Concealed Carry & Home Defense

Navy SEAL Chris Sajnog Shooting Series: Rule #1 – Mindset

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By Chris Sajnog, Author Navy SEAL Shooting

Without question, the most important part of shooting is what happens in the space between your ears. If you don’t believe me, put a gun on a table in front of you. Now, try to shoot that gun without thinking about doing it. Sound too simplistic? Sorry, but it really is that easy. How you stand, grip the gun, focus and pull the trigger are all determined by how you think about doing them. But even more important, the reason you are training can have a huge effect on how well you shoot.

What are you Training For?

If you’re just learning to shoot because it sounds like fun or because your friends are doing it, you likely won’t get far. On the other hand, if you’re training because your life depends on it or the lives of your family might one day depend on how well you can shoot in the middle of the night — that passion will give you the dedication to be the best shooter possible.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford 

Open Your Mind

Having an open mind is critical for learning how to become a better shooter and meditation is the easiest way for you to get there. Anytime you’re trying to learn something, you need to fight through the clutter and get to the useful information. Meditation is scientifically proven to open the mind and allow those connections to happen faster. It’s not about religion — just clearing your mind so you can focus better.

The New Rules of Marksmanship are just a framework or outline for becoming a better shooter. I go into detail about how to meditate in my new book Navy SEAL Shooting, but it’s easy to learn how to meditate online and there are lots of different “methods.” Find one that works for you and add it to your new rules plan.

Picture Yourself As A Better Shooter

Now here’s something that will blow your mind. You can get better at shooting just by thinking about it. It’s called visualization, and the top athletes and performers in every sport and industry use it. And so do new rules shooters — so why don’t you? Every time you train, you are building memories of your training, so why not just think about training? If done correctly, it can often work better than actually (physically) doing the training. Why? Because when you think about training, you can think perfectly every time — and this can be hard to do when you’re training, especially live fire.

Don’t Fight It!

The mind is the ultimate tool to becoming a new rules shooter, but one way it can work against you is with cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance happens when you’ve learned and practiced something (old rules) one way for years and you’re then shown something new (new rules). Even with proof that it’s more effective, you fight against it subconsciously and defend the old ways because they make you feel more comfortable.

So before you read any more, you need to ask yourself which is more important — being a better shooter or sticking to traditions?

Your mind is far more effective than any shooting fundamental taught under the old rules. This is why it’s so important for you to maintain a positive mindset. Every time you train or even think about shooting, do it with a positive mindset and you will shoot better.

The Old Rules Are


Listen, how you train is much more important than what you train. The fastest way to becoming a better shooter is to train smarter. For the past fifty years we’ve looked at what good shooters are doing and tried to copy them to become better shooters. How is that working for you?

The problem isn’t in following them; it’s in following their physical techniques – when we should be following their training techniques. Look at how the greats from any endeavor train and apply it your chosen skill and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.

Join me in becoming a New Rules shooter and start by training the most effective weapon you have…your mind.

New Rules Review: MINDSET

  • The most important fundamental of shooting.
  • Know why you’re training. If it’s for something you love, you’ll be motivated to train.
  • Meditate to open your mind and get in the zone.
  • Use visualization training to practice perfect technique.
  • Always think positively.


Please welcome Chris as a contributor to the Daily Caller. You will see his article up every Sunday.

Take a moment to check out his book – Just click here to preview.

Chris Sajnog is the bestselling author of How to Shoot Like a Navy SEAL, a retired Navy SEAL Master Firearms Instructor, Neural-Pathway Training Expert, speaker and Service Disabled Veteran Small Business Owner. He is one of the most experienced and respected firearms trainers in the world, being hand-selected to develop the training for the US Navy SEAL Sniper program. As a Navy SEAL he was the senior sniper instructor, a certified Master Training Specialist (MTS), BUD/S and advanced training marksmanship instructor.

After retiring from the SEAL Teams in 2009 to spend time with his family, Chris began training civilians and law enforcement officers. He is the founder of the New Rules of Marksmanship, a revolutionary approach to firearms training and has a passion for finding innovative ways to teach elite-level shooting skills online.

He is a federal and state certified law enforcement firearms and counter-terrorism instructor and has trained DOD, DHS, FBI, CIA, Law Enforcement, and multiple foreign allies in all aspects of combat weapons handling, marksmanship, and tactics.

He lives in San Diego, CA with his wife Laura and two boys, Caden and Owen.