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teddym90

Breaking down a stage

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I don't try to get real serious about any one shooting sport these days but I quickly realized last weekend, as I'm slowly easing back in to the more tactical shooting sports, I don't have a good method for breaking down a stage.  This came up last weekend at a 3-gun event.

 

I have to say for those of you out there that willingly share advice at the match, I was extremely grateful for the shooter last weekend that heard me apparently say to myself out-loud, "I have no idea where to go here", and proceeded to explain their strategy for the stage.  

 

Any tips on what to do with stages that seem to have endless ways to approach them?   This comes up most frequently in 3-gun and USPSA for me.

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Play to YOUR strengths, and minimize your weaknesses ...

 

If you're shooting Production, Revolver, SS or L-10, you'll have to

plan around a LOT of reloads - try to take them on the move and

not standing still - try Not to run dry - keep at least one round in

the chamber.

 

Try to take most shots from as close as possible, unless you have

to take a long shot rather than run very far (all about time - which

is quicker for YOU, at Your skill level) -

 

Watch how others go thru the COF during the walk thru - and how

they shoot the stage.

 

Try NOT to go 1st ...   (ask not to).

 

Experience.    :) 

 

Welcome and have a Blast    ....   

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There are tons of previous discussions on this, it can all pretty much be boiled down to, 

what your stage plan is doesn't matter nearly as much as if you can confidently excecute it. 

 

I took a class class from one of the big name guys and he set up a stage and had us make a plan and shoot it. He then told us to make a totally different plan even if we didn't like it and we shot it that way. Times were essentially the same. 

 

It it boiled down to having a plan you could excecute with confidence and excersizing good marksmanship. So make a plan and shoot it. It doesn't matter if the other guy has a "better" plan.  If you are shooting sooner and not making up shots on steel you will be just fine. 

 

 

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Right, hitting the targets does help :)

 

You see mr Hombre, that is where I find it ridiculous to have a 50 post minimum before I can post on the classifieds.  There's tons of posts on every friggen topic I can think of. I can read all I want... but apparently I need to make up posts to be considered an active member... so, I've started asking questions on things I'm thinking about so they'll consider me active.  I don't know what else to do!

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Ted, what's more ridiculous- requiring 50 posts or allowing someone to join and post classifieds on the same day?  This is self protection for the community.  Scammers are a lazy lot. In ant event, when you answer you will be one post closer.

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Well, even if the OP doesn't care, here is what I do:

1. figure out where you have to start.

2. figure out where all the targets are.

3. find the positions you *have* to go to. examine what else you can shoot from those positions.

4. Decide if it's worthwhile to shoot anything from a position you don't *have* to go to, for example if it's much closer or easier shot.

5. Figure out the shortest or easiest route from the start to all the places you need to go.

6. Decide where to reload.

7. Memorize it and visualize it over and over until it is your turn to shoot.

 

as ultimo-hombre mentions above, it is more important to pick a plan you can execute without hesitation than it is to split hairs over what is the shortest or fastest.

 

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On 4/17/2017 at 9:16 PM, blueeyedme said:

Ted, what's more ridiculous- requiring 50 posts or allowing someone to join and post classifieds on the same day?  This is self protection for the community.  Scammers are a lazy lot. In ant event, when you answer you will be one post closer.

Well, I don't like to go to the extreme so I guess I wouldn't say 0 posts.  We're getting way off topic but to me, a 50 post requirement says you only want your most active members to have access to classifieds.  However, to then also have an active "this is where I'm at for funding this site" ticker running at the top with messaging telling us there aren't enough funds to support the effort tells me maybe you might want more people selling things on here that would help contribute to that pot.

 

Just my 2 cents... I like this site and there are a lot of good and helpful people on here but when I realized I couldn't even think about posting an item for sale because the past 2 years of reading everyone else's discussions and buying from other members meant I wasn't an active enough member to turn around and sell something it rubbed me the wrong way.  Especially when as soon as I try to participate I get called out for posting on a subject that's been discussed.

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On 4/18/2017 at 3:28 PM, motosapiens said:

Well, even if the OP doesn't care, here is what I do:

1. figure out where you have to start.

2. figure out where all the targets are.

3. find the positions you *have* to go to. examine what else you can shoot from those positions.

4. Decide if it's worthwhile to shoot anything from a position you don't *have* to go to, for example if it's much closer or easier shot.

5. Figure out the shortest or easiest route from the start to all the places you need to go.

6. Decide where to reload.

7. Memorize it and visualize it over and over until it is your turn to shoot.

 

as ultimo-hombre mentions above, it is more important to pick a plan you can execute without hesitation than it is to split hairs over what is the shortest or fastest.

 

Thank you!  I'm sure someone told me something along those lines 20+ years ago but with the long break away from the sport (roughly 18 years) it is nice to have it spelled on in such a concise manor to remind me!  

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A poor plan executed perfectly will always beat an excellent plan executed poorly.

 

Find the simplest plan you can figure out, as a beginner.

