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In A Slump how do i get out of it?

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I have been on the range dry firing, practicing working my butt off 3 days a week and was making great improvement. I had three really solid matches in a row and was really pleased but then last week I had a terrible match. I had one good stage it was just awful, like my brain wouldn't work. Then today I had a even worse match not one good stage and a few of them were just terrible. Blazing away at steel, going to slide lock on a Texas star ( I have one at home I usually smoke the darn things) Mikes, D's a failure to engage. I even started a stage with no mag in my gun after "topping off". I was really trying to focus and pull myself out of it but....it just kept getting worse it was like a bad dream. Aggggghhh what is wrong with me I feel like I have forgotten how to shoot. I couldn't keep track of my round count and went to slidelock several times, I NEVER make that mistake but I made it 4 times today. Slidelock is "death lock" in single stack. I did start on nutra systems 3 weeks ago and have been on a limited calorie intake, not sure if that's it or ......just a slump for some reason. I talked to Mike Voight today he told me he has had slumps last for a month or two...I have area one in 4 weeks I have to fix this any ideas? anyone else go thru this?

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I did start on nutra systems 3 weeks ago and have been on a limited calorie intake, not sure if that's it

The brain needs sugar, maybe cheat a little on match day. Sometimes you need to be on two diets at once, there's usually not enough food on just one. :)

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I talked with JoJo and he shared a similar experience with me when he was trying to drop lb's quickly for 3 gun, apparently he not only felt confused but his legs gave out and he lost his strength. After that he went to a nutritionist that recommended carbing up the day before a match and natural sugars i.e oranges, bananas, apples that kind of thing throughout the day. He says he has not had the problem since. I will defiantly give that a try. I have always been a white sugar ADDICT and I haven't had any in over 3 weeks. I only wanted to lose a few pounds (10-12) I didn't realize how much that would affect me. I think I will give up the Mega Coffee on match mornings as well. Ben, I ordered Champion Shooting Volume one yesterday along with some of Lanny Basshams books looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the response. Jay

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Sugar absolutely scrambles my brain. It happens on long distance motorcycle trips, and it happens in shooting competitions.

For that reason, I eat protein rich meals the day before and (absolutely) the day of the match. Before the match and during the match.

Protein drinks are essential for continued acuity during a match.

Your present diet (in the sense of the food you are eating) is letting you down.

Protein, protein, protein. Absolutely minimize carbohydrates on match days -- especially at breakfast. While your brain uses suger, any carbohydrate intake causes an overshoot of insulin, which removes available carbohydrates from your blood. So, rely on protein to supply the food your brain needs in a form that doesn't crash your body. The impact of insulin is particularly dramatic in pre-diabetic people (folks who choose to go on diets to loose weight).

Getting serious about shooting has demanded that I finally learn how to eat properly.

And, also, keep in mind that it's that time of year when water intake is much more important than it has been for the last six months.

Edited by August

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Maybe a break is what you need. Seems like a lot of training going on (pressure/anxiety) Maybe take a few days break and recharge the batteries. Follow up with one of your other passions and come back refreshed. I could see a drastic change in diet causing issues. Just make subtle changes to your diet and your body will gradually respond rather than freak out with a complete diet change. No need for drastic measures unless you're a ufc fighter thats been pigging out and needs to make weight :)

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i agree with the guys here that i t could be your diet..

just in case it is not..

i don't think taking a breake, is a good idea..

not for shooting at least...

i've had a few bad streaks hit me during periouds of heavy training (mostly right before making a break through)...

honestly the best way to get over it. is just to keep doing in it..

when it happens to me, i tend to do my best to reconginize it. admit to my self, that there is something broken in my teqnique, and make a conscious effort to not be so hard on my self (specialy of what's broken is not so obvious)... with a renewed attitude and lower expectation i continue to push same as before.. eventually my game gets tuned agein and i usually even break my platuh..

you just have to keep going for it..

i often find that while, my speed and accuracy don't improve much, playing the game just becomes esier, i'm sure you'll know what i mean soon enough :D

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I'm working on losing weight also for general health and so that I don't have to lug around extra fat on the range. It can't help my score. I've been successful in losing weight by, oddly enough, reducing caloric intake and being more active. What I have found is that I can be tired and a bit light headed on the days when I'm not eating much so I'm making an effort to eat enough the day before I go shooting and to also take some good snacks with me when I do a match.

