Is it possible to shoot blindfolded and still hit your target?
The mind’s eye is a powerful thing. We often hear the term “visualization” in relation to sports. The experts say to visualize our success, to visualize a good performance, and then you’ll be able to achieve the success in real life.
While there’s a lot of ways to properly visualize, and many benefits to this technique, I want to focus on a more practical form right now.
To Illustrate this, I’ve attempted some blindfolded shooting.
Now let’s get our geek on…
When Obi Wan told Luke Skywalker (in Star Wars of course) that “your eyes can deceive you” He was absolutely correct. While eyes are, of course, necessary and offer feedback that you obviously can’t get otherwise… they can also trick you into thinking that they are the only path to your success. You’ll often do anything to make your “eyes” happy…often to the detriment of your technique, and inner confidence.
This happens in many areas of life. Our culture values visuals highly. Look at the muscular action hero, or the beautiful super model. We think they must be confident because they “look” so good. But it’s often not the case, and in fact their inner world is extremely nervous, pressured to keep up an ever aging & comparable surface measurement of their own value.
But then there are those people that just ooze a relaxed confidence. They might not be the best, the brightest, the funniest, the most beautiful…they’re just comfortable from within. Their value radiates from within them, and that’s something that time can never take away.
Striving for this in every aspect of your life – in this case your shooting – is ideal. Seeing the target reacting to your shot, seeing the paper ripping or the steel falling…is only one tiny aspect of an overall picture of you as an athlete….and if you’re behind a gun, think of yourself as an athlete, because that’s exactly what you are – so own it.
Your inner world is what will make or break you.
While my attempt at shooting blindfolded is for illustration purposes only and I can’t recommend the exact technique to others, the idea behind it is that relying on your body and inner world, attitude, confidence…goes a very long way. If we can make the shot without actually being able to see the target, then we know we can rest in the fact that our bodies know a good shot.
Now, that isn’t to say that a lot of training isn’t worthwhile, or even necessary. The more training (yes, with visuals) you have the more confident you will be.
Here’s a little insight: I have countless hours of literal blood, sweat (and even a few tears) soaked into the grains of my competition rifle. But as far as pistol goes? This is just fun for me. I’m still getting to know this Volquartsen Pistol, and for each of these blindfolded shots… I tried them the night before and with just closing my eyes, which is a little more simple (and you’ll see why in the videos).
So I had a bit of excited expectation and hope on camera with you. In full disclosure I did not have the confidence I would have had, had I trained many days prior, trying to do this shot. In addition, I only had a few days of training on plate racks even with sight.
But that’s not to say I didn’t have confidence in other skills I have trained, in both shooting and other arts.
The skills can translate.
Once you’ve honed muscle memory in another discipline or sport (for example martial arts), you will speed up the process in the next. Your body learns faster and better than you think it does. It just sometimes “looks” like it doesn’t.
Don’t be deceived, with a good foundation, you can do more than you expect. For example, in almost all my shots so far I’ve tried them for the first time on camera with you. From shooting out of helicopters, to gun yoga with a p38 WWII pistol, it’s OFTEN my first time with the gun or even type of gun, I’m often surrounded by crews that every minute wasted is money down the drain, and expectations are extremely high. But I show my misses, and we do it together with you.
You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to act.
However, having a good fundamental base ingrained, goes a long way to building the confidence and moxie to push yourself even further past your comfort zone. And remember, every person’s comfort zone is different. We are all growing, and we all started at ground zero at some point. Personally, I like to feel the unknown as I challenge myself in something new – that’s one of the reasons I do what I do.
Feel the fear, and move towards it.
But ultimately, do what enlivens you. Challenge yourself where you’re at, with what you have. The challenge – not the outcome or how it “looks” to others – is what matters. And remember, make sure it’s FUN.
It’s never too late to start, especially shooting. Shooting is a life long sport! Remember, you don’t have to be good your first try, you just have to try.
I’m rooting for you!
If this article helped you, please share it with a friend who may benefit as well. And until I see you in my inbox or on youtube, here are the blindfolded shooting episodes, that have never been done before!
Shooting Blindfolded Pistol Trick Shots – Part 1 – Steel Plate & Shooting Tips
Shooting Blindfolded Pistol Trick Shots – Part 2 – NEVER before seen first! Attempting to CLEAR a Plate Rack (multiple targets)