narwhal

How to deal with a really bad match result?

38 posts in this topic

We don't do this for a living and the after match hambuger tastes the same.

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On 3/20/2017 at 2:50 PM, JeremiahD said:

 

I was poking around after a somewhat disappointing first match trying to see what others do for a mental game here and found this thread.  Oddly, theres a zen koan that hangs over my desk at work that illustrates what you posted perfectly.  I  thought I'd google and paste it below:

 

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students,

“Why are you riding your bicycles?”

The first student replied, “The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!”

The teacher praised the student, saying, “You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do.”

The second student replied, “I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path.”

The teacher commended the student, “Your eyes are open and you see the world.”

The third student replied, “When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo.”

The teacher gave praise to the third student, “Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel.”

The fourth student answered, “Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings.”

The teacher was pleased and said, “You are riding on the golden path of non-harming.”

The fifth student replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.”

The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, “I am your disciple.”

 

Funny, I went to the internet for insight all I really had to do was reread an old framed quote hanging over my computer... x,X

 

 I really enjoyed this. Thank you.

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On 2/5/2017 at 8:24 AM, theWacoKid said:

1) Write down a list of things you found difficult with respect to that particular match and include it in practice.  This is the learning step.

2) Let the match go.  This is the mental step.

3) Practice.  This is the physical step.

 

The only match that matters is the current one and the only stage that matters is the one you are shooting right now.  

As far as I'm concerned this post covers it and in a very succinct fashion.

 

only thing I'll add is a note due to where I'm at with my own development...

 

I have been at the USPSA game for a year, had plenty of shooting experience prior but nothing like this sport... much more tactical Timmy stuff (go ahead and make your jokes gamers, I'm with you know 😉).  I've found along with practice that I am still experiencing particular aspects of stage design or target arrays for the first time.  If I Mike something up or handle it wrong I file that into my practice bank and work on it... like said in the post I quoted.  The other thing I also do is only beat myself up for so long, just long enough to learn from it.  Something I learned actually outside of this game but it very much applies to it is this... you need to fail and experience everything that comes with it due to pushing yourself.  This is the place where you will learn the most when you are aware of what "you" are doing.  I believe the awareness part is a portion of what Mr. Enos talks about in shooting with an awareness and being in the moment.  Anyway... I chalk everything up to a learning experience, even my better matches, and always strive for continuous improvement.

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When I have a bad match, I just tell myself at least you are at the range and not at work. Just continue to finish the match and go on down the road. Just learn from where I screwed up and keep going.

Or when the finish over, say Thank God and drink more whiskey.

MIke 

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I just did another reread of Lanny Bassham.  He stated among the World and Olympic champions, he never heard them talk about a bad  match.  He went on to say talking about a bad match just re-enforces it and makes another bad match more likely.

 

Learn your area(s) for development and proceed.

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On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 6:18 AM, narwhal said:

I was wondering how people deal with a really poor match result?  Do you take the parts of the match you did poorly on and implement those into practice more to improve?  Do you shrug it off as a bad day and not change too much?  Do you look at your equipment and consider changing it?  Does it tend to de-motivate you and make you wonder if you're just wasting time doing something you don't have any natural talent for, or does it energize you to improve?

 

I shot a club I've never shot at while out of town on business, and got absolutely smeared, finished 24/36 overall when I'm used to finishing in the top 10% of a similar sized field back home.  Yes, it's a better/more competitive club.  Had an equipment problem (a magazine fell out of it's pouch while I was sprinting between positions, costing 20+ seconds), and there were tons of really tight shots on swingers/pop-ups usually with non threats around them plus a lot of partial targets 50% covered by non threats, and I ended up pegging 3 NT's, whereas most of the field was able to avoid doing so.  Also I had not been able to dry or live fire for 2 weeks directly prior due to flying for business, so I was a bit cold.  Anyway, still a beginner, only shot a few dozen matches but this one was probably my worst result.  

Everyone has a bad match from time to time, and I personally believe they are the best thing that can happen to you. when everything goes right there is nothing to improve on. But when its a complete train wreck? You got yourself one helluva learning experience!

 

I just laugh it off, go home and hang out in the yard with the dogs and a bottle or two of speedway stout and mentally plot how im going to correct all the failure I left laying around at the match.

