True story of 23 PUNJAB shooting team

True story of 23 PUNJAB shooting team

Given below is the true story of 23 PUNJAB shooting team. It shows how our self concept remains benchmarked with past demonstrated performance and how difficult it is to change this mindset.


I commanded 23 PUNJAB (LAUNGEWALA) made famous by movie-BORDER, from 2001-04. We found that our shooting team’s standard was way below desirable. Our goal was to be one of the best in the Indian Army. Capt Karamdin, (now Lt Col) was my team Capt. We made a plan. Selection of the shooting team was done on the basis of current standard and not reputation. We focussed on improving the basics and reduced the focus on matches. Within a couple of months we were practicing the matches in the competition and our scores were impressive.  In the competition of the Division (17-18 teams), our past record suggested a place above 6th as respectable. Our practice scores now  indicated a comfortable first position! This appeared unrealistic to the majority of the team.
It is  accepted that in such competitions some dip in performance occurs due to nerves of a few shooters, which has an adverse sympathetic effect on others as well! Factoring this aspect and legacy of the past, the team was diffident. The shooting team knew that it would do better, but becoming champions was apparently too far fetched!
On the eve of the competition, as perceived by the team members, the only plausible obstacle preventing our victory was nerves!  The shooting team was not assured of producing our practice results.
In the evening I told the shooting team that we have found a medicine which prevented an individual from suffering from the impact of nerves. One tablet was given to each shooting team member in the evening.
We became champions by a margin and performed like we used to do in practice. Some shooting team members came to me and told that the major reason for the victory was the TABLET!
“Hands remained steady while shooting because of the TABLET”.
The entire team had been given a TABLET OF VITAMIN B COMPLEX!

Lesson: Self concept remains benchmarked with past events

Our self concept remains benchmarked with past events, definitely in the eyes of others and to some extent our own. We are unable to accurately factor in the impact of systematic progress/ regress made. This is the reason why some people have a much lower self concept than their true current ability. Similarly there are a lot many overconfident people who rest on their past laurels, and have regressed because of lack of investment in their growth. They have a higher self concept than their true worth, which is better known to others.

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