I've been reading the various writings of Julie Golob and Ben Stoeger (Hi, Ben. You rock. I'm not worthy.) and both point out in their writings to be careful on what you eat during matches. Filling up on whatever is being served for lunch, no matter how awesome is it, might not be in your best interest depending on what is being served.

I do my shooting in Florida so I also make a conscious effort to stay hydrated when I'm shooting. Once you figured out you aren't drinking enough, it might be too late.

And speaking of Ben...this has nothing to do with the thread, but since I've previously invoked his name...

Check.

Out. I have a profound soft spot for Beretta 92 pistols because I took one with me through the police academy and onto patrol with me afterwards. Seeing Ben rock one like this gives me a warm and fuzzy nostalgic feeling. I trusted my 92FS with my life and it never let me down no matter how many thousands of rounds I put through it back in the day when I was pushing a blue and white around. Edited by ericjhuber

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Sometimes when I hit that slump, I take a small break like maybe a week or so from dryfiring and live fire practice to clear my head. then I tell myself to put my head down and get my fat ass back to work and start up the training program again. When you feel the burnout coming I think there's no way around it; just have to take a step back to refocus then start it up with new vigor.

as for match day issues its important to eat healthy, hydrate and get as much rest as possible a few days before the match. and dont come to the match hung over as I used to do haha

Edited by blaster113

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Walk away for a month. Weekend shooters can unintentionally turn this into a not so fun job. Results will suffer.

Remember the old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"?

Seriously, stop all the snapping and blasting for a while. Sit down, close your eyes and start visualizing perfect stage runs.

Challenge yourself to do this well. See every single move. Results will improve.

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I even started a stage with no mag in my gun after "topping off".

Your diet may be the big picture issue but your RO really f*cked you there.

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I even started a stage with no mag in my gun after "topping off".

Your diet may be the big picture issue but your RO really f*cked you there.

?

It's not the RO's responsibilty to tell a shooter how to Make ready. In fact, in USPSA, the RO is not allowed to mention it.

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I even started a stage with no mag in my gun after "topping off".

Your diet may be the big picture issue but your RO really f*cked you there.

Ummm .... No

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I took a couple of months off. Seemed like I was getting burned out and my head was never in the game so my scores went from bad to worse. Sometimes if your mind is filled with other clutter, it's just best to stay home. Shot my first match last Saturday after two months off. Still had some bad stages but my mental focus was better and I was able to focus on the front sights. Getting back into it just feels better now.

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Back to basics, what is it Brain says, take the time you need to make the hit, indications are you are rushing the shots. Once you tank a stage you get behind the curve and try to catch up. Just stop trying. Relax and concentrate on making the hits. SS is easy your feet move you reload, open is tough you have to think about where you will relaod. LOL.

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How it the OP doing? Out of the rut? Was it the diet?

Maybe that what's been happening to me? Oh wait.. I'm not dieting... damn. Stuff like this happens. We've all had it happen. What's most important is to not dwell on it and move on. Whether you take time off or hit it harder is your call. IMO- if you are burnt out- take some time off. If you are just in a funk- fight thru it. It's all going to make you mentally stronger in the long run. Hell when a match goes bad you don't just leave right?

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Sleep and diet have a bigger effect than most realize. Hope everything worked out after the adjustment.

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Unless you are diabetic I would doubt the diet would be the problem. The body is very good at adjusting to changes in conditions and the brain is the first thing that it services.

Could I suggest another possible cause and one that hit me this year. Over expectation and the conscious mind messing up the subconscious skills. Lanny Bassham explains the relationship very well. One line in your post stood out for me.

I was really trying to focus and pull myself out of it but....it just kept getting worse it was like a bad dream.

Lanny would explain this as trying to use your conscious mind to correct the situation and there is only one possible outcome and that is a big drop in performance as you can't use subconscious skills when you are trying hard to.

Matthew Syed in his book Bounce gives a very good example from his career. He was a double Olympic medalist in Table Tennis. He goes into detail about what he labels choking in competition. Playing in the most important game of his career, that he was expected to win he got hammered and played like an amateur. He explains that he was trying so hard to think every shot, he lost all his ability. The harder he tried, the worse it got. Table tennis is not a game you can think. Its so fast it must all be subconscious from years of training. The good news is he fixed his head and went on to win more titles.

Is it possible that with the work you are putting in your subconscious skills are very good. You had three good matches in a row and perhaps you start to think hey i'm good at this and you start to focus on a result rather than the process? Something throws your performance and you compensate by over thinking it all?

This year probably the biggest match we had over here was a two gun match for Help for Heroes. I really thought I had a good chance of winning it. I messed up the first two stages so badly. Failed to engage several targets and ran the rifle dry etc. I gave up and decided to salvage the day having a laugh and trying to help some of the shooters in my squad. At the end of the day I was shocked to place 4th. By giving up consciously I actually stopped the conscious mind spoiling the shoot.

I would keep training and keep competing but perhaps give yourself a break and just turn up to shoot. Don't think it just let it happen.

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Meh, (2) things; diet and positive attitude.

Contrary to the health industry canaries in the coal mine, our bodies and particularly our brains need fat and water. The brain is an extremely gelatinous membrane which requires electrical connectivity, for proper electrical connections. If you have integrated a moderate diet, exercise 3X a week also in moderation, you will eventually lose some weight. White sugar and caffeine are extremely bad for the brain and nervous system, slowly cut back on both, and you will see an improvement even w/o the exercise.

Positive attitude: you had a bad match, a bad week, a bad month, whatever...chalk it up as a loss and move on. Repeat: chalk it up as a SIMPLE loss, NOT a defeat. Everyone has a loss now and again, stay focused on making progress rather than the IDEA of having been defeated. Trying to figure out the root of a bad day/match/week can sometimes cause more analysis paralysis, and actually create a bigger dip in performance. Make sense?

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I even started a stage with no mag in my gun after "topping off".

Your diet may be the big picture issue but your RO really f*cked you there.

?

It's not the RO's responsibilty to tell a shooter how to Make ready. In fact, in USPSA, the RO is not allowed to mention it.

I'm curious about this...why can't an RO mention it? If it is prior to beginning the course of fire, it's not a form of coaching ?? Please educate me!!

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not a safety issue i would think? if a shooter decides (or forgot) to have no mag inserted then its a go. if its reversed, say no mag or empty chamber and shooter loaded, shooter will not be started.

So going back to OP, I bought Lanny Bassham's audio CD and it really helped me a lot. He discussed exactly what you are going through right now. Forget the bad performance, dont beat yourself. Work harder, again, like previous posts, positive attitude=) and good food :cheers:

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The cure for all your problems is Steve Andersons podcasts. I have listened to 40 in the last week. He is totally mad but his mix of shooting, Van Halen and Dobermans is awesome!

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I have been on the range dry firing, practicing working my butt off 3 days a week and was making great improvement. I had three really solid matches in a row and was really pleased but then last week I had a terrible match. I had one good stage it was just awful, like my brain wouldn't work. Then today I had a even worse match not one good stage and a few of them were just terrible. Blazing away at steel, going to slide lock on a Texas star ( I have one at home I usually smoke the darn things) Mikes, D's a failure to engage. I even started a stage with no mag in my gun after "topping off". I was really trying to focus and pull myself out of it but....it just kept getting worse it was like a bad dream. Aggggghhh what is wrong with me I feel like I have forgotten how to shoot. I couldn't keep track of my round count and went to slidelock several times, I NEVER make that mistake but I made it 4 times today. Slidelock is "death lock" in single stack. I did start on nutra systems 3 weeks ago and have been on a limited calorie intake, not sure if that's it or ......just a slump for some reason. I talked to Mike Voight today he told me he has had slumps last for a month or two...I have area one in 4 weeks I have to fix this any ideas? anyone else go thru this?

Ok it has been months sense you first posted about your plateau. how are you doing now?

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