 

When you get to the line, if you can't say with confidence you can execute than plan well 10 times out of 10, you aren't ready to shoot. Air gun it a few more times then close your eyes and play every move like a video in your mind.

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I started a thread on this several years ago......... The Search Function is your friend.

 

 

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It is worth the hunt, A very well done explanation by CHA -LEE.

 

 

Edited by jnr88
Include a link

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So rather than start a new thread, I thought I’d just twist this a tad. 

 

Your’re first to shoot and you haven’t had the luxury of showing up the night before and walking all the stages, taking notes, and sleeping.

Though the latter can actually hamper my memory.

 

On simple stages, this isn’t really a big deal. But it’s the memory stages that get me. When there are multiple shooting locations and targets all over from each station. I remember a certain one from Carolina Classic last year. Seemed like there were barrels everywhere and targets scattered about. 

 

Ironically, I did get to the match the day before, But there was a squad on the stage and I planned to come back to it. Well, I forgot. I also forgot I didn’t have it nailed down the next morning. But all that is beside the point.

 

Thoughts?

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19 hours ago, Sdlrodeo said:

So rather than start a new thread, I thought I’d just twist this a tad. 

 

Your’re first to shoot and you haven’t had the luxury of showing up the night before and walking all the stages, taking notes, and sleeping.

Though the latter can actually hamper my memory.

 

On simple stages, this isn’t really a big deal. But it’s the memory stages that get me. When there are multiple shooting locations and targets all over from each station. I remember a certain one from Carolina Classic last year. Seemed like there were barrels everywhere and targets scattered about. 

 

Ironically, I did get to the match the day before, But there was a squad on the stage and I planned to come back to it. Well, I forgot. I also forgot I didn’t have it nailed down the next morning. But all that is beside the point.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thoughts?.............. Quit setting yourself up for failure by not looking at the stages in advance. There is no replacement for giving yourself the opportunity to observe and figure out the stages well before you have to shoot them.

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3 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

Thoughts?.............. Quit setting yourself up for failure by not looking at the stages in advance. There is no replacement for giving yourself the opportunity to observe and figure out the stages well before you have to shoot them.

 

Thanks CHA-LEE, I realize that i screwed up at Carolina Classic last year. That was a mistake. I’m talking about situations where it’s unavoidable. Traffic sucked, Couldn’t catch an earlier flight, etc. No option. You’re first to go on a memory stage that you only had 5 mins on.

 

I’ve learned my lesson so here are my steps:

read stage brief thoroughly and find round/target count.

Find targets.

Figure mandatory shooting spots.

Figure Reloads.

 

Not necessarily in that order depending on the stage.

 

 

What do you do differently if anything? Especially on a memory stage.

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Posted (edited)

Your performance on a stage is defined by how much effort you have put into maximizing your performance. Shooting a stage is no different than taking a test. If you fail to prepare for the "test" properly then don't expect to perform your best on the test.

 

I am not going to provide guidance on how to intentionally do something improperly. If you want to find a slick way to overcome not performing the proper due diligence in breaking down and programming a stage go for it. Just keep in mind that the people that want to perform their best will make it a point to get to the match early so they can break down the stages properly so they can perform their best. This game is hard enough without willingly donating stage performance because of something that is totally unavoidable. You get out of it what you put into it. Its as simple as that.   

Edited by CHA-LEE

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On ‎3‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 5:51 PM, Sdlrodeo said:

 

Your’re first to shoot :   memory stages get me. 

 

Memory stages are TOUGH, even the night before, in some cases.

 

I can't think of a single thing that would help much if you haven't scoped

it out in advance.

 

I've shot two stages that stick out in my mind that were Memory Stages

one of  which I was unprepared.   Never solved it in time.   Sucked badly   :(

 

I spend a half hour on one (at Frostproof, about ten years ago) that I

could NOT figure out.   Sucked just as badly    :(  

 

But, I also remember a COF in Long Island, about the same time, that

I aced - figured out the solution in 5 minutes (in the last few seconds)

and shot A level even though I was a C, at the time.   Still feels GREAT

to remember that single stage    :)  

 

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20 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

Your performance on a stage is defined by how much effort you have put into maximizing your performance. Shooting a stage is no different than taking a test. If you fail to prepare for the "test" properly then don't expect to perform your best on the test.

I Totally agree

20 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

I am not going to provide guidance on how to intentionally do something improperly.

I was definitely not asking for advice on how to intentionally do something wrong.

20 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

If you want to find a slick way to overcome not performing the proper due diligence in breaking down and programming a stage go for it.

Not really what I was trying to do. 

20 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

Just keep in mind that the people that want to perform their best will make it a point to get to the match early so they can break down the stages properly so they can perform their best. This game is hard enough without willingly donating stage performance because of something that is totally unavoidable. You get out of it what you put into it. Its as simple as that.   

Again, Totally agree.

