Split second decision making is best learned in organized shooting events.

Organized shooting enhances your ability to make fast decisions with gun in hand. You’re presented with a problem and have to apply action to solve it. In the real world this process requires making split second decisions. The ability to make good decisions quickly is discussed in Blink, a book by Malcolm Gladwell.

According to Gladwell, making quick decisions based on limited amounts of information occurs in a part of the brain called the adaptive unconscious. This section of your brain is “a kind of giant computer that quickly and quietly processes a lot of the data we need in order to keep functioning as human beings.”

Normally having complete information before making a choice is ideal, however, when forced to make decisions instantly a conditioned brain can “blink” and make surprisingly good evaluations in record time.

The more familiar you are with are with a situation the more likely you can come up a sound decision under stress. So how do you become familiar with situations without it being on the job experience?

Put yourself in simulations that require quick decision making under stress. Trainers have noted that mental imagery training, sitting down somewhere quiet and imagining working through a situation, is very effective. In fact, done regularly and well, simple imagery training has been tested and proven effective. That’s right, merely visualizing yourself performing a skill can help you better learn that skill!

Taking it to the next level is physically performing that skill. Where mere visualization helps, going through the actual motions reinforces the actual skill.

Done properly and regularly this adds up to an efficient, programmed response. No mystical Ninja/Special Forces voodoo is needed. Neither are Hollywood-style special effects or stage set ups. Visualize performing fundamental skills and then physically perform them under some sort of simulated stress. Your brain will become conditioned to making good decisions quick under any situation. Kind of makes the “games’ll getcha killed” crowd look like the fools that they are.