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Burning through a stage


Tuflehundon
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I have been shooting USPSA for a while now. Have made improvements in that time, mainly just getting back into swing of things. I have been shooting for years, but this style of shooting was new to me.

Some of the guys I shoot with lately have been helping me out with little tweeks here and there. One that really helped was a better shooter started showing me how he runs each stage, and why he runs them the way he does. He said that he felt I was playing it to safe and seemed to be afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I was taking more time than I needed to in each shooting position, and not realizing it.

He recommended I burn through stages for a night or 2. I would walk through the stage, and find what I though was the fastest way to do it, and still maintain safety. He and I would walk through together after that and we would make some tweeks to my plan if needed. Then I would go through and shoot each stage as fast as I safely could. I made mistakes here and there. But it showed me what I needed to work on more, and it also showed me were I had improved so I was able to speed up.

Once I did that for a couple of nights, and then went back and moved at a "regular" pace I was able to run the stages much faster, and take a second or so extra when needed, and my times and hits were much better.

Surprisingly, the close shots were one of my weak spots. I knew the shots were easier, so I was getting ahead of my sights sometimes. I was taking way to much time on steel, I had gotten much better at shooting steel than I had realized. I was also able to figure out my optimal shot cadence at different ranges better.

Main thing I concentrated on while going as fast as I could, other than going fast, was still being safe with the gun while doing it. Moving faster than I normally felt comfertable made me very consious of gun handling during each stage. I had to get out of my comfert zone to realize I had gotten better. I'm still no GM or M, but I have improved since I started.

Edited by Tuflehundon
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One that really helped was a better shooter started showing me how he runs each stage, and why he runs them the way he does. He felt I was playing it too safe

Really amazing how better shooters can "encourage" us to try new things which make

us better shooters. Love to shoot with people like that. :bow:

Edited by Hi-Power Jack
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That's a great example of the "speed mode" of practice where you don't judge accuracy.

It's a great training tool because it shows you what you can do, and you learn what it feels like to perform very very quickly.

When this feeling becomes normal, you can get back to calling the shots and retain the time gains.

Excellent!

As for the close shots: "I knew the shots were easier" caused you to disrespect them.

SA

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Can you elaborate a little on the speed mode of practice? Is it in your book ( which I have)? I have been toying with the idea of using our monthly 3-gun matches for this type of speed work where I simply attempt to run the stage as fast as possible without worrying about accuracy just to see what is possible for me .. We have the option of shooting all pistol in our 3-gun matches if we want, particularly now that I don't have much 223 any more anyway ...

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Ok, sounds just like what I was planning to try ... Is there really no min accuracy for this drill? And should I use some of my normal movement drills or setup some kind of mini stage to execute?

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You don't ignore accuracy, you just don't judge it.

Meaning, I hear a lot of shooters say " I did X in X BUT I was down X" meaning that the accuracy problem took away from the (retention of the) speed gain.

So we remove the accuracy problem from the equation in speed mode and focus on the speed gain.

email me and I'll take you a little further along.

SA

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Sure.

In Speed Mode you don't judge accuracy, rather you learn what it feels like to do something faster than normal.

Once this new feeling becomes normal, you can either get into pure accuracy mode or shot calling mode.

It'll be in the 3rd book.

SA

Guess I have somehting to look foward to!

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I have been out of the sport for a while. In fact, I doubt I have visited the forum more than a dozen times in the last 3-4 years. I am really glad to see this thread. As I surf around the web I keep seeing "get your accuracy down and speed will come". Depending on a person's temperament, nothing could be further from the truth. Yeah, you have to be able to get the hits, and yes one is ill advised to shoot with reckless abandon by trying to go in warp mode. But, for some of us we need to push past our comfort zone in everything we do to develop any real sense of speed.

I know folks who get up early every morning to dry fire in search for that next fraction of a second on the draw, the reload, and in transitions. But come time for the club match, and they purposefully back off to get all of those A hits because they don't trust themselves to shoot at the top of their game. I have watched shooters hit an activator, then stand there and wait for the popper to fall and the swinger to appear either because they don't know they have the time to engage another target in the interim, or they don't trust their ability to shoot another target. It seems as though they impose a mental limitation on their abilities because they have never purposefully exceeded their limitations in order to learn more about themselves. As my old friend Sam used to say, "Sometimes you just have to turn the badger loose".

