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Is a secondary stage plan anti-zen?


kita
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I just listened to a podcast about how many shooters have a backup plan in case something goes wrong on a stage. It was mentioned that there are very few people who can actually do this well. Creating a backup plan means that they have to picture where they think they might fail in order to come up with a contingency plan that fits. Could they be setting themselves up for failure in doing so or is just that the thought process of switching plans mid-stage is too complicated to carry out effectively? Or both?

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Shooting SS I always try to have a backup plan. Having 8 in a mag a single miss will almost always bring your stage plan to an end. I find that thinking about this during my walk thru saves me time by finding the best place to gas up again to get my gun back to 9 rounds and back to my plan. What is the podcast you are listening to?

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Well, I'm no Zen master but... There is something to be said for learning to "go with the flow" and adapt to a changing situation. You can plan all you like but things will go wrong just the same. A jam may force you to drop a mag which can ruin both the main and backup plan.

Keep calm and adapt. A calm mind is often the greatest tool you can bring to a stage.

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How is this zen or anti-zen ?

Lately I've been thinking of "zen" as awareness of the the actual.

OK...back on question...

Could they be setting themselves up for failure in doing so or is just that the thought process of switching plans mid-stage is too complicated to carry out effectively? Or both?

Sounds like either of those would be conflicting with a confident/positive image. Can you get a confident and positive image of both a 1st plan and the contingencies...without conflict?

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Instead of having two different plans its better to build some leeway into your one and only plan. For example, I see way too many production shooters come up with retarded stage plans just so they can avoid doing an extra reload. That or coming up with a stage plan that has you shooting all 10 rounds on every single magazine before doing a reload. Doing this gives you very little leeway when it comes to making up shots or dealing with misses. Granted, I am a Limited shooter so I always have up to 22 rounds to play with before a reload, but I rarely choose a stage plan that has me shooting 20 - 22 rounds before my reload. It makes me shoot too tentative knowing that I don't have enough rounds for makeup shots or it induces an unplanned slide lock reload if I shoot aggressive and need a bunch of make up shots before the mag change.

Overall, I think its best to come up with as vague of a stage plan as you can. Yes each stage usually has a few elements that must be performed a specific way, in a specific location, or in a specific timing, but the majority of the stage should be a pretty general plan (Run over there and shoot the targets). Doing this allows you to NOT get distracted my minor imperfections about the stage run performance. It also lets your "Auto Pilot" take over and get the job done on the easy stuff.

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I remember watching a video of top shooters at a match and one did say he had an alternate plan on a stage if X was to happen.

I've tried it many times, mostly on stages with steel. Just a basic, if I have more than 2 misses, do an extra reload. It's not worked well for me. Having to evaluate if X happens then do Y takes up more time than just throwing in an extra reload dispite misses or no misses. Especially if the reload can be done while moving. Might be still faster to take a slide lock reload while standing still.

However, I hear women are better at multi tasking then men. So...

Edited by Jerome
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Shooting SS I always try to have a backup plan. Having 8 in a mag a single miss will almost always bring your stage plan to an end. I find that thinking about this during my walk thru saves me time by finding the best place to gas up again to get my gun back to 9 rounds and back to my plan. What is the podcast you are listening to?

http://benstoeger.com/joomla30/index.php/podcast
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I was working the Florida Open Stage 6 when Manny Bragg shot. It did not go so well but could have been a lot worse.

I talked to him after the stage. His plan was to shoot 22 rounds (empty gun) and reload going into the last position. As it happened he shot about 15 and the gun jammed. He cut across a corner while clearing the jam and reloading. It cost him some time but again it could have been a lot worse. He had a backup plan if he had a makeup shot that kicked in when the gun jammed.

I guess his Zen has a place for when stuff goes wrong.

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I was working the Florida Open Stage 6 when Manny Bragg shot. It did not go so well but could have been a lot worse.

I talked to him after the stage. His plan was to shoot 22 rounds (empty gun) and reload going into the last position. As it happened he shot about 15 and the gun jammed. He cut across a corner while clearing the jam and reloading. It cost him some time but again it could have been a lot worse. He had a backup plan if he had a makeup shot that kicked in when the gun jammed.

I guess his Zen has a place for when stuff goes wrong.

Is the secondary plan a self-fulfilling prophecy?
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Is the secondary plan a self-fulfilling prophecy?

If I design a stage that has the shooter hosing targets at high speed, then requires them to shift gears for a set of targets that demands being shot at a slower pace...is it pre-determined that the shooter will crash there? Or, is it a skill set...like any other...that one may or may not be able to execute?

Zen, here, would be acknowledging that there is a tendency for a prophecy to be self-fulfilling.

Can you be aware of something without giving it power over you? Can one develop the skill set to switch to, and execute, a secondary plan?

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I've been torn on this for a while myself. Sometime a stage will present itself where Plan A usually involves going 1 for 1 on steel, which will leave me enough rounds to shoot X targets before a reload. Plan B involves a reload after the steel because I needed a few extra shots. Does having Plan B in the back of my mind make it more likely to happen? Would I be better off not even considering Plan B? If so, what happens when I have a miss on the steel?

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There was a stage at Space City with a Texas Star and a couple of plates. I planned an extra reload IF I had 2-3 misses. I shot the steel clean and it so stunned me I couldn't decide what I was supposed to do. That fraction of time thinking made me miss my next position so I had to shoot targets in a different order and backtrack a step or two to get another target. Should have just planned the reload and done it. Would not have cost much time since I was moving anyway.

Now, better shooters have much more refined skills so maybe they can make alternate plans and adjustments without negative results.
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Shoot open, no worries as you always have plenty of bullets to shoot em up!!! :D Now if we speak of a swinger that is actvated from another shooting position I will have a plan to take another static if it is not available when I get to that position......If I have a 28 rnd stage or even a 25 with several pieces of steel I always plan a reload. I load to the big stick all the time...start with a 140...that is just me though. As for a plan when things go wrong, probably not but just know how to deal with it when it does...stay calm though....many times I see shooters almost panic if they have a jamb or go to slide lock and nothing good ever comes of it.

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Two plans is impossible. Contingencies are impossible. It takes conscious mind to do either of these things.

Making a primary plan that puts you in the best possible position if a failure occurs is possible.

A couple of years ago, I overheard a couple of master shooters talking about ways they are conservative in gun operation during a match to be best prepared for mechanical failures during a stage. That was a revelation to me. I had never before formed plans with "where do I want to be if..." in mind. Good defense is also good offense when Murphy comes to visit.

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hi Kita,

I have to wonder what you expect Zen to do for you.

I make plans and my days often make plans for me.

'new plan!' is not an uncommon thought in my life.

There is a lot to Zen and I speak the next thoughts

not as defining a limit, rather as a explaination of a difference.

if zen is the ability to 'do without thinking,'

then most people use zen to walk.

I mention this because most people are able to walk and will understand.

I do not think I am using zen to plan my stroll.

the shortest way to say it is that zen is a right-now, in this instant,

and not at all a thoughtful planning talent.

That leads me to state any plan of action is outside of Zen.

.... however....

I have met individuals who have the uncanny ability to see

far futher into the future than me.

If they use zen to do that, I'd love to learn the technique.

For the moment, lets call it one of the many zen abilities.

So you can use zen to plan....

Here is the problem, you won't need a plan.

You know what you will do.

an illuminating joke....

I was practicing magazine swaps.

I am not at all sure why I tossed one over the pistol.

when you use your Zen Planner, and your Zen Inner-Eye

shows the magazine doing a lazy arc over your pistol...

what 'cha gonna do?

you will fix it before you can make that mistake.

and you will still have only one plan....

:-D

My Zen Planner is very weak.

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when you use your Zen Planner, and your Zen Inner-Eye

shows the magazine doing a lazy arc over your pistol...

what 'cha gonna do?

Laugh out loud!

Thanks miranda - I always enjoy your posts.

:cheers:

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There was a stage at Space City with a Texas Star and a couple of plates. I planned an extra reload IF I had 2-3 misses. I shot the steel clean and it so stunned me I couldn't decide what I was supposed to do. That fraction of time thinking made me miss my next position so I had to shoot targets in a different order and backtrack a step or two to get another target. Should have just planned the reload and done it. Would not have cost much time since I was moving anyway.

Now, better shooters have much more refined skills so maybe they can make alternate plans and adjustments without negative results.

I shot a stage like this at the match on Sunday without a contingency plan, and went to slide lock 3 times! You'd think I'd learn...

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I always make one plan and stick to it. Having a backup means you are extending yourself and your equipment to the edge of its capabilities. I build tolerances into my plan to avoid having to change my gut instincts when I walk thru the stage. I make sure that I always leave myself two more rounds than I need between reloads and always reload on the move so I dont have to in order to finish off any section of a stage. I always leave myself an extra magazine in case of a jam and need to drop a magazine. I guess it all very basic stuff but I think pushing the envelope and playing "test pilot" should be left for practice sessions or if your life depends on it not during the competition.

This is what seems to work for me and I am able to let each stage flow more naturaly without letting a small hickup forcing me to dig out plan B and trying to jamm it into the middle of a stage.

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  • 1 month later...

Zen plan is no plan.

If there is no plan then everything is to plan.

Plan A or Plan B? Perhaps it is doubt about self doing plan A that the ego wants a plan B.

Thank means the ego thinks that plan A has to be perfect.

Why not address imperfections, like throwing a shot or malfunctions, directly?

Now we're just talking about makeup shots and malfunction clearing. The plan is still there with a little more time.

Ever see a high GM do a tap-rack or a makeup shot? Picoseconds.

DNH

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