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Can Mental Training Help to Improve Shooting Accuracy?

NCJ Number
Policing Volume: 22 Issue: 4 Dated: 1999 Pages: 696-711
Roger T. Couture; Mohan Singh; Wayne Lee; Paul Chahal; Leonard Wankel; Margaret Oseen; Gary Wheeler
Date Published
16 pages
This study investigates the effects of two mental training strategies separately and combined on subjects’ shooting performance following an endurance march.
Following a 3-hour march, 44 subjects shot 25 rounds. Subjects were then randomly assigned to four groups (biofeedback, relaxation, combined biofeedback and relaxation and control). After 2 weeks of mental training, subjects performed both tasks again. A repeated two-way ANOVA indicated a significant improvement in shooting accuracy by the experimental groups. The experimental groups strongly supported suitability for this mental training program. Subjects were generally better able to relax and focus; they were also more aware of their body and their physiological control. Officers in the police training institute, who practiced the mental training strategy at home, had significantly better pistol shooting scores than those who did almost no training at home. Strategies for improving exercise compliance (initiation to the program) and adherence (continuation in the program) include participants’ appreciation of the need to change as well as moral and social support from supervisors and administrators. Tables, figure, references