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Nimitz

Nimitz's Journey To Shooting Greatness

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My time in Open for 2015 US Steel Nationals was 99.69 and in 2016 was 102.72 - eating a penalty miss on Pendulum.

Too bad those were outlaw matches so your times didn't count towards classification. Perhaps next year.

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BTW are you shooting roundabout 5-4-1-2-3 (assuming 5 is the closest right most plate, I can't quite think off the top of my head does the rear right plate look further right than the close one from the box, been a while since I shot SC)?

yes, i shoot it that way. 5 is at 8 yds and the farthest right plate when standing in the box. 4 (15yd plate) is left of 5 when seen from the box

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Thanks, that's what I thought and is how I shoot it too. as an SC noob I found that way drastically easier/faster for me. I surprised quite a few guys in my squad at what was only my second SC match shooting rimfire running low 2sec times on roundabout. when practicing I was running very low flat 2's with the odd sub 2. but like most I seem to dial it back a bit in matches. I know in a larger sense those times are nothing to shout about but for a noob I thought they were respectable. :)

pretty much no one else shot it that way. as you point out the critical part is nailing the transition from 4-1 and also the risky part is the 1-2-3 transition. Those last 3 shots are fast and missing 2 would be a costly mistake...

I picked up that order after seeing a vid of max shooting it that way. it made sense to me as I want to draw to the easiest/fastest plate that still gives me a good order. plus after drawing up on 5, I'm right inline now for 4. Then get that transition over to 1 nailed and run it home 1-2-3. It's also a satisfying order to shoot it in, which I like. :)

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BeerBaron,

Not to steal Nimitz thread, but...

My time in Open for 2015 US Steel Nationals was 99.69 and in 2016 was 102.72 - eating a penalty miss on Pendulum.

For Rimfire Open I usually run very low 80's with a best time of 77.60. Last time I ran Rimfire at a large match was the 2008 Florida State and I won the Rimfire division.

Back to Ken's regularly scheduled program.

no worries. :) like I said I looked at your USPSA classi and saw you're a 5 division master which is a massive achievement whether it took a month of sundays or 15 years! :) salute!

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Thanks, that's what I thought and is how I shoot it too. as an SC noob I found that way drastically easier/faster for me. I surprised quite a few guys in my squad at what was only my second SC match shooting rimfire running low 2sec times on roundabout. when practicing I was running very low flat 2's with the odd sub 2. but like most I seem to dial it back a bit in matches. I know in a larger sense those times are nothing to shout about but for a noob I thought they were respectable. :)

pretty much no one else shot it that way. as you point out the critical part is nailing the transition from 4-1 and also the risky part is the 1-2-3 transition. Those last 3 shots are fast and missing 2 would be a costly mistake...

I picked up that order after seeing a vid of max shooting it that way. it made sense to me as I want to draw to the easiest/fastest plate that still gives me a good order. plus after drawing up on 5, I'm right inline now for 4. Then get that transition over to 1 nailed and run it home 1-2-3. It's also a satisfying order to shoot it in, which I like. :)

this is a stage where you see some variation in shooting order among the top shooters. I used to shoot it 1,2,4,5, S but drawing to the 15 yd plate always produced slower times for me ...

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This week i worked on Speed option, Pendulum & Outer Limits.  It was also the week week of my new integrated dryfire/livefire regime.  I've reorganized my dryfire so that the night before as well the night of whatever I'm shooting in livefire I also work on in dryfire.  This allows me to maximize work on individual stages and address any issues that came up in live fire immediately vice waiting until I rotate back around\d to that stage again.

Cold stage runs were as follows:  Speed Option: 10.23; Pendulum: 10.49 & Outer Limits: 13.42.  First shot times for both Speed Option & pendulum were only averaging in the mid .7s so I'll be spending more training time on that as I really should be pushing those down into the mid .6 range

On Outer Limits my cold stage run was as follows:  4.55 (2.08), 4.49 (2.01), 4.46 (1.96), 4.47 (2.08).  Times in parenthesis represent the box-to-box transition time.  My end-of-session stage runs were:  3.66 (1.67), 3.97 (1.79), 3.82 (1.77), 4.01 (1.81).  I think that conclusively proves that a 1.5 sec 'no movement' penalty is completely inappropriate.  And just to make the point I ran a couple of runs just standing in the center box .... runs were 2.5 & 2.41 secs; and that's with absolutely no training shooting it in that sequence.  Hopefully this will get worked out after the WSSC with the new rule book update ....

