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Nimitz

Nimitz's Journey To Shooting Greatness

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It would appear it's time again for a major shakeup in my training routine. I'm still not really seeing clear improvements on a regular basis and so it's been suggested to me that I need to make some major changes ..... I'm still debating exactly what form that will take but I'm considering selecting one stage and focusing on that at least part of every training session while I still rotate through the other stages.  The plan would be to pick a REALLY aggressive goal time, like somewhere close to where Max, KC & BJ are and just keep pushing until I get there.  After this last round of training with Ben he noted that I'm not setting difficult enough goals for myself in training. At one point he told me " I don't care if put all 5 rounds in the dirt, I want you to work on shooting as fast as KC does .....

 

I'm thinking that I probably a will start with Roundabout since in training I've put down lots and lots of sub 1.8 runs so I'm not that far away from those guys 1.6 sec runs. I'm also looking at changing my shooting order.  I've been shooting 1,2,4,5, stop for a while but the transition from 2 - 4 can give me trouble and I notice I'm not very smooth on that transition.  Last session I tried 1,2,5,4, stop and I send a lot smoother with that order and felt a lot mo comfortable shooting sub 1.8 sec runs.  With the previous order I've always felt right on the edge of control to get 1.7 sec runs and with this new order those times can a lot easier.

 

i also really like the fact the the big transition is between the two 7 yd plates which always me to be aggressive whereas before I always had to be carful on the long 2-4 transition since I was going from 7 to 15 yds.  Unfortunately with the hurricane heading our way I won't be shooting my normal 2nd SC match this weekend so I'll have to wait until Oct to see how it feels in a match ...

 

I'm also about to have some surgery which is probably going to put me out of training for at least 2 weeks which means I won't get much time on the new order before my next match but I plan to shoot it anyway.

 

well my book is complete.  I'm going to do one more read through from end to end before we send it off to have a proof copy printed.  Once I get the proof copy if all looks good the book will be available for purchase within a week after that.  I'm still debating whether or not to offer a Kindle version since I'm not sure how all the drill diagrams will look in a small format but we'll see ...

 

got out to do some more PCC load development and I'm down to 96 PF with 100% reliability.  Haven't checked accuracy specifically but I did shoot a few strings of Pendulum while checking for reliability and I was putting down 2.4 sec runs with no M/U shots so the accuracy can't be too bad ... I'm going to continue to drop the PF until the gun hiccups so I can comfortably pick a minimal PF.

 

i've also finally put in my notice for ending my MD career ... It's been suggested to me that these kinds of distractions are not helping my training and I should be looking for an exit stratgry so I've finally taken the advice.  Dec will be my last SC match as MD and Nov will be my last match as the Club's Action Steel MD.  hopefully someone steps up but if not I'll be driving to Volusia County a lot more to shoot their matches ...

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Just got home from triple hernia repair surgery, not exactly something I would recommend putting on your bucket list .... the equatorial hernia is the real killer, it simply hurts every time you breath ... 😂. 

 Doc says 2 weeks before considering doing anything .... big fun.

 

maybe it will allow me to get my book published... currently fighting a formatting issue with the electronic publishing software. Think I may finally have a fix so we'll se.  Also got out on Monday and it looks like we got the book cover shot I wanted as well.

with hurricane and surgery and stuff I haven't touched my gun since the 1st week in September.. I have finally incorporated some planned down time in my training after working with Lanny but that was supposed to be over the winter... guess I'm taking my break now .... 😬

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Thx!  I really don't do "sit around and do nothing " really well but....

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Recovery continues to go well albeit slowly.  I still expect to be out of work for probably most of this week and while I obviously won't be shooting my regular SC match on Saturday, I should hopefully be feeling good enough to play MD so that the match doesn't get canceled. 

 

Well, my book is done.  I know I've said that before :) but this time it's really done.  It's been submitted to publisher and as soon as I receive approval on the cover, they will send me a printed 'proof' copy.  Assuming that looks good the book will be available for purchase 24 hrs after that.   It's comes in at 132 pages (8.5" x 11") and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Hopefully everyone who reads it will get something out of it ...

 

I'm also taking this down-time opportunity to re-energize my mental toughness training.  I've signed on with a mental training coach out of Orlando and just completed his mental toughness assessment test.  Once I get the results back it will help me chart the proper course for what mental training I should be focusing on.  I'm committed that 2018 will be the year of mental toughness for me ..... it needs to become my major training focus as I plan to return to shooting major championships as well .... it's going to be epic!

