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1st stage nervousness ...how to shrug it off?

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On 10/28/2016 at 7:33 AM, SCTaylor said:

No personal offense, but his advice is crap! If you want to shoot consistently, why in the world would you do something different on the first stage? And then different on the second?

 

 

 

Because the first stage is different than every other stage for a lot of people. It is human nature to have increased anxiety at the beginning of any competition/performance. If/when you can get past the start of event nerves then I see what you are saying. 

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I wish I knew ...I still get worked up myself....I sometimes do the same thing in trap and mentally talk myself out of targets.....

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Pay close attention to your "pre-thoughts" about each stage, and only allow those that are positive. 

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23 hours ago, IHAVEGAS said:

 

Because the first stage is different than every other stage for a lot of people. It is human nature to have increased anxiety at the beginning of any competition/performance. If/when you can get past the start of event nerves then I see what you are saying. 

 

All I mean is, channeling Steve Anderson, we have one job to do once the timer sounds.  Leave only acceptable shots on target.

 

I prepare for the first stage the same as the last. Overall, the only difference is how comfortable I am with the gun going boom. Mental prep, walk through, gear checks, pre-run routine should all be the same. Your speed at which you perform the greatest isn't going to change on match day, so do not try to control speed.

Edited by SCTaylor

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I find that during a match, my first couple of stages aren't as smooth as the remaining stages. I.E. I "get better" over the course of the match.  I don't think it's due to nervousness...but more so just getting into a rhythm of sorts.  I think that I need to find a spot before the match where I can possibly do some drills or some live fire just to knock the rust off.  Anyone else feel the same?

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I find that during a match, my first couple of stages aren't as smooth as the remaining stages. I.E. I "get better" over the course of the match.  I don't think it's due to nervousness...but more so just getting into a rhythm of sorts.  I think that I need to find a spot before the match where I can possibly do some drills or some live fire just to knock the rust off.  Anyone else feel the same?
For me its a combination of both.....more relaxed, less nervous and just trigger time getting into the groove.

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On 8/2/2017 at 5:46 PM, IHAVEGAS said:

 

Because the first stage is different than every other stage for a lot of people. It is human nature to have increased anxiety at the beginning of any competition/performance. If/when you can get past the start of event nerves then I see what you are saying. 

 

It's not something you should worry about "getting past".  It's something you should embrace.  Used properly it is a performance enhancer.  If seen as a negative, it will manifest as such.

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On 4/27/2012 at 9:25 AM, humanoid said:

I seem to always make a stupid mistake on the 1st stage. Sometimes it costs me a procedural or points down. I am fine after that. What do you do to shrug off those beginning of the match jitters?

I like to think those jitters are why I enjoy the sport, its the competitor within. Rather than shrug them off, I acknowledge them and then double down on my focus and visualization. 

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On 8/6/2017 at 2:06 PM, theWacoKid said:

 

It's not something you should worry about "getting past".  It's something you should embrace.  Used properly it is a performance enhancer.  If seen as a negative, it will manifest as such.

 

This is deep but I agree. I also slow down I little on the first stage of a match. Probably not the best advice since I'm a newbie. Not that I walk it but I like to have a pretty solid run. Most of time I mess something up but for the most part the first stage is a positive experience because I get the warm up in that one is not allowed before USPSA matches.

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On 9/26/2017 at 7:47 AM, inkballedtarget said:

double down on my focus and visualization. 

I like that. :)

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I've also experienced such negative emotions, no matter what is the number of the stage. When I manage to relax my mind and not think so much about what I have to do, my mind does not sabotage the body activity anymore. The martial arts breathing help me too.

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I don't get butterflys, going first any more then I do every time it comes time to shoot. LOL, If you are first on the first stage! You will not be first the rest of the match.

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I get 1st stage jitters as well esp when I'm the first guy called up in my squad. For me, I do the stage walk-thru making mental checks of mag change points and order of engagement, get to the line when called. Get the LAMR command, nice slow pace here, taking some deep breaths, focusing only on what I'm physically doing which works out to be a little distraction to the targets waiting downrange, sorta like a meditation moment. Holster my gun, keeping my hand on the grip so the RO knows I'm not ready as yet.

 

I close my eyes, take a couple deep breaths while mentally visualizing myself engaging only the first target(s) (this only takes like 3-4 sec so I'm not really holding up the squad). Let go of the grip, shake 'em loose so they're not tense and hang my arms at my side, indexing the butt of my pistol on my forearm while staring down at my first target, my brain and muscles on the verge of triggering at the very split second that beeper goes off. "Shooter ready? Standby!" BEEP! Snatch pistol out of holster, run to target if required, raise pistol up to my eye line and because I'm already staring down at my target, my sights should naturally come up in line, then engage the first target as I'd pictured and hopefully my natural instincts kick in for the rest of the stage, engaging and mag changing as I'd rehearsed mentally during the walk-thru. It sounds like a long and drawn out process but it actually isn't. All those little mental distractions keeps my brain busy working and not focusing on the part of me that's got the jitters. This works for me and can't say it'll work for anyone else.

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I don't really believe in new age techniques, but I have had some success with meditation and breathing exercises. Even 3-5 minutes seems to help center me. There's a cell phone app called Insight Timer that is free and fairly helpful. 

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Once I hear I’m in the whole I start to try and do controlled deep break breaths and try and calm myself down. Then I’ll tune everything out and do a mental first person visualization .ohmce I’m on deck and the range is being reset I’ll do one last walk through . Once up during make ready I’ll tell myself to relax and just see my sights and Dont “Hero” and be consistent.  I think a lot of the nervous will go away the better your visualization and once you find your own pre stage ritual. 

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i do the same thing. The first stage is always my worst one. 

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On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 9:27 AM, dsu96 said:

I find that during a match, my first couple of stages aren't as smooth as the remaining stages. I.E. I "get better" over the course of the match.  I don't think it's due to nervousness...but more so just getting into a rhythm of sorts.  I think that I need to find a spot before the match where I can possibly do some drills or some live fire just to knock the rust off.  Anyone else feel the same?

 

So here's what I'm doing to combat this issue in dryfire.  When I start my dryfire, I do about three "warm-ups" where I draw on a target and pull the trigger 6 times.  Then I move directly into my dryfire drills.  Mentally, I'm telling myself "I've warmed up" and I expect 100% performance from myself after the warm-up.

 

At matches, I do virtually the same thing at the safe table - draw on a target and pull the trigger 6 times as fast as I can, for 3 reps.  Again, mentally I'm telling myself I'm warmed up - no excuses.

 

It works pretty well for me.

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