don’t hesitate to share more of your experience with meditation and how will affect your shooting performance once you start using this recording regularly 🙂

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