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just got notified the book was approved by the publisher.  Proof copy in the mail to me .... the digital proof looks good so I'm not expecting anything drastic if at all to fix ....

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Well I've just been informed that the Forum has restarted their "Member Of The Month" or M.O.M. award which is voted on by forum members and that I have been awarded the Sept 2017 M.O.M. award which is why that new graphic has been added to my signature.

 

I just wanted to say 'thx' to everyone and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the insightful discussions with respect to competitive shooting that can be found this forum.  Now if I'll just be able to retire from the royalist of my new book .... :)

 

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Wow.    Exciting week for you   ....   new book and M.O.M   :)

 

Congratulations.    :bow:

 

How do we buy your book ? 

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It will be available on Amazon Books.   I'll let everyone know as soon as it's available for purchase

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Ok, my book is now available at Amazon Books for purchase. 

 

Search for: Do You Feel The Need For Speed          

 

You can can also search  By author under my name  

 

if you live in the central Florida area I'll have copies available with me at the local matches I shoot as well.  Hopefully it will be as well received as my dry fire training system and feel free to post any questions you have after reading it here and I'll do my best to answer them so everyone can benefit

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We missed you at Area 6 Steel Challenge. Guess you are still recovering? I bought the book and started working through it. So far so good.

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Yeah, still haven't picked up a gun yet ... 5 weeks and counting ... Not having much fun at the moment ....

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Got your book Tuesday from Amazon and read it yesterday.  Lots of good information and I'd suggest it to everyone that wants to improve their SCSA times.  It's been fun reading your diary.

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Glad you are getting something out of it!  I'm looking forward to getting back to training as well.  With no distractions in 2018 and my new mental training coach I'm looking to make some significant gains ...

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well I finally got back to shooting today after a 9 week absence ...  I was actually hoping to get at least one training session in this week before today's match but that didn't work out.  I was giving a lesson on Thurs to  a  couple of shooters and planned to shoot before the lesson but I managed to leave my open guns at home & all I had was my Shadow ....

 

Overall I was happy with today's performance, shooting 2 of the 7 stages within .14 secs & .08 secs of my personal bests.  One of those, Roundabout, was the first stage of the match and represented my first rounds down range in 9 weeks.  My runs were 2.02, 1.98, 1.87 & 1.81 secs.  Maybe I should take off 9 weeks more often ...  I also decided to shoot it using my 'old' order of 1, 2, 4, 5, stop since I'd also just switched to my new order of 1, 2, 5, 4 stop for a week before I had to stop shooting.  I'm still going to continue with my new order since I've been unable to get below the 1.8 sec mark per run on the old order & even after just one week I was getting training runs in the 1.65 sec region.

 

My mental toughness training continues to go well with my new coach as well and I'm l\gaining new insights on a regular basis.  It reminds me somewhat when I first switched to tarining full-time for just SC with all the new little things I learned every week.

 

Monday I'll be back to my regular dry fire & live fire routines as well & am looking forward to putting the hernia surgery behind me ....

 

Book sales continue to go well also with lots of good feedback.  I'm glad folks seem to be getting something from it ...

 

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A combination of bad weather & the flu put me out for the entire week after last week's match and during that time I finally decided it was time to get a new timer. my Pocket Pro II has served me well since I bought it 5 years ago but batteries weren't lasting very long & the display was almost unreadable so I broke down & bought a new one.  While setting it up today since it looks like I'll be able to start shooting again on Monday,  I noticed they now a 'volume' feature.  How cool is that!  No longer to have to get pieces of duct tape to cover the speaker when I dry fire & then tear them off for live fire.  I guess buying new stuff every once in a while isn't a bad thing after all ...

 

Ben classes at my range are only 4 months away and I still have a few slots for the Fundamentals class if anyone is interested.  The Skills & Drills class filled several months ago & has a waitlist 4 miles long ... lol ......  depending on how hard it is to finish filling the Fundamentals class I'm considering maybe just doing back to back S&D classes in '19... everyone only seems interested in the Skills & Drills class which means they all have already taken the fundamentals class or they don't think they need the Fundamentals class.  This will be the 4th year I've had Ben come out & in all that time I've yet to see anyone who couldn't have benefited from the Fundamentals class.  I can't force people to take the Fundamentals class so to ensure I can keep Ben coming out here I might just have to go to that ... we'll see.

