Shooting and mind games

Showing the way... Dr. Pierre Beauchamp (extreme right) with Heena Sidhu (centre) and Ronak Pandit at a shooting range in Hanover.-Showing the way... Dr. Pierre Beauchamp (extreme right) with Heena Sidhu (centre) and Ronak Pandit at a shooting range in Hanover.

Conditioning the mind is now an essential training tool for competitive shooters. Techniques like stress management have become part of daily life for Indian 10m air pistol shooter Heena Sidhu.

“Using Mindroom tools like biofeedback, neurotracker and others, Dr. Beauchamp helped me understand and manage stress during training and in competitions,” said Heena. “He was more than a mental trainer. When we landed in London, he took over my entire training. Having worked with the Canadian Olympic squad, he knew how athletes think. He showed me scientifically the different ways that stress affects my body and helped devise a sleeping and eating pattern to simulate what I would be doing on the day of competition,” she said.

Ronak Pandit, Heena’s husband and personal coach, revealed how she gave up sugar on Beauchamp’s advice. “Sugar ranked high among her favourites, but once convinced by Dr. Beauchamp using scientific tests how sugar affects mood swings and also influences shooting, she gave it up,” said Pandit, who is an international pistol shooter himself.

Heena did not qualify for the final of the 10m air pistol event at 2012 London. “London Olympics happened too early for me to benefit from systematic Mindroom plan. It makes sense for me to look at the World Championship cycle,” she said.