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Reds_Dot

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About Reds_Dot

  • Birthday 05/01/1980

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    Shooting, sandbagging, Table-Top RPGs
  • Real Name
    Brian Levy

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Finally read the FAQs

Finally read the FAQs (3/11)

  1. Don't burn out homie. Dial back and have some fun. Take care of your health (physical and mental) and work on that stress at work. I have taken a bit of a forced break with a personal injury and the rediculous rain so I'm only working easy stuff for the time being. It's helped me refocus. You and I are doing the same crazy push for A4, NTXO, and CO Nats. It's gonna be nuts and fun as long as you aren't burnt out.
  2. I don't know if it's superstition or a compulsion: once every 2 or 3 matches I will be loading a mag between stages and something will "feel off" about it. Not physically, like the mag is loading just fine. It just gets in my head that I have to unload that mag and reload it. So, I do. Then I feel better. I do it because I generally feel better afterwards and it's relatively insignificant.
  3. You're definitely NOT weird. I tend to be an introvert. In big crowds or at most larger social gatherings. I find myself in the corner or away from other people. I enjoy observing people in that sort of environment but NOT interacting with people. Usually after something like that I get home EXHAUSTED. When I go to the range for a match it's a complete 180. I am comfortable and even energized. I am a total social butterfly. I talk to tons of people and even interact with new folks as well. Every time I go to a major match the day before to recon stages the guys I am with roll their eyes at me because I stop to talk to everyone I know and oddly, that is a large number of folks. So, on the range I go from an introvert to complete extrovert. So I get that. Also, no. I haven't figured out how to make that happen in other places in my life either.
  4. Transitions were not consistent. When you are confident on shots you don't wait for the third sight picture, you just transition and that is damned beautiful to watch. Then something would go sideways mid-stage you start taking that third sight picture on paper. Not sure what causes it but I saw it on both "good" and "bad" stages. Adjacent to that on your "bad" stages your misses on steel and wide hits on paper are due to you transitioning before you pull the trigger. You have a solid sight picture then drift off the target as you begin breaking the shot. So not seeing the sight lift before transitioning. Rushing maybe? I can't really judge movement from the 1st person. There are a couple times it seemed like you were ready to start shooting and you didn't and other places you might have been able to start moving out of position on last shots but stayed flat footed. Again, with the semi-wide angle lens and being in 1st person I could be "seeing" that wrong. 3rd person would give me a better understanding of: shooting on entry, transitioning in shooting positions, exits to provide better feedback. Overall you did very well and I'm pointing out relatively small things. You gun manipulations were great and even when you "had nerves" you kept control. Maybe didn't seem like it at the time but you did. Thanks for sharing the vid.
  5. Yes. I owned and returned a pair. They are.... okay. They don't do anything particularly well. I Bought Axil GS Extremes. This is my review left on Amazon.com: I was bummed after getting these. I wanted to use them for the range as well as bluetooth headphones. They really didn't do either well.As hearing protection: with the high density foam plugs it was still painfully loud next to just regular production division guns. I never even bothered testing them around open division guns. I question the claimed 29 dB NRR. I have other plugs that are 29 dB NNR and it's dead quiet in comparison. The active ear-pro works and gives true hearing for each ear. However on the lowest volume setting it's a bit loud. I wish I could have been able to turn them down more.As bluetooth headphones: They have a hollow tinny sound. If you have the hearing protection plugs installed they do a great job noise cancelling.Using both: If you use the active ear pro and the bluetooth you will get a terrible buzz/hum. It would seem they didn't do a good job insulating the active ear-pro circuit from RF interference.I used the 30-day money back guarantee and sent mine back.