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It's been 2 weeks since I returned to a full-time training schedule so this is a good time to assess how things are going ...

 

I've continued with my per-surgery plan of working on Roundabout during every live session and the results so far are encouraging;  Of the 5 training sessions I've had there have been 2 sub 7 sec cold stage runs with the other 3 all sub 8 secs.  This is with the new shooting order I adopted of:  1, 2, 5, 4, S.  With this new order I'm averaging about a .6 sec first shot; mid .8 secs for the 1st 2 shots & sub 1.2 secs for the first 3 shots.  Given the significantly shorter transition of 5 to 4 vice 2 to 4 I'm able to be a lot more aggressive and it's allowed me to drop a good .1 - .15 secs off runs.  In over 150 runs of the stage in the last 2 weeks I've had exactly 1 run over 2 secs.  I'm at the point where even runs in the 1.9s are unSat.

 

I'm also spending a lot of time doing the 'first shot + 2" drill instead of just first shot or 1st shot + 1.  I was finding that even though my first 2 shots were sub 1 sec, the transition times for my 3rd shot were not where they should be.  That seems to be helping my overall stage times so I'll probably continue that for a while.

 

On the mental training side, at the recommendation of my coach,  I'm spending 30 mins a day visualizing; usually in three different 10 m in sessions throughout the day.  That seems to be helping as practicing my match mental routine is becoming second nature and I'm making fewer and fewer mistakes.

 

There are still a few slots open in Ben's Fundamentals class I'm holding at my range at the end of March.  E-mail me if you're interested.

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Ok, having just come back from my last match of the year, it's time for my annual review to see how i did against my planned goals & what that suggest's for focus for next year.

 

Given that the extractor for my Buckmark did not arrive until last night and I could not zero my gun, I just decided to take out my PCC & go shoot today's 6-stage match for fun since I've never shot it before except to zero it & come up with a workable load.  Although saying this may be a little dangerous since the results are not posted yet & it's never a good idea to do math in public, I shot on a squad with the PCC GM who usually wins this match & I ended up shooting a 58.26 which just edged him out.  If my math is right that score is also enough to give me my 2nd GM card (95.26%) ... we'll see when the results are posted but whatever it turns out to be I was very pleased with not only how well I shot but the 'teaching moment' behind it which is way more important to me.

Because this was the the first time I'd ever shot the gun & had done exactly zero training, I shot the match without any expectations & results were the farthest thing from my mind.  These are exactly the lessons Lanny & my current mental coach are trying to teach me:  shoot without expectations, don't ever TRY to do anything & ignore results.  This reminds me of my best finish at Nationals which also happened to be my first Nationals where I had no expectations since this was literally my first major.  The lesson here is as plain as can be and demonstrates what i can do when I have my mental game on track.

 

As for my goals, the only goals I set for myself in 2017 was to average for all 8-stage matches sub 80 secs & for all 7-stage matches, sub 70 secs.  My 7-stage ave time was 71.68 secs & 8-satge was 82.85 secs.  Although not a specific goal I also took a look at my scores as compared to last year which were 75.12 & 87.70 so the trend continues in the right direction even though i missed my actual goals.  I did manage to push my classification to 101.5% which shows that on an individual basis I can still lay down some good times.  I set new personal bests on 5 of the 8 stages as well & again, no surprise, the 3 i didn't were also the ones I struggled with the most as compared to the others.  When I look at individual stages to get a feel of where i need to focus next year I see the most improvement over 2016 on Accelerator (-13%) & 5 To Go (-8%) with Pendulum & Smoke & Hope actually a few percent worse than 2016.  The other stages were basically a wash with improvements of only 1-2%.

 

Digging a little deeper I see some interesting items that point to things i need to continue to work on.  Showdown is a good example.  Even though I had 7 of 14 matches were I shot a sub 8 sec stage, my overall ave for the year was .1 sec worse.  this is due to a  couple of matches where I had truly ugly times due to penalties which easily skew averages.  The same can be seen in Smoke & Hope were I had 9 of 14 matches with times of 8.2 secs or less, 6 of those being sub 8 secs.  i also changed my shooting order in mid season which could account for a small part of this.