 

Fact is, sometimes crap happens and one doesn’t get to prepare as much as one would like. Just wondering what others do if that situation occurs. I was hoping for more than “LAMR and see what happens” but not necessarily a “regular plan”, since it’s not supposed to happen regularly.

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On 4/17/2017 at 8:16 PM, teddym90 said:

Right, hitting the targets does help :)

 

You see mr Hombre, that is where I find it ridiculous to have a 50 post minimum before I can post on the classifieds.  There's tons of posts on every friggen topic I can think of. I can read all I want... but apparently I need to make up posts to be considered an active member... so, I've started asking questions on things I'm thinking about so they'll consider me active.  I don't know what else to do!

You won’t find it crazy if you buy a $3000 gun from some guy posting fake pics !!!! I took me a while but I hit my 50 :) and while I was waiting I bought several things off the classifieds.   

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On 3/30/2018 at 6:14 PM, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

Memory stages are TOUGH, even the night before, in some cases.

 

I can't think of a single thing that would help much if you haven't scoped

it out in advance.

 

I've shot two stages that stick out in my mind that were Memory Stages

one of  which I was unprepared.   Never solved it in time.   Sucked badly   :(

 

I spend a half hour on one (at Frostproof, about ten years ago) that I

could NOT figure out.   Sucked just as badly    :(  

 

But, I also remember a COF in Long Island, about the same time, that

I aced - figured out the solution in 5 minutes (in the last few seconds)

and shot A level even though I was a C, at the time.   Still feels GREAT

to remember that single stage    :)  

 

 

Thanks for the response. I guess it really just depends on if you’re holding your head right. 😉

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So, the only thing I can suggest is to SIMPLIFY. As a long time SS shooter, I've been caught trying to avoid standing reloads, but a smart shooter I look up to told me it's better to do a standing reload than a dumb stage plan to avoid one. So figure out *a* way that you can shoot all the targets reliably... and then do that. Don't worry if it's 1 second slower than the perfect way because you don't have time to find a perfect way. You just need a way that will keep you from forgetting to engage one and that you can execute without hesitation.

 

And then show up earlier next time.

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If I'm short on time to walk a memory stage having a friend stand by out by the targets while you go from position to position to help tell you what you have or have not planned to shoot already helps me allot. then as suggested above simplify it as much as possible, I try to simplify them as much as possible by selecting shooting positions that obscure as many of the targets I don't need to shoot from a position as I can.  Also in high cap divisions if you really cant get it figured out and you are sure your shooting a target twice in your quick walk through time, remember shooting the same target from 2 positions deliberately is not nearly as bad as standing at a position trying to figure out if you have shot it already or not.

 

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5 Minute Stage Breakdown Plan

 

1 - Take a look at the WSB, note the round count for the COF, and the general location of the targets.

2 - Get out on the course and find each of the targets till you can account for the round count stated in the WSB. For me that means I'm down range from the shooting area looking for the targets.

3 - Get in to the shooting area and find your spots. I'm always trying to find ways to eliminate shooting positions, but if you're limited on time, finding spots where you can be sure you're engaging all of the targets is most important. As previous posters have said, simplicity is something to strive for.

4 - With your remaining time, visualize perfect execution of the COF. See each of your shooting positions, and which targets you're engaging from them.

5 - Don't rush during LMR. Get your pistol into the condition specified in the WSB, and then before you get into the start position, take the time to do one more visualization of you executing the stage perfectly.

 

The above isn't perfect by any means, and I am constantly tweaking it in an effort to make it better. It has worked for me in those instances where I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to prep for a COF, however. I think the most important thing is to account for all the targets so you're sure to engage all of them. The last thing any of us wants to do is compound the effect of little prep time by incurring a bunch of penalties for misses and FTEs.

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On 4/3/2018 at 12:48 PM, BillGarlandJr said:

5 Minute Stage Breakdown Plan

 

1 - Take a look at the WSB, note the round count for the COF, and the general location of the targets.

2 - Get out on the course and find each of the targets till you can account for the round count stated in the WSB. For me that means I'm down range from the shooting area looking for the targets.

3 - Get in to the shooting area and find your spots. I'm always trying to find ways to eliminate shooting positions, but if you're limited on time, finding spots where you can be sure you're engaging all of the targets is most important. As previous posters have said, simplicity is something to strive for.

4 - With your remaining time, visualize perfect execution of the COF. See each of your shooting positions, and which targets you're engaging from them.

5 - Don't rush during LMR. Get your pistol into the condition specified in the WSB, and then before you get into the start position, take the time to do one more visualization of you executing the stage perfectly.

 

The above isn't perfect by any means, and I am constantly tweaking it in an effort to make it better. It has worked for me in those instances where I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to prep for a COF, however. I think the most important thing is to account for all the targets so you're sure to engage all of them. The last thing any of us wants to do is compound the effect of little prep time by incurring a bunch of penalties for misses and FTEs.

Since I'm preparing for my first match this certainly does break it all down for me...especially the 'simplicity' part. Thanks!!!

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