 

The longer you do this the easier it becomes to embrace it. failure is going to happen, without it you can NOT improve. I have been shooting competitively and internationally since I was 10 years old in shotgun, and then pistol and 3 gun and I am over 30 now...learning to embrace the failure was the hardest skillset for me to ever master!

 

the bench

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I have trouble letting go of it for the day but within a couple days it's old news.  I usually know what I did wrong and decide not to do it again if it's safety related or practice if it's me related.

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I try and video every stage. I use the video to pinpoint what went wrong, and if it's not a one time freak occurrence, then it gets implemented into the practice regimen. 
I also try and pick the things I'm doing well, and use them for positive reinforcement....this way I keep from getting down on myself and becoming discouraged. 

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Video stage helpssssssssssssssss a lot.   It looks tacticool but believe me it helps

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Shot my worst match ever 45 out of 49. First match shooting SS and first time shooting my SS setup in a few years, turns out my sights got bumped and I didn't know. I've already added it as a learning experience on stage planning and movement and now I know to confirm my gear before a match. Live and learn. I did get 2nd in my division. Out of 2 lol

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Posted (edited)

One thing I've learned, not specific to shooting, but extremely beneficial when applied within the realm, is the importance of a postmortem on any match you shoot.  As others have mentioned, video footage makes this MUCH easier, but is not required.  Being able to be critical and review what you've done after a match, regardless if you won or lost, allows for a lot of personal growth, in my experience.  Looking for mistakes and looking for positives allows you to better evolve your practice regimen and also to add additional focus to certain elements while at your next match.  This doesn't mean reliving the perceived failures over and over or dwelling on the successes either; you review, highlight areas for improvement and then move on.

 

You'll notice that within this commentary, I haven't isolated this to just the matches you've finished poorly at; in fact, I believe that shooting performance as a whole, especially for newer shooters, shouldn't be evaluated based on final placement, but rather specific individual performance.  Don't gauge success against others, gauge it against yourself.  Did you put together your game effectively and efficiently today?  If so, what allowed you to do so...if no, what were the major mistakes to work through?  I really believe this to be critical respective to growth - it forces improvement, even under circumstances where your talent is above average or even the highest at your given club match.

Edited by GorillaTactical

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On 1/25/2017 at 2:39 PM, Fatso said:

Back when I was going through Pilot Training (USAF), I had a particularly bad flight early in the second phase, after a series of pure mediocrity.  It felt like the world was kind of closing in on me and it allowed doubt to creep in.  One of the older reservists "Roscoe" was an old F-15 pilot from the LA militia, and he said (insert bayou accent) "man, why you got tears in your beer?"  I told him I had a terrible mission, and I was worried I didn't belong in fighters, regardless of how badly I wanted it.  He gave me the best advice I've ever received, and it resulted in an immediate turnaround.  I ended up finishing second overall.

Roscoe's advice:  "In the fast jet business, you only got enough time to say oops."  Translation:  ruminating over mistakes serves no practical purpose other than giving birth to new mistakes.  He followed up after I gave him the RCA dog look:  "son... you have to emotionally disassociate yourself from your work."  "If you dwell on your errors or respond emotionally to mistake, you done made more mistakes!" 

When I learned to unhitch my emotions from my performance, say oops airborne, and learn objectively in the thorough debrief (rank comes off in the debrief, thick skin required), I executed at a level orders of magnitude better.  Not perfect, but certainly way, way better.  During a match, if I have a bad stage, tag a no-shoot, miss a reload, etc, I do my best to simply say "oops" and continue to execute. 

After the match, I'll think about the errors, and/or study the video (if taken) and see what I need to work on in dry fire & practice.  I never ever, ever allow myself to "feel" bad about anything regarding my hobby/sport.  I will not allow myself to ruin my favorite hobby.  As I'm sure you've heard, the match is solely validation of what you've practiced/dry fired, and you should merely observe yourself execute what you've trained yourself to do, coupled to the visualization you conducted in the walk-through.  Afterwards, use those lessons learned to alter your training/dry fire regimen, if necessary.  They are never something to "feel" bad about.  Shrug, say "oops" and get back to work!

Best of luck!

FATSO

WOW, I'm going to frame this.  I came to  a similar conclusion about 19 years after starting in this sport and it's helped me the 20 years since.  With the better mind set I've gotten better as I grow older.  I'm confident my Senior self would beat my "Prime Years" self handily. 

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