5 Mindset Tips and Tricks for Practice and Competition


Gabby Franco shares 5 Mindset tips and tricks for building your competitive edge.

Everyone who has competed at least once, whether for fun or professionally, has felt the stress of the competition. Some show it physically by sweating more than normal, showing abnormal facial expressions, excessive hands and leg movement, etc. Some people show signs of stress by being easily irritated. Sometimes people even talk to themselves.

A negative or incompetent attitude can reveal your hidden weaknesses to other competitors. You can ultimately affect your ability to overcome challenges and win by allowing yourself to be defeated psychologically. On the flip side, a positive mindset coupled with a winning attitude can have just the opposite effect.

Most people wonder how I maintain my focus and keep my concentration during a high-stress competition like you see on History Channel’s Top Shot. Well, here’s my secret; all of you should know that years ago while doing Olympic shooting I had doctors and psychologists that taught me certain concentration techniques, which I’ve mastered through years of practice. Here’s a few for you to try…

  1. Accept that you feel nervous

    Don’t try to hide your feelings. At the end of the day, you are only lying to yourself. Once you recognize the problem (nervousness), allow your body and mind to find a solution. 

  2. Use breathing techniques

    Every time you inhale and exhale, you’re allowing more oxygen into your body. Breathing properly can directly reduce stress, help you relax your muscles and allow your brain to think more efficiently. 

  3. Understand that “this is not the end of the world”

    Many people take competition way too seriously; they lose the real meaning of sportsmanship. Remember to have fun and keep learning. 

  4. Think effectively

    Instead of thinking how nervous you feel, think about the technique and what you are about to do. 

  5. Visualize

    Visualization is your best tool as a competitor. Visualize your performance; imagine what you want to happen.

So, there you have it. I hope these tips and tricks help you with your competitive edge and training. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement debuting my new shooting manual soon, too!

As always, leave any comments and ask any questions using the comment field below and I will try to reply to them promptly.


  1. Great tips. Number three is really important and gets overlooked in my opinion. Games and competition are supposed to be fun. Win or lose, there should be joy in being a part of it all to test your skills against others.
    Thanks Gabby.

  2. The best training preparation, helps a lot for the symptoms you describe and visualization is very important, is nothing, you can not do it, with your mind. Concentration in what you are doing, is another important point.
    With these mentioned points plus tactical you will doing very well according your skill level, and that is successfull.

    Hello, Gaby, congratulations you doing very well.
    Best Regards.
    Anibal Gordillo

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