I haven't compiled my Area 6 video because i'm so disgusted with my performance. My mental game hasn't caught back up since my Stoeger class so I've had a couple lousy matches in a row. A quick analysis now that the pain has subsided from underperforming. I noticed that I had two HUGE things screwing me up. The first is being overly cerebral. If you’ve read any of this crap you probably know that about me purely reading this jazz and my penchant for descriptive words. That’s affecting me because when you see this video, you’ll see my mentally directing my movements and kind of processing rather than just running the routine I’ve programmed in and trusting my skills. This is causing me to be slow on a couple accounts – wide transitions it’s obvious, as well as processing sight pictures – aka throttle control. It also causes me to miss positions. The further on in the stage it is the more likely the performance is deteriorating. The second thing is grip tension and overall tension. My grip relaxes after that first reload or second – if I have a mike in the stage it’s usually not in the first magazine. As I move through the stage the tension builds in my shoulders/arms causing me to start to throw shots I should make easy. More on that later.
Preface - work has been rough. I had a fire spring up last week and I couldn't make it down to the range to walk the stages the days before. I was in the office until 8:40PM Thursday evening – good news is it helped me sleep like a baby because the match wasn’t on my mind at all – first time that’s happened. Tried to make lemonade and get to the range at 6:30A which was my guess at first light. The first couple stages I walked via cell phone flash light and got decent plans.
Started on Stage 11 – Will It Run I was first shooter of the first day – I had a couple mental hickups and was a little slower and deliberate, a couple too many charlies (26A 6C) – not horrible but not my best – acceptable. Felt good going in the next one.
Stage 12 - Standards stage – 6 open targets at 20 yards, 6 tuxedos (3 on each side) ranging 12-15 yards. String 1 - 1 on 6 targets freestyle – reload – 1 on the remaing 6 strong hand only. String 2 – same deal but weak hand only after the reload. My strategy was just go left to right on string 1 and right to left on string 2. I think that the freestyle zebras one hand the open targets was probably a little faster plan. As it is, this was my best stage. I had a HF of like 3.29xx and #16 of 1XX in Prd – but I was about 8 seconds too slow bullseying everything. I probably could have just broken 30 seconds. Not bad in fairness.
Stage 1 – Running down a dream – shoot house stage. This went OK on time and not great on points. I had 1 mike and 2 D’s. The mike was when I “double tapped” a target, so it was an A/M in the second position – was really dumb – target was probably 11-12 yards. The D’s were on 20ish yard targets – grip breaking down + lean not great but not the best. Wide transitions REALLY slow me down and I missed the last position. I’m a tall dude and I don’t need to be squatting unless I absolutely had to. Decided to do that to mitigate a noshoot I had to shoot past through a window. Should have just trusted my skill. The supers did it in 24-25 seconds. I did it in 32 seconds – There was probably 4-5 seconds in wasted time on longer transitions and not darting my eyes on those two wide transition positions. I was 2nd to last and my magazines got real sandy – had to clean em quick. Ran down the hill to catch a walk through on the next stage, we’ll load them later.
Stage 2 – Brutal truth – one of the trickier stages that paralyzed you with options. Had a good plan – had my walk through. Grip being lazy caused misses on mini poppers. Not filling magazines caused me to completely ignore the last position – BLAZING FAST TIME (lol) – all the mikes/FTEs ended up causing me a zero. I had moved my unshot magazines forward and topped off my mag with my ULSC round so I thought I was ready to rock and wasn’t.
Stage 3 – Find it – I had bad points – likely due to not enough grip pressure – 1 mike due to a barrel strike and 2 D’s. I moved around the stage OK for me but in the last position did not manage throttle control at ALL. Total bullseye mode in the last position. The theme so far is my grip is inconsistent and I remember realizing that here.
Stage 4 – Wasted Youth - Bunch of ports – I’m tall enough to just barely make them be a pain in the ass. The second position in the port I had abysmal accuracy – 2 mikes 2 D’s – I totally missed a position on a wide transition and had to adjust – so probably 3 seconds there. Fast dudes under 20, I was 27. Realistically I should have probably expected 23-24 seconds with better points had I connected.
Stage 5 – Monkey Barrels – terrible memory stage all magazines started on barrels. I shot all the targets – slowly. Ended up with 2 mikes due to barrel strikes and bad grip. Really starting to realize what’s going on with my accuracy.
Stage 6 – Blind Pew – a 2 position medium course with a big steel array – 2 lonely papers and some more poppers with a clam shell. So straightforward I had no problem ended up 73% I think I had one makeup on steel. Shooting steel is an issue for me because the only time I get to is in matches.
Stage 7 – Black Spot – Similar to the other stage but with a plate rack. 2 makeups on plates due to how the gun was sitting in my hand. 68%. These two stages are probably most representative of “where I’m at” 70-75% of the top dudes.
Stage 8 – Hold my beer – carnival stage. Shoot one array with activator, reload strong hand only. I was starting to mentally check out at this point – shot the second string freestyle. 10 penalties. ZERO!
Stage 9 – thrown out.
Stage 11 – Six Sixty Six - I decided I would run the most aggressive plan and attempt to just burn it down because the match was basically done anyway. I had 3 mikes and a pretty good time (both on the clock and from a fun perspective) I saw 2 of the mikes happen and remember them but I was commited to swinging for the fences on this one. It ultimately netted a 57% run – which is silly. Realistically had I shot it would have been a second to two seconds slower and I’d probably been in that 70-75% band again.
With 2 zeros I was 54% in production. Playing the “what if game” had I not zero’d 2 stages and shot the final stage seriously then I probably would have been in the 65-70% band. I had a goal of shooting better than 80% on the match. Yeah – that was WAY too aggressive. Dudes I shoot with who are GM’s were high 70’s. 70% would have been an achievement given my level of participation and time I’ve got into the game so far. But now I know!
Big take aways – Grip discipline – I’m seeing what I need to see when I decide to pull the trigger but my grip isn’t there. My post shooting routine is updated. I’m going to go ahead and fill 6 extra magazines and keep them in my range bag. If I’m faced with that situation again I’ll just throw on the new magazines after I’m immediately done – shoot the next stage – then deal with my magazines. I’ve got the magazines in the bag anyway, might as well use them. I need to figure out how to shoot matches in “match mode” and stop being so damn cerebral. This is the biggest thing costing me time (decisiveness moving, decisiveness on wide transitions and throttle control) I’m going to take a little time off and work on my head a bit. I think I had too much invested in my identity as a shooter and less in my approach to shooting