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IDescribe

Stick To THE Plan (Noob Edition)

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This happened a while ago, but it's still amusing to me when I think about it, and it was my first lesson learned the hard way, so maybe it's worth something to new shooters.

In my second ever IDPA match, without going into too much detail, there was a stage where if you ran it left to right, you would do your first reload from slide lock, then shoot a popper that triggered a moving target -- a hanger on rollers -- and then you had to WAIT a few seconds for that moving target to appear.  Having to engage other targets in tactical priority forced that.  However, if you ran the stage right to left, you would shoot that same popper with one round left in the chamber, then do a tactical reload and possibly even have time to engage one more target before needing to shoot the moving target.

After the walk through, everyone in my squad was talking about it, and everyone planned on going the slower left to right.  I saw no problem at all with right to left, and I said so, but they convinced me that as a new guy, I shouldn't even try that, shouldn't get fancy, and that if something went wrong with the reload, I would miss the moving target completely, and that risk wasn't worth it. I decided to take their advice and run it the safe way.  LESSON #1 -- Don't let others talk you out of something you know you are perfectly capable of.  

I ran the stage over in my head, left to right, again and again and again, including ramming that mag in hard at that slide lock reload to get the auto-forward.  But after watching a few people run the stage, and watching how freaking SLOW that moving target was, I changed my mind.  I was going to run it right to left and do the mag change while the hanger was starting to roll.  The problem is that I forgot the round count difference to that point between the two plans, and as I started rehearsing the stage in my head with the new plan, I was still imagining a slide lock reload for that first reload, not realizing it was going to be a tactical.  :huh:
LESSON #2 -- After you have decided on a plan and begun rehearsing it, don't re-work it dramatically unless you have full view of the stage and can recount rounds.  Stick to THE plan.

Again, this was my second IDPA, and this was the first time I had a piece of equipment do something unexpected.  When I shot that popper to release the moving target, I was expecting a slide lock, and when I didn't get it, I froze.   I just stood there staring at the pistol like it was a lobster.  After a few seconds, I snapped out of it, but that was a few seconds lost, and after I reloaded, I swung the pistol up just in time to pop off two fast ones at the moving target before it disappeared -- and... down 6 for that one target.  :angry:
LESSON #3 -- Be aware of the various ways in which your gear might behave unexpectedly, and already know how to respond and practice how to respond.  There is no reason in the world that I shouldn't have carried right on with that reload as if nothing unexpected had happened. 

And of course, after the show clear, I turned around and the squad was smiling and laughing, and so was I.
LESSON #4 -- Laughing at yourself with others makes you a good sport, and red cheeks make you better looking. ;) 

 

Overall, it was a productive day.

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44 minutes ago, IDescribe said:

 
LESSON #4 -- Laughing at yourself with others makes you a good sport, and red cheeks make you better looking. ;) 

 

Overall, it was a productive day.

 

That's The Most Important part of this sport - great lesson learned    :) 

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TL;DR

 

But subject had me screamin' "Leeeroyy Jenkinnnnsss". 

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Switching stage plan at the last moment has definitely happened to me. In my case, what I wound up doing was sort of a hybrid between my original and new strategies. As you would probably expect, that ended with executing neither plan well and leaving me somewhere in between. It can be difficult to resist temptation to change when you see someone doing it 'better.' I do believe you CAN successfully change your strategy and not screw the pooch, but it probably takes a bit more discipline and experience than only a couple matches in. Either way, glad we can laugh about it!

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