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Burn Out / Overtraining


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I need some advice.

I don't get to shoot regularly, work travel gets in the way. When I do get to shoot it is in little 60 day sprints. For now at least there is no nice slow work up over six months.

I am a Limited Master class guy and am fairly competitive. I feel I am smoother than I am blindingly fast, but practice helps both. right now I am borrowing gear that is less than optimal, but that's not the issue for this thread. New gear is on the way.

My questions / problem is this; a couple of times now, the FGN match back last Summer and the recent FL Open, I have taken time to try and get ready, using up my comp days at work to leave early a couple of times a week and really shooting hard for two to three weeks before a match. I ended up shooting about a thousand rounds a week for the two weeks leading up to both matches and . at both matches I was really burnt out, didn't even want to shoot

The FGN match was long enough that I finally got in gear the third day, but the ups and down killed me. I went from 110th one stage to 5th the next in literally ten minutes!!!

The FL Open is the WORST I have shot in the two years since earning my "M" card.

I am very frustrated with myself, and obviously at the lack of results for the expenditure of time, money and effort.

Lastly, before someone mentions it, I did not try to run flat out and crash every stage. I had the attitude that I would be faster than I felt (having just put in a lot of practice) and I just needed to run smooth and get the points. I still feel this is the correct game plan.

What am I doing wrong?

How do you prepare for a big match?

How long does it take? Basically I am going from lay off to big match in six weeks or less. I see my times and scores come back up to where they need to be, but they dissappear at the big show.

HELP!!!! :o

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I've been where your at. Max tells a story about how he use to shoot a ton leading up to a big match. When his gun broke before a big match he was freaking out because he would not be able to practice before the big show. I forget who told him to chill out, that did he really think a few extra days of practice was going to make that much difference. Now he says he usually doesn't shoot that much a few days before a big match, why? It keeps him hungry to shoot.

Seeing how your borrrowing less than optimal equipment, I think you may hve tried to push yourself so hard that you could make up any short falls the borrowed equipment had.

At the FL Open I was VERY impressed with the way Chris Tilley handled himself on stage 5. For those off you who did not shoot it was probably the most difficult stage. Lots of targets, you could see them from multiple positions, and most were past 25 yards. To top things off there was a fast swinger at about 30-40 yards. Chris had 2 mikes on the swinger. He said that he sure didn't call that, and just let it go. It is what it is, no more, no less. He did not try to make it up, or get so pissed off that it ruined the rest of the match. He hung tough and ended up taking 1st GM. Awesome mental attitude.

Sometimes you train so hard that you really start to put expectation on yourself. You expect a high level of performance with each and every shot. Go and evauluate your performance after the match is over, during the match do what you are prepared to do, no more, no less.

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Yep. Been there too. Maybe still am. I've convinced myself, right or wrong, that no number of practice sessions, most especially sessions I force myself into, prior to a match mean that I shoot any better at that match. On the contrary, for me, it almost seems I'm better off to not practice as much. When I feel like I have to practice, it's like I'm forcing that practice upon myself, and therefore I don't enjoy it, nor probably accomplish anything other than frustrating myself. There is hardly ever any continuity to those sessions. At some point then, I really want to go practice and I feel I accomplish much more. It's more of a when the mood strikes type thing instead of something predetermined and scheduled that I feel I just have to do. I personally have a tendency to start taking things for granted when I'm practicing a lot and that approach can kill you in a match. Going into a match without a lot of live fire practice however, generally has demonstrated that I think I'm more methodical and deliberate in my shooting than I need to be, when in actuality, I'm shooting the way I need to. I'm not saying training isn't necessary, it's critical, and I do maintain some consistency to my dry fire routine and I feel that is more beneficial to me than live fire practice.

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Hey Dirtypool,

Don't dispair! :( Check out the thread below called Match Mindset I think it will shed a little light into your gloom. :)

Training for only a couple weeks to compete at the M level isn't going to get it done. <_< Too much intensity squeezed into too little time coupled with high performance expectations is a heavy burden to place on oneself and a sure recipe for disaster. :( You've got the ability, just don't let your mind get in the way of what the body can do. With only a little pratice I would concentrate on getting quality hits every time (boy is that a hippocritical statement for me!), then go into a match with only the expectation of not getting any mikes or some other goal that is porportional to the invested effort in training!

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Dirty, all of the very thoughtful replies so far have one thing in common. They all mention either directly or indirectly, "expectations".

This is a downward spiral which many of us, in all classifiactions get caught up in from time to time. What if we didn't have any expectations at all, other than to have a good time and shoot as well as we are able?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys...

I was so pissed I didn't speak to myself for a week!!!

Seriously though it was pretty frustrating, I had been shooting as accurately and FASTER than I EVER had and with borrowed equipment.

The gun kept breaking, and that played hell with confidence, and I guess I did start leaning into expectations, even though the game plan was to just go smooth and let things happen.

I am especially pissed because this (mindset and workup) was what I had focused on since my disaster at the FGN match. It's like the old joke about the definition of insanity; performing the same experiment over and over expecting different results.

I really do look forward to getting settled into the new location, so I can treat it like working out, nice slow and steady over the long haul. This four month lay off then four weeks to ramp up for a big match is not working.

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