Review of The Three Cricles by Jon Axe
Its not a good sign when a new author admits to writing a book in their shed because they had nothing better to do in the face of a world-wide pandemic. Written by a bored newbie in a hut at the bottom of the garden is not the kind of cover-tag that has me rushing to buy, let alone read, a book.
But I did. And so should you if you are a competitive shooter (of any discipline).
I would go so far as to say that if you are just beginning to shoot and want to get better then this book tells you how to, literally, get your shit together.
Unlike most other competitive sports, shooting has an antagonism at its core. As we get ‘anxious’ – before a competition for example – our body’s physiology prepares us to fight or flight. This works in favour of sports like running, jumping, etc. but can severely screw up shooting because you need to focus and control breathing and anxiety and the other innate physiological responses that arise during acute stress. It is, in short, the ability to mentally over-ride and manage stress that separates the best from the rest. It’s not the gun, the shoes, the snacks, the belt, the ammo. It’s how you control your head.
Do I need it?
At about this point you will be expecting some cod psycho-babble and you will be disappointed. The ability to control your head starts with a few simple principles and Jon lays them out, nooks and crannies, in a way even the most book-shy shooter can get their head around.
There is no shortage of mental coaching guides and sites on the internet all offering their own perspective. Several are very good and have helped shooters improve and develop. So what’s different about Jon’s book? In my view it is unique because it addresses a core issue – its not a “how to improve skill X, or Y”, but a “how to build your foundation”. Once done you can listen to whoever’s pod-cast on aiming, sight-picture, whatever and know you are building on bed-rock.
I am NOT going to go through the specific points of his approach. Honestly – it is not how I would have done it, but I didn’t do it, and he has done a great job at doing it the way he does it best. The book has a chatty, informal narrative style (translation: its easy to read). It never burdens the reader with large chunks of complex information – its all bite-size and easy to digest. It is discussed and delivered in a way that I would liken to sitting down with a mate and asking them to explain something over a pint. Jon’s vehicle in this book – his “three circles” – is an approach he has developed during his shooting development. It is remarkably aligned with elite sports psychology and training and, from my perspective, is a streamlined and effective introduction to how to become the best shooter you can be.
If you are a new / newish shooter with no, or a few, competitions under your belt you would have to be an idiot NOT to buy and read this book. Its cheap. Its easy to read. Its full of wholesome goodness.
If you are an ‘experienced’ shooter (yeah-yeah – I know you are all experienced) but are disappointed by your performance and want to improve, then spend the price of round of beers on this book and read it rather than watch bake-off or strictly, our whatever you are watching on-line…
Short, to-the-point, ‘chapters’.
‘Chatty’ narrative style.
Experiential insight from a great shooter who has thought about this problem.
Order the book from – Amazon
Review by Mike Siva-Jothy