 

One other thing I decided to track this year for helping determine where my training focus should be was something I called the 'consistency metric'.  I tracked 2 things: first, the number of times I shot each stage with either all 5 or 4/5 strings at my current ability.  2nd, I kept a running track of both my best & worst scores on each stage.  Well, no surprise, on the stages where I had the lowest number of stage times with either 4/5 or 5/5 runs, my overall ave was worse.  Also, the difference between high & low score made a big deal as well.  Something I learned this past year from arguably the greatest ISS skeet shooter ever, Todd Bender is that you should be impressed with your  worst scores & not your best scores.  The goal here is to have basically no difference between your best & worst scores which would represent the ultimate in consistent.  Obviously I need to continue working on consistency but this will continue to be a major training focus.  I don't need to shoot a personal best run during a match, I just need to shoot 4 really good runs.

 

This something I only recently learned from my mental coach, namely that 'perfectionism' is a bad thing WRT your performance in competition.  I had always thought that trying to be perfect was good !  My coach calls this "winning ugly" which is something all champions (& championship teams like the NE Patriots, the greatest team ever to play the game!!!, along with the greatest QB ever to play the game!!!) understand.  If things are not going exactly to plan they dig a little deeper & still find a way to win because in the end its winning that counts, not how you look getting there.  Champions think in terms of winning, others thinks in terms of statistics or other things which are secondary.  Now I get it that everyone is not in this sport to win championships but if this does happen to describe you then taking this lesson to heed should help

 

Overall, I'm happy with my shooting from 2017 and I continue to make progress in the right direction.  I plan to get back & shoot a full schedule of Majors in 2018 and am even considering shooting the Canadian Nationals and make it a vacation to visit Calgary.

 

In addition to continuing to teach, write a column every issue for Front Sight & push my book & dry fire system on anyone who'll listen :), I plan to host a podcast beginning some time in mid to late January called : "The Ultimate Steel Shooter Show" where we're going to talk about all things Steel Challenge & I'll be answering questions from listeners on how to become a better Steel Challenge shooter.  If you have a question you'd like discussed, send me a PM and I'll definitely talk about it on the air ...

 

Edited by Nimitz

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Now that 2018 is under way, I’ve completed my shooting plan for the year:

    I plan to shoot as many Majors as my schedule will allow

 

       I’ve eliminated all ‘results based’ activities from my training.  I’ve concluded that it’s difficult to eliminate results based thinking in competitions when you’re focused on results in training.  Therefore, my training this year will be process orientated instead.  I’ve stopped recording anything that has to do with results; stage times, par times, etc and instead my training journal will only have things which have to do with the process of executing proper shooting techniques and any issues I uncover that I need to find solutions for.  I’ve also stopped recording match results (stage times, match times, etc).

 

   For several reasons I’ve removed the Comp on my RFPO and will doing some training without it to see if I want to make the switch permanent.  If it works out like I hope, the resulting elimination of Comp cleaning will be a welcome change.

 

  Given how much fun I’m having shooting long guns I’m going to do a lot more of that.  A friend brought his RFRO to last week’s match (another gun I’ve never shot before) and although I failed to make GM, my score was good enough for a 92.8% initial classification.  I shot 3 of the 8 stages at or above 100% but could only manage low 80% ish scores on 2 stages which dragged down my overall.  Shot an 81.87 sec match.  Using the same 6 stages & comparing that to the 6-stage 58.60 sec score I had  2 weeks earlier in PCC I shot a 57.45 sec time.  That still would not have made GM for me (93.8%) since RFRO times are a little stiffer than for PCCO.  However, now that I have some clue how to shoot that rifle I’m confident I’ll make it next month.  I’m also in the process of building a TacSol X-ring rifle to compete with.

 

I've posted video from 4 of the stages from that match on my YouTube channel.  I’ve recorded my first 2 podcasts and as soon as I have 4 in the can I’ll upload the first to iTunes.  I want to get a month’s worth recorded to relieve some pressure for producing them to start.

 

I’ll be continuing with ‘The Steel Challenge Shooting Corner” in Front Sight magazine for 2018.  Jan/Feb issue just came out and I’ve already submitted the Mar/Apr piece.  Topic for that one is on shot calling.

 

2018 is shaping up to be a great shooting year …

Edited by Nimitz

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