Les Lyons shares a great story about FOCUS and the impact it had for him.
“Before I won the World Skeet Shooting Championships in my Class in 2004, I was struggling to break all 100 out of 100 clay targets. I could easily get in the 90s, and usually around 97 or 98, but those last one or two just eluded me.
I worked with an instructor who told me I had to have the proper focus in several areas, starting with my stance. Were my feet correctly positioned? Was my body correctly positioned and weighted properly between my two feet? Was my upper body turned properly? Was I holding the gun properly?
Next, he had me focus on my breathing. Could I feel my breath going in and out? Was it steady? Was it natural? Was it deep, or shallow? Was I holding my breath unconsciously?
Then, he had me focus on my vision. Was I looking at the background, to distinguish my proper hold point? Did I know the background well, so I wouldn’t be distracted by anything when I called for the target?
Then he told me to focus my mind. Only focus on the present and what is happening right now. Not what just happened a few minutes ago on the last target, or the results from the day before, or what MIGHT happen in a minute when I called for the target, or what might happen in the future, if I succeeded or failed. ONLY focus on RIGHT NOW! Be “in the moment,” he said.
Finally, he told me to focus on the target, or “bird” as we call it. And he said, “I mean REALLY focus! See the target clearly.” I told him I did. He then asked, “Can you see the rings on the different levels of the round target spinning as the bird comes out of the house?” I looked at him like he was crazy! I said, “HUH?” He said, “Yep. THAT’s the kind of focus you have to have. When you can clearly distinguish the rings on the spinning target, THEN you know you are focused!”
Guess what? I put into practice everything he said, and then broke 249 out of the 250 target competition and won the World Championship. (Yes, I let my guard down for a brief instant and it cost me a target. But my competitors did it more than that one time!)
So what I learned is there is focus, and then there’s FOCUS!!! And focus has to be – in most cases – in more than one area at a time, to ensure that everything is “in sync.””