Edited by Ron Ankeny
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agreed, i see these [people all the time as well. For me, because i am new to shooting I purposefully focvused 100% on accuracy to ensure I developed the requisite marksmenship skills. However, now that my match resuklts confirm that I have a handle on accuracy it's time to switch my training to start working on the speed aspects of the sport while maintaining mt accuracy ...

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I have been out of the sport for a while. In fact, I doubt I have visited the forum more than a dozen times in the last 3-4 years. I am really glad to see this thread. As I surf around the web I keep seeing "get your accuracy down and speed will come". Depending on a person's temperament, nothing could be further from the truth. Yeah, you have to be able to get the hits, and yes one is ill advised to shoot with reckless abandon by trying to go in warp mode. But, for some of us we need to push past our comfort zone in everything we do to develop any real sense of speed.

I know folks who get up early every morning to dry fire in search for that next fraction of a second on the draw, the reload, and in transitions. But come time for the club match, and they purposefully back off to get all of those A hits because they don't trust themselves to shoot at the top of their game. I have watched shooters hit an activator, then stand there and wait for the popper to fall and the swinger to appear either because they don't know they have the time to engage another target in the interim, or they don't trust their ability to shoot another target. It seems as though they impose a mental limitation on their abilities because they have never purposefully exceeded their limitations in order to learn more about themselves. As my old friend Sam used to say, "Sometimes you just have to turn the badger loose".

Several of my friends do this. I did when I first started shooting USPSA, but quickly got out of that habit. When I first started shooting USPSA I concentrated more on form and safety and said speed will come in time. It was my fellow shooters who encouraged me to go faster. They said there was no reason they should be beating me every time. That I should be competitive with them. Just not waiting for steel to fall before moving to the next one can take several seconds off of your time.

Also, by pushing myself, I forced myself to concentrate more. My misses (non A hits) are getting closer. I'm getting more close C's, and less D's

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if you are calling every shot you should never have any Ds or Ms unless maybe it's a Virginia count stage or there is a dissappearing target ... having Ds & Ms usually means you did not have the visual patience to see what you needed to see before breaking the shot ...

If time was not a factor and you could execute a stage with all A's then you possess the requisite marksmenship skills. When time is now factored in and you don't shoot all As then you are "simply" going faster then you are capable of given your current skill level ... push speed in training, not in a mtach since you are as fast as you are on match day & nothing you try that day will make you faster with the same accuracy ... YMMV

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if you are calling every shot you should never have any Ds or Ms unless maybe it's a Virginia count stage or there is a dissappearing target ... having Ds & Ms usually means you did not have the visual patience to see what you needed to see before breaking the shot ...

If time was not a factor and you could execute a stage with all A's then you possess the requisite marksmenship skills. When time is now factored in and you don't shoot all As then you are "simply" going faster then you are capable of given your current skill level ... push speed in training, not in a mtach since you are as fast as you are on match day & nothing you try that day will make you faster with the same accuracy ... YMMV

My misses are getting closer when pushing myself and going as fast as I can I should have said. I only do this at local matches. Haven't shot a big match yet. I've only been doing this for 6 or 7 months, and ammo is to scarce right now for me to shoot any big matches. I have only done 1 classifier to, not sure what my rating is within my division.

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I don't differentiate between local matches, level II matches like the upcoming Area 6 Championships next month or even the Production Nationals in Oct. You should be doing the same thing regardless of the match in question ... if you start to do things differently based on the particular match in question you'll have inconsistent results and you'll start to develop mental toughness issues ... there are no big matches or small matches or important matches or unimportant matches. You just show up for the match & attempt to call every shot letting the subconscious mind direct your shooting ...

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I don't differentiate between local matches, level II matches like the upcoming Area 6 Championships next month or even the Production Nationals in Oct. You should be doing the same thing regardless of the match in question ... if you start to do things differently based on the particular match in question you'll have inconsistent results and you'll start to develop mental toughness issues ... there are no big matches or small matches or important matches or unimportant matches. You just show up for the match & attempt to call every shot letting the subconscious mind direct your shooting ...

If I had taken your advice, I never would have improved my times. You have to practice and try new things somewhere. The only time the ranges I go to allow you to shoot and move is during the local shoots. Unless you can afford to rent the range and an RO for the day, which I sure can't. If you never step out of your comfort zone, you are holding yourself back.

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Never said you shouldn't step out of your control zone .... You should be doing it at every training session you shoot. My shooting instructor says we shouldn't be using matches to experiment. Matches are for getting feedback on how well your training is going ...

