What’s the goal of every round we put down range? Simple – to have the desired effect on our target. It doesn’t matter if that effect is to topple a bowling pin, clang steel, punch out the center of the 10 ring, or end a critical situation we have to hit the target we intended to and where we needed to for it to work. It’s no secret the primary reason trained shooters miss is improper trigger control, which on its own is a straight forward enough skill to focus on improving. With that in mind, the majority of us flock to the firing line to master it. Coupled with firearms manipulation and body mechanics, these three domains of shooting are generally all you need to succeed at varying levels in recreational target shooting and competition. I will acknowledge the ability to manage the stress of competition is also vital for winning matches. However, a reliance on physical aptitude alone may leave you woefully unprepared and overconfident when facing life threatening encounters involving a firearm. To understand why, we have to look at the two components of our response to high risk activities such as combat. These are our physical and mental reactions. Under extreme stress those hardwired physical skills that we have mastered (draw, side-step, reload, etc.) will be there for us. Our cognitive ability to remain effectively engaged, however, is far less likely to have been correctly or routinely practiced on the range and therefore can be the weakest link in our recovery.