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Can mental training help to improve shooting accuracy?

Faculty Advisor




biofeedback, training, police, firearms

Abstract (summary)

The study investigated the effects of two mental training strategies separately and combined on subjects’ shooting performance following an endurance march. Further, the study examined the suitability of a ten‐session training programme for the police force. On Trial 1, following a three hour march, 44 subjects shot 25 rounds. Subjects were then randomly assigned to four groups (biofeedback, relaxation, combined biofeedback and relaxation and control). After two weeks of mental training, subjects performed both tasks again on Trial 2. A repeated two‐way ANOVA indicated a significant improvement (p < 0.01) in shooting accuracy by the combined group. Suitability for this mental training programme was strongly supported by the experimental groups (71 per cent to 80 per cent). Subjects were generally better able to relax and focus. They were also more aware of their body and their physiological control. Results are discussed in light of potential benefits for cognitive strategies in precision tasks following endurance activities.

Publication Information

Couture R., Singh M., Lee W., Chahal P., Wankel L., Oseen M., and Wheeler G. (1999). Can mental training help to improve shooting accuracy? Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, Vol. 22, No. 4, p. 696-711.


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