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Control mindset for competitive success.

Frank Thompson, knows the importance of having a strong mindset and psychological control in order to excel in competitive shooting. While Frank's background lies in ranching, his experience as a national team shooter brings a unique perspective to life and business.

Want to learn more about mindset and business? Keep reading to find out!


Starting Young

Frank's background as a competitive shooter and the value of his psychological skills in the ranching industry, and Frank's shooting background thrive because of some of the lessons he has learned in psychology.

Frank started shooting with his father at a young age and developed a passion for shotgun shooting. He participated in scholarship shoots in high school, which introduced him to skeet shooting and led him to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Frank's dedication and talent allowed him to make the national team in 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2016, and he has traveled the world competing in World Cups and World Championships.

Frank shares about the division between shotgun shooting and accuracy-focused shooting. Frank explains that while he knows individuals who excel in rifle and pistol shooting, it is rare to find someone who excels in both rifle and shotgun shooting at a high competitive level. He attributes this to the time and dedication required to master each discipline, as they have different skill sets and mindsets.

Frank knows the importance of mentally and psychologically preparing in competitive shooting. Frank emphasizes the value of repetition and practicing in a competition mindset. He believes that there is no such thing as too much preparation and that creating pressure situations during training helps build mental resilience.

Frank would shoot multiple pairs or rounds in a row, and somewhere within that rotation, he would start feeling the pressure in his mind. He emphasizes the need to be aware of this pressure and disciplined enough to reset and refocus. According to Frank, this ability to handle pressure and maintain focus is crucial in competitive shooting, and he believes it applies to other areas of life as well.


Achieving and maintaining flow state.

Achieving and maintaining a flow state is crucial for success in any competitive sport or activity that requires hand-eye coordination. Frank Thompson shares his experiences and insights on how to achieve and maintain a flow state in competitive shooting.

Thompson emphasizes the importance of mental focus and muscle memory in sports such as golf, basketball, and shooting. He explains that if a competitor is not mentally present or lacks muscle memory, their performance can suffer. However, when a competitor is in a flow state, their actions become effortless, and they are fully engaged in the task at hand. Thompson refers to this state as a "subconscious zone" and a "conscious zone," highlighting the different levels of awareness and control that can be achieved.

To get into and maintain a flow state, Thompson emphasizes the need for self-awareness and the ability to recognize when one is not in the optimal mental state. He suggests having a simple plan and focusing on the basics, such as body setup, hold point, and going into the target. By focusing on these key elements, competitors can overcome flaws in their system and maintain mental engagement throughout the competition.

Thompson acknowledges that achieving and maintaining a flow state is not always easy. It requires practice and training. He has worked with Bob Palmer, a Canadian trainer who helped him develop exercises to improve his flow state. While it may not be possible to control the flow state 100% of the time, Thompson believes that consistent practice and dedication can increase the likelihood of achieving and maintaining this state.

Flow state, also known as being in the zone, is not exclusive to competitive shooting. Thompson mentions that most people have experienced being in a flow state at some point in their lives. It is a state of heightened focus and effortless attention, where tasks seem to flow seamlessly from one to another. Achieving and maintaining a flow state can lead to improved performance and success in various aspects of life.


Visualization enhances performance in shooting.

One of the key strategies is visualization. Visualization involves mentally rehearsing and imagining the desired outcome before actually performing the task. This technique allows the shooter to create a mental image of the perfect shot and visualize themselves hitting the target accurately. By repeatedly visualizing success, the shooter's mind becomes more comfortable with the idea of achieving their goals.

Visualization is not just about imagining success but also about building confidence in one's skills and training. It is important for shooters to believe in their abilities and trust that they have put in the necessary work to succeed. Visualization helps shooters overcome nerves and fear by reminding them of their preparation and instilling a sense of confidence.

The power of visualization is supported by scientific research. Thinking about performing an activity can have a significant impact on the brain and nervous system, similar to actually performing the activity. This suggests that visualization can help wire the brain for success and improve performance.

There is also the importance of focus and repetition in visualization. By consistently visualizing success and practicing this mental exercise, shooters can reinforce positive neural pathways and strengthen their mindset. The more they engage in visualization, the more comfortable and natural it becomes, leading to improved performance.

Thompson also believes in the concept of comfort with success. It is not uncommon for individuals to feel anxious or self-conscious when they are on the verge of achieving success. This discomfort can sometimes lead to self-sabotage or underperformance. However, by developing a comfort level with success through visualization and positive thinking, shooters can overcome these obstacles and perform at their best.

Thompson knows the importance of mentality and focus in various aspects of life. He has had a successful shooting career, and shares his insights on how he has applied mental training to his ranching life as well. The key takeaway from the episode is that mentality and focus play a crucial role in achieving success and overcoming challenges.

He mentions the teachings of Bud Williams, who emphasized the importance of having a positive attitude and controlling one's mind. Williams encouraged individuals to smile and mean it, to mentally work on controlling their emotions, and to reprogram their minds to readjust situations in their favor. This mindset of constantly readjusting and staying in control is not only applicable to working with cattle but also to life in general.

Thompson has used his mental training to help him make significant changes in his ranching practices. He emphasizes the importance of looking at the basics and what works, and not worrying about what others think. By sticking to his values and goals, he has been able to make necessary adjustments along the way and correct his mistakes quickly. He mentions that being present in the current moment and responding to feedback without emotional interference is crucial for success.


For more tips on mindset and ranching head over to listen to our podcast episode where we talk to Frank about all things mindset in business.

The Ranching.FYI is part of an initiative to create an online library of the best information available for ranchers. The team recognizes the need for professional development that doesn't require ranchers to leave their properties for extended periods. By providing access to a variety of quality education the aim is to empower ranchers to improve their practices and achieve greater success.

Ranching.FYI offers a membership that includes a private podcast and YouTube channel and is working on launching multiple online courses that will allow ranchers to delve deeper into specific techniques and learn directly from those who have already found success. These courses, along with the YouTube videos and the podcast, aim to provide ranchers with education that they may not have received otherwise.

Do you want more olympic level mindset and leadership? Check out our new course here Are you ready to join the Ranching.FYI Community? Join Here


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