The HEAD Coach Talks With A Sniper: Tips So You Can Become One too, Only On The Golf Course

By Greg Liberto
July 23, 2014


Can you FOCUS like a SNIPER? In Part I of “Sniper Focus” I shared feedback on how to get more focused on the course from a US Marine Sniper. In this segment you are going to hear advice from a SWAT team sniper with over 20 years experience. Here they are:

The HEAD Coach: How do you train to become a sniper?  

After a selection process from current SWAT team members, the person selected to be a sniper must attend basic police sniper school. You must study and understand tactical operations, basically shoot/ no shoot situations. Physical fitness is imperative to becoming a sniper as the 40 lbs of gear and environmental situations demand it. Also, you must be articulate in order to relay clear information to command post what you are observing from your post. Of course the mental and emotional aspect is very demanding and you must have ability to remain focused. For example, once a sniper is in position and on post, they want to locate their target quickly and stay focused on that sight as they may have to make a decision in a split second.

The HEAD Coach: How do you stay focused and calm during difficult/tense times?  

During Sniper training they stress the need to be “balanced” meaning you need to be able to handle extreme stressful situations as routine and not as a surprise. I also recall them using a phrase during the emotional/mental aspects of the course “non linear thinking,” which is basically blending reasoning and common sense: in other words avoiding complex thoughts.

The HEAD Coach: What separates a sniper from the rest?

I wouldn’t say that snipers are any better or dramatically different than other Police Officers. I would just say that Snipers are just trained a little different and are extremely focused individuals.

The HEAD Coach: How can a golfer apply the focus and mindset of a sniper to their game?

I would say it is all relative. In Golf, which I do love to play, a persons focus should be their target. It may not be the flag all the time, but if a golfer is on the tee box, they should pick a spot in the fairway where they want to land the ball. The golfer should then make that spot in their head the target and then totally focus on that target spot. One way to keep focus on that target spot is your eyes. Try not to take your eye off the spot for too long, because another image in your head which might come from your eyes will cause you to lose focus.

The HEAD Coach: What is the single most important attribute a sniper must have?

I would have to say attention to detail and focus or mental preparedness. Without either of those attributes, a sniper cannot be successful. Next week I will break down the responses from these two snipers and how you can apply it to your game. Until then, PICK YOUR SPECIFIC TARGET & HIT IT !!!


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