  6. Another month has gone by and some more interesting things to cover. First I'll cover the "fun stuff". I have shot a few matches in full velocitization/speed mode. It has been going very well. I'm picking up time and getting through stages as fast as the fastest guys (GM Open Shooters and other GM CO shooters) just with a few, expected, penalties. I am seeing the mistakes for the most part. Every once in a while I'll have a delta or mike that makes me go "huh?" That is a rare occurrence though. I shot a local match with nothing but speed in mind. I had one stage that I got distracted prior to shooting so I didn't get the visualization I wanted. Aside from that I just pushed like hell the whole match. It felt good. I managed to win the match. Which is nuts. Here is the video of that: Speaking of velocitization I wanted to tell the tale of my inner speed demon. I call it, "How I stopped worrying and learned to love going fast." tl;dr At the end As I mentioned in a previous post when I took the class with Ben Stoeger one of the positive take-aways was go fast. It was a lesson I both learned and didn't learn. I started going faster but I never willingly just dropped the hammer at a match and I would even hold back in practice because "I shoot minor so I have to get As." In my head there was that cartoon Angel versus Demon going on. Angel telling me to "get good hits" and the Demon screaming for me to "go faster!" They were often at odds and I tended to side with the Angel. I spent literal YEARS ignoring it, fighting with it. All along in the back of my head I could hear that voice say, "GO faster! Why are you taking so long?!" My inner speed demon was telling me something and I was telling it to shut the hell up. Once I started learning about "The House of Speed" from Cclass4lyfe (Tony) he showed me that I CAN go so much faster. It was eye-opening. As I mentioned in the previous post I was still holding myself back on speed. For the last month, I have been listening to the speed demon. I have just gone faster. I haven't heard that speed demon telling me to go faster once because I have just been going fast. My observations at speed have been interesting. 90%+ of the time my first shot is an A. The second shot is typically low and if I am transitioning or moving the shot is left or right in the same direction of travel. I rarely split slower than 0.20s on most targets. I have gotten better at seeing the second shots and they are starting to tighten-up. My grip has improved and I can keep the stock G17 shooting flat. Which is also awesome. I am going to continue to keep my foot on the gas as it were and see where it takes me. I am well on my way to reaching my goals for the 2021 USPSA Nationals. tl;dr: Go fast and learn how to manage speed.
  7. I watched LoCap from home via live stream/IG posts/and Practiscore Updates and now, match videos. As a spectator it was cool to have this level of interactivity with the event. It was cool to see people I know as well as all of the various Super Squads. I have one critique on the livestream: They should have moved stages every day. I think moving to the same zone as the Super Squads is a good call. You aren't just seeing the super squad folks shooting and you get stage variety. I don't know if that was a logistical thing or not. For the most part it was well done they did a decent job swapping cameras and stages. That isn't a an easy gig and there is a reason they pay sports TV directors the money that they do. I'm gonna excuse myself from the great "Popper Debate". I am far too inexperienced to contribute in a meaningful way to that discussion. The meme's have been hilarious though. The Practiscore update thing was a bummer from a spectator standpoint. On the first day it was cool to see the stages results as the Super Squad folks shot them. I imagine it's similar to people who play fantasy sports stuff. Clearly I don't. I have the competitor app and it was fun to follow my favorite shooters and friends as they shot. Then the update thing happened and it became a bit janky, obviously. I am shooting CO/PCC Nats in October so I will be sure to bring my own food and 140+ PF ammo.
  8. 259 since June 2014. That's a match every 9.75 days or 34.5 matches a year.
  9. So a whole month later and I am back with some amazing personal revelations, great conversations, a fun match, and some goofy go fast knowledge. First and foremost I had tasty frozen custard with Tony (Cclass4lyfe) about a month ago. We talked a bunch about personal philosophy regarding mindset. First and foremost (and regardless of golfing goals) if you ever get the chance to talk to him do it. Let him challenge your pre-conceived notions and be open to it. You may have a few "ah hahs" along the way. It was WAY more than a few ah has for me and I feel like I owe the guy money for the time spent talking. Regarding our conversation Tony pointed out that I had been needlessly holding myself back on "going fast" with a backwards notion that I hadn't trained myself to "see that fast yet". News flash: you never will unless you go that fast. As I had said at the outset of this one of my primary enemies is my own ego. It was rearing it's ugly head again. I couldn't let go of "winning" the local matches for the sake of getting better overall. (More on this later) The other topic covered was the idea of confidence and how it affects performance. In my mind confidence could improve performance but that should somehow be measurable (more Alphas; faster stage times; looking cooler; etc). That isn't quite the way to look at it. The confidence is the willingness to perform and risk failure and learn, and mean REALLY learn from whatever went sideways. That is what confidence has done and will do for me. Needless to say, it was a great conversation and very tasty frozen custard. I also went to Dragon's Cup in Odessa, TX. I had a very cool experience. I got in late the night before the match and I couldn't recon stages ahead of time. So, I basically got the 4-5min walkthrough for each