Could someone explain to me how you're betting a million dollars in a competition?
It's marketing, if you are selling a product and looking for a candidate to market your product, who you gonna give the million dollar contract to, the winner or the looser.
You don't see losers on Wheaties Boxes.
As in the story posted, the competition had this on his mine, would the contract go to him if he looses? This had all the time before the match and before each and ever stage to work on his mind. This could very will distract from muscle memory.
However, on the street, an incident just happens, no time to think about it, just time to act. With out thinking and worrying about it, there is no mental block interfering with muscle memory.
Any one who says there is no such thing as match pressure, never shot a match.
I can give my own example. Lets look and the EIC program. To get a distinguished badge you have to shoot a several matches. Points are awarded based on how you place in those matches.
The first points are easy. You're not expecting them, you're just concentrating on your shooting and SURPRISE, you made the cut. You're a bit shocked but happy.
Then you shoot more and more matches working up to your last points. They should be easier, right, because you have more experience and your shooting has improved.
Nope it don't work that way, the closer you get to legging out the harder it is, not because of your shooting fundamentals, but in mental management.
After each shot, you think about the points you lost, trying to add them up to see if you can still make the cut. You're worrying about the last shot(s) and not about the next one, even though the last shot is history and you can't do anything about it.
This works on your mind, you're more worried about the points you lost instead of the fundamentals you need to keep from loosing more.
My best shooting improvement came AFTER I legged out (got the distinguished badge). A big relieve, now I"m shooting for fun, no pressure. I just shot and let muscle memory worry about the fundamentals.
And this was for a little Gold Badge, sure it means the world to me but it sure as heck isn't a million dollar contract.
I'm still a certified LE Sniper Instructor and teach classes. I use hostage targets to practice on. Small part of the bad guys head behind the hostage.
We all know that you can't Practice Sniping by shooting bandits hiding behind hostages. No way to practice that. Most LE never fire their rifle at a bandit but they still have to be ready.
To many hear say you can prepare for a gunfight without being in a gun fight, THAT IS SILLY. You can't practice gun fights.
But there are ways to add stress. On the above case, instead of using a normal hostage/bandit target, paste a picture of your daughter or granddaughter on the hostage part of the target.
Trust me this shakes up the shooter, even knowing that's only a picture. But he keeps at it, practicing so he doesn't see the hostage but only the bandit, With enough practice you develop enough muscle memory you only ever see the target or bandit portion of the target, the hostage doesn't exist.
We say you never know how you would act in a shooting situation, but if you've developed the proper mental management, you wont have to worry about it, you'll just act. The gun comes up you look at the bandit and fire without ever seeing the hostage or robber across the counter, you sub consciencely just shoot the target.