BUT .... If your local range doesn't allow you to do USPSA style training then I guess you have no choice but to do it then ... Yikes! That would be a very painful and frustrating way to train and I'm not sure I'd be in this sport if matches were the only time I got to participate in the sport. My progress would be so slow I'm sure I would give it up.

I currently train 3 mornings a week plus 2 matches a month and I get down sometimes on how slow I perceive my progress to be .... You might consider moving up here ... :) weather is stil great and we have one of the best clubs around for action shooting. In fact we're in the process of starting a range upgrade which will include. All new bays with covered area, lights, steel, etc and turn our current 7 bay Action area into a 4 bay non competition area for those not interested in competiting but who still like using the bays ...

BTW, Have you read Mke Seeklander's book or his DVDs? The phrase "expanding your control zone" Is a cornerstone of his training program ...

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I have started reading some book and watching DVD's, but not those, I'll give them a look. The other limiting factor for a lot of peoples practice right now is ammo. I started shooting USPSA in September. Didn't really have time to stock up on ammo, especially with switching to .40 for Limited Major in December, vs the .45 for SS I shot prior. Once the ammo crisis let's up, I will start practicing more, and stocking up more.

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I've been training with Mike since I got into this sport in Jan 12 and been following his program religiously. If you can't take a class directly from him his DVDs are really good, you'll want to get his book first so you understand them but it's just like being in a class with him.

As far as ammo goes, because I shoot an average of 600 rds/week I needed to get into reloading which I did back in Jun. it also required a fairly large stock pile of bullets and primers. I've reduced how much I shoot per trng session to around 125-150 vice 200 but frequency is important so i've maintained my 3x/wk schedule.

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I've told this story before, but since it fits here...

One day long ago the TGO and I were at the practice range. We had a box of ammo, that for some reason - needed burning up. So we were just alternating... shooting Bill Drills. We got down to 12 rounds left to shoot, and I was up. Before I shot, I thought - "I've been shooting for all A's all afternoon, so for my last 6 shots I'm just going to have fun and crank 6 hits anywhere on the target as fast as I possibly can." I came out crankin' - and my time was the fastest I'd ever shot in my life: 1.48 seconds, with all A's.

Me and Robbie looked at each other with holy crap faces. I told him my strategy, and he said, "I'm going to do that." He cranked out a 1.52 - his personal best - also with all A's.

We left that practice session on a super high!

be

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Since I've started to push my control zone WRT speed I've been surprising myself with how fast I've become without realizing it. Last week I wanted to see how fast I could draw on a 5 yd target regardless of where I hit, to my surprise in 6 shots my slowest was 1.15 (my first) and my fastest was 1.04, 5 of the 6 were As. Today I was practicing one of the classifieds which will be at the Area 6 championship and my first run was 56/60 with a time that put me at 69%. My current classification is sitting at 46%.

I'm very encouraged that now that I'm actually working on speed I seem to be able to shoot a lot faster than I thought and maintain my 90% as goal.

Given where I'm at, After 2 days with Steve Anderson this coming weekend I expect to have a sub one second draw (production div) ...

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This is a good thread for me to get motivated. I too need to get out of my control zone. I am stuck and not working hard enough to get "unstuck."

The last 2 years I was bombarded with health issues. Now that I'm well, it's been hard for me to start back at the bottom. It feels like the bottom. I want to break C class in a couple divisions and I can't do it unless I get out of the control zone.

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It was hard at first to break the habit of pushing fast to the point were I'd miss, but once I learned to dial it back down and get the hits I found it easier in training to push ... Looking forward to seeing these results manifest themselves in my match results as we'll ...

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That's terrific Nimitz. While I was ill I encouraged my husband to not sit around as a nurse and go shoot!!!! I started him on a regimen of dry firing and he pushed up to a Limited B. He also took a lesson from Robbie, traveled to matches with friends and even went to SS Nationals. I'm going to have him review this thread and see how we can both improve for the next qualifier match. I practice every Tuesday but my practice time has been inundated with socializing. I will incorporate speed practice in the course of fire and I'll run some bill drills beforehand. 2 mentors have told me to start shooting bill drills and this would help me with a speedier trigger pull.

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my speed focus is not really about pulling the trigger faster as there is only so much to be gained with reducing your splits. Transitions and no wasted movement throughout stage is where the big gains are to be had and that's where I focus my 'speed' training ...

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