stage to build a plan and start visualizing it. I chose to shoot the match at a pace that was "comfortable". I never felt like I was rushing shots or "throwing hopers" as Steve Anderson would describe it. It was a base comfortable pace. I shot, as near as makes no difference, the same % of Max Michel Jr. as I did at USPSA Nationals back in October. So, I haven't lost a step. I just really haven't gained one either. That's also 100% okay. I wanted Dragon's Cup to be base line for my skill level to work from anyway. The match did a fantastic job of that. Also: I had a HUGE amount of fun. #TeamSandman Right after Dragon's Cup I had the distinct pleasure of training with Travis Tomasie over two days in a small class setting. Travis is an amazing human being along with being a great shooter and a fantastic teacher. We covered a ton of topics. Everyone in the class came away with both technical and mental "ah-ha" moments. I continued to add to my understanding of the mental game and had a couple of good pick-ups on movement for stages. One of my take aways was getting a way to recognize that ego I mentioned earlier and squash it quickly. To recognize that not winning a local is irrelevant to my goal of performing well at Nationals. It turns out there is a personification of that ego in a person that I HATE losing to at locals. I made him the face of my ego and not when I feel that doubt or fear of losing creeping in I tell that personification of my ego to "shut up". It's a funny but effective way to recognize then easily put my ego in check. I cannot praise Travis enough. If you are a student of the game and want to learn from from the same, set-up a call or even better a class with Travis. No, I haven't been compensated to say that. That is my honest opinion. Speaking of my opinion I got Travis to sit down with me and do an interview where he talks a bit about his love of the game and his approach to teaching. I got a slot to the CO/PCC Nationals so that is officially on the calendar. As of this writing: 167 days to go. That is 167 opportunities to get just that little bit better. I'm excited.
  10. Managed to get my butt out to another match in River City. Had a good time made some mistakes for the sake of learning. I decided to shoot this match "uncomfortably" fast. Not quite the same level of fast Cclass4lyfe would do but fast enought that my brain is telling me that it can't quite get comfortable confirmation on targets. This lead to missed steel and funky stage adaptations. This wasn't without purpose. Part of this was to test how fast I can go and still "get away with it" as well as teaching my eyes what to look for at higher speeds. I have been doing that in practice but there is still a mindset shift in practice versus a match. So, it makes sense to try and push this during a match. My old HS band director had a term for this, "More than you like." Stand taller, engage your core, use your diaphragm to pull in more air, etc... All 'more than you like'. This is with the intention that when the performance comes your "relaxed" state is taller, you are more stable, you are sustaining through the whole musical phrase. Shooting is much the same as band in many ways. So I spent the match going faster than I like. Calling mikes and finding myself set up in hasty positions that made taking stable shots difficult. Each one was a data point and useful. To top it all off I had a good overall time. I might have even had a good time while I was at it. Here is the video: BTW: if You ever find yourself in the area on a match weekend go shoot River City Shooter's Club in San Antonio. They put on stellar matches that are like 6 stages of something you would see at a major. Good challenges.
  11. Thanks. Well class was scheduled the same week as the ice storm so that didn't happen. I did, however, get to talk to Travis over video chat. He is such a good dude. He did provide some insight. Basically I am generating A LOT of tension which is impeding my ability to actually pull the trigger. Frankly I was completely unaware of how much. Travis gave me some advice to start with a "relaxed face". I have started integrating that into my dryfire. Purposefully relaxing my face makes me recognize how much tension there is in my whole body which is impeding my ability to pull the trigger quickly and creates hesitations on my part. It seems crazy but in dryfire the hesitation is gone and when I focus on that it goes away in live fire. I am not doing it subconsciously at matches and in live fire yet. That will take time but, I have the time to contribute. The class has been rescheduled to April 17-18 so there will be a report after that. Since my call with Travis and the bit of work I have been doing I have felt and increased general confidence. That has allowed me to push a bit harder at matches. It's not resulting in the best scores but I have noticed my stage times have improved drastically. A large part of this is Cclass4lyfe's advice on pushing while seeing what's happening. So, thanks for that! I shot the River City Shootout this last weekend. I had two goals. 1) Beat Tyler on one stage. 2) Get as close to Tyler on overall match time as I can. I did beat Tyler on a stage and I got within 10 seconds of his overall match time. 4 seconds of that differential were on a stage that I tried a wacky stage plan that cost me a bunch of time and going to war with a piece of steel. So, 8 stages and basically less than a second per stage in differential makes me feel good about where all of my training is taking me. I did manage 7 mikes and a NS as well which didn't help my final score but I still ended up 2nd in CO. All but one of those penalties I saw. I am reviewing the video to better understand what happened on the one mike I didn't call. Genuinely I am happy with how I am making progress in my mental game. Relaxing, while still going fast and I am genuinely having more fun at matches than I have in the past. Here is the River City Shootout vid: River City Shootout 2021: The Floppy Hat Returns!
  12. LOL. This will be hilarious. I am looking forward to seeing this thing in action.
  13. Damn man. Look at the growth you have had in just the last 6 months. You are already splitting and transitioning faster than me. Your movement looks soo good too. There are some wobbly spots for sure and I know you are working on it but damn. You are killing it. Keep up the good work and I'll enjoy chasing you and Tyler at Dragon's Cup.
  14. I appreciate what you are saying and that is good general advice. However, it demonstrates my poor attempt at communicating what is happening in live-fire that I am referencing focusing to the point of causing a headache. I am physically unable to pull the trigger on the gun at speed after fast administrative actions in live-fire. My mind is sending the signal to pull the trigger and nothing happens. If I focus very hard on the action of pulling the trigger in this instance I can do it at the speed I want after the administrative process but the muscles in my arms/shoulders get a bit loose and difficult to control at a finite level (aiming the gun) So, if I force the neurological function to pull the trigger happen I can do it at the desired speed at the cost of the fine muscle control of my arms in that moment and a tension headache afterwards.
  15. SO, to catch everyone up: In December I had a severe calf-pull during a match. That sorta side-lined me for more than a month. In the meantime I shot a couple of "for-fun" matches as I hobbled around. Video: Dec 2020 Alpha Mike USPSA With movement limited I decided to focus on improving my fundamentals consistency at speed in dryfire. It's an odd training conundrum. I need to push speed but I need to NOT slow down to fix issues and gain more consistency. I think I have improved my reliable re-load to like 1.1 secs. I can really push it to like 0.85 secs but that is a 3/5 success-rate. I worked on my draw and transitions in much the same way. It was interesting, occasionally frustrating, but fairly effective. I really doubled down on the concept of "seeing faster" on transitions and always having a prepped trigger to break shots as soon as I could see a decent flash of dot where I wanted to hit. Felt good in dryfire but how well it would work in live fire is another thing. So, I put that to the test at a ProAm Style falling steel match. The results were mixed. I found that I could definitely move the gun faster than I could react to the dot passing over the target. Unfortunately, I was focused on shooting the match and not taking video. So, no video of that. Funny enough I spoke to Bclass4lyfe a few weeks later and he provided me training concept that may help progress what I was trying to accomplish with the fast acquisition technique I was trying at the falling steel match. I am still training/testing this and I have seen some bright spots where my transitions are much faster between targets and I am getting good hits on targets. "The Travesty" occurred at this time. Apparently this forum doesn't want it discussed so I will leave it at that. At this point I have recovered from my calf-pull and I have shot two more USPSA matches. Both matches I tried that fast acquisition/transition concept and found a personal flaw that occurs normally during draws/reloads: I hesitate. I know 99% of you will tell me I am over confirming my sight-picture but it's not that. It's like there is some form of mental block that makes me hesitate when I do something administrative (drawing/reloading/and now transitioning) quickly. It's like my brain locks-up. I don't know how else to describe it. Part of my brain is SCREAMING for me to shoot, while the part of my brain that controls motor function says, "Hang on a sec..." It's bizarre and when I am focused on just doing the administrative thing fast and shooting immediately afterwards I can remove that block with extreme mental effort and shoot at the cost of motor function precision. In plain English: If I concentrate to the point of almost having a headache and force myself to shoot immediately (on a draw/after a reload/on a fast transition) I can do it but at the cost of not being completely in control of my hands so accuracy becomes a game of chance. Don't know if anyone else knows about or experienced this but I am open to input here. Here are the two USPSA Matches I shot: January 2021 CAPS Club USPSA February 2021 Temple Gun Club USPSA I am in a bit of a holding pattern right now as I am taking a small class (6 people) with Travis Tomasie next week. I am hoping to get a mixture of mechanical shooting advice and mental technique to reach my 2021 goals. I will report back after the class and I should have some video as well. Consider yourselves caught up.
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