Distractions Part 2 (article)

Welcome back to part two of our article on dealing with distractions. In the last installment we looked at several ways that other people can distract a competitor in a competition. In this session we will add to the list and then look at the number one distraction and what to do about it.

People Distraction Number Three: The Socialite.

I believe that there are four participation levels in sport; people-training-to-learn the sport, people-training-to-compete, people-training-to-win and people-advancing-the-sport to a completely new level. The Socialite often starts in the people-training-to-learn level and then advances to the people-training-to-compete level. Understand this. The Socialite is in this for recreation not recognition. They will not advance to the people-training-to-win level because it is just not important to them. What is important is that they have a really good time at the shoot. I personally have no problem with the Socialite as long as they flock with other similar species. They become a distraction to the competitor when they rationalize that they are actually competitors themselves. Remember, competitors are there to punch up and to win their class. Enjoyment follows execution in the priority of the competitor. The Socialite tends to pull the competitor’s focus away from why they are there. Socialites are more interested in you becoming like them than paying the price to become like you. Are we enjoying ourselves so much with the Socialites that we fail to run our mental system?

People Distraction Number Four: The Over-tight.

Have you ever tightened a nut on a bolt so tight that the nut breaks? The Over-tight is at the opposite end of the Socialite. Where the Socialite is not concerned about winning the Over-tight is ONLY concerned about it. They are wound so tight they squeak when they walk. The Over-tight distracts everyone that they come close to. Serious is not a strong enough word to describe them? They are so intense to be downright petrified. They are only concerned about winning. If they are not winning they are unhappy and if they do win they complain because they could have won bigger. Do not be distracted by the Over-tights’ apparent zeal or try to compare yourself to them. They tend to exaggerate how hard they are training in preparation for the event. Do not get too near them because they tend to explode.

People Distraction Number Five: The Analyst.

I love to watch the commentators in the NFL games on TV. They always have a play-by-play man and an analyst. You’ve seen them. The Analyst is quick to point out that they were once the champion and this is how we did things back then. He will go on to indicate that today is not as good as his day. The Analyst is a legend in his own mind. They are experts at Monday morning quarterbacking your shooting. Analysts tend to compare today’s technique with last year’s and this event’s winner with last year’s winner. Be careful of the Analyst when they compare your instructor against their current favorite instructor because last year their current favorite was someone else; normally from out of state.

People Distraction Number Six: The Complainer.

He complains about everything; the targets are too hard, the trapper was too slow, the squads are backed up again, the trapper missed the call, not enough participants this year, too many participants this year, that old injury showed up again, got a new injury, left a piece of equipment home again, parking lot is full, favorite motel is full, credit card is full, gas is too high, no food at the clubhouse, missed the show-pair, cannot remember where he put his shades, don’t like it when people watch him, don’t like it when people don’t watch him, cannot get problems at the job off of his mind, can’t find a job, can’t find a wife, wishes he had a more understanding wife, wishes he didn’t have a wife but more than anything else he wishes everyone would stop complaining so much.

People Distraction Number Seven: The Thrower/Slammer.

When frustration peeks and somehow one loses it they might be tempted to through or slam something to let out the frustration of the day. You would like to think that a mature person would have more self-control. The Thrower/Slammer is reinforcing the error by this kind of behavior. Mentally mature people do not respond to their environment in such an immature way. Thank goodness there are just a few of these folks in the sport. If the tossing of shells is accompanied by colorful expletives then we know that the last bit of self-control has left the shooter for certain and they need to go to time out.

OK, now for the number one distraction.

This is the big one and the one you must avoid at all cost. The number one distraction is that you discover that you have become one of the people that are distracting others. Get your act together. Become the competitor that others want to compete with. If you are not in it to win it then respect those that are. If your only concern is winning remember that not everyone is wired that way. We like a person that is focused on doing well but also keeps the needs of others a high priority. We don’t need a complainer, a criticizer or a crank. We could use more understanding, more complementing and more smiles all around. We like a humble winner and we promise to congratulate you when you win if you will stop throwing things when you lose. Our sport grows because there is a balance between the focus on winning and the joy of just being around people who love to shoot.


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