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Since I haven't been able to train all week due to letting a mild muscle pull heal completely I thought it would be a good time to due some analysis on my match scores to be sure I'm focusing on the right things in training.   The 2 areas where I suspected I was suffering the most from poor performance was is taking too many make up shots and slow first shot times so I analyzed my last five 7-stage matches & here's what I found:

 

make up shots:  averaging 10 per match (28 strings).  I assume each one is costing me .5 secs of time and so I'm losing an average of 5 secs/match. If i further assume I'll usually have a couple of M/Us no matter what, say 2-3 at most, that drops it down to losing about 4 secs/match

As for first shots I assumed  I should be shooting .05-.1 secs faster per first shot, times 28 of these means ,I'm giving up another 1.4 - 2.8 secs in not being aggressive enough on the start.

Run this all together and it looks like I'm losing 6.7 - 8.1 secs/match or roughly 7.5 secs/match.  My current 7-stage match time average for 2016 is 73 secs which includes 3 matches with Outer Limits & no Speed Option & 3 matches with Speed Option & no Outer Limits.  Therefore I should be down around 66.5 sec match times for 7-stages once I fix these 2 issues.

Now that I'm focusing exclusively on RFPO I've increased my live fire round count by about 50/session so I'll be able to dedicate more time to first short training to keep pushing those times down. Cutting down on the m/u shots will require more dedicated transition training which I've gotten a little away from so I'll need to refocus on that as well ... but since I'm losing 4-5 secs/match from this it will be well worth focusing on it ...

 

Edited by Nimitz

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So I've discovered a new training method but it's one I don't think I'll be recommending to too many people ....

It's called the "no training" training method & it appears to work rather well

Since my decision to stop training with my open centerfire gun I had not picked up the STI since my last match (30 days) and at this weekend's match I shot a new 7-stage personal best by over 10 secs which included 3 new individual stage personal bests ... I'm slowly heading to Master without training ---- brilliant

On the rimfire side I managed to take penalties on 3 stages for a total of 9 secs and put down a 'blazing" 79.58 time.

One good thing about this match it that it positively confirmed that my current issues are mental & not technical:

Gun I don't train with or care about:   new personal best by 10 secs

Gun I train with every day & am really invested in:   3 penalties over 7 stages

One positive note is that if you ignore the 3 uncalled misses for a second I only had 6 M/U shots for the 28 individual strings for a 96% accuracy rate

I know there will still be a lot of work to do on my part afterwards but I'm looking forward to working with Lanny Bassham in Oct ....

Edited by Nimitz

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So the last 2 training days have been very interesting ....

Last night during dryfire I discovered (and fixed) the cause of an issue I've had off &  on for a long time which I suspect is going to have a big impact in the coming weeks & months.  I've always felt that I've been too inconsistent in my first shot times on most of the stages & could never really put my finger on the cause.  I'd always put it down to  a poor weakhand grip but that never seemed to fix the problem compeletely.  On stages like Roundabout & Showdown I'd lay down sub .6 sec first shots for a while and then they'd start to balloon to over .7-.8 secs for some reason & then back down again.  Last night, quite by accident I think, I finally discovered what was going on.  Apparently, after sighting in on the rimfire flag & then moving my head to line up with my first shot, I was breaking my wrist down slightly before the timer would go off.  This then caused a chain of events whereby at the same time as I'm aggressively moving the gun up for the first shot I have to simultaneously correct my wrist position & lock my wrists. Depending on how quickly I was getting to the first target the result would be the dot wandering all over the place causing me to have to wait for it to settle before breaking the shot as well as recover to transition to target #2.  This was easily costing me .1-.2 secs per string.

Luckily, since this is literally the very first thing I'm doing it should be relatively easy to correct.  If it was in the middle of shooting, where there are a lot of things going on before after to worry about it would probably be a lot harder.  It will still take a bunch of weeks to get the 3,000- 5,000 reps I'll need to make this subconscious but it should be straight forward.  I saw immediate results last night when I was dry firing on how much easier it was to make a very aggressive first shot without the dot wandering around on the target.

Because of some of the issues I've been having with Roundabout & Showdown the last 3 matches I've been spending more time with them in dry fire.  This morning, since the bay I wanted to use was already setup with a stage for this weekend's USPSA match I decided to take advantage of the empty bay we use for Showdown to work on it.  the combination of really focusing on my 'rushing too much" issues in a match & my first shot fix showed some impressive results.  My cold stage run was a 7.98 with string #2 being the throwaway because of 2 misses.  My 'end-of-session' stage run was a new personal best of 7.05 secs ... my throwaway string was a 1.87 sec run.  Individual strings were 1.87, 1.84, 1.74, 1.77, 1.70.  i also had three 5-for-5 Speed Mode runs at sub 1.7 secs.  Overall ave for 20 stage reps was 1.89 secs.

I've been working in the background on some major equipment changes and I should be in a position pretty soon to unveil what's going on .... I'm looking forward that ...

I've also decided to delete the Mississippi Steel Challenge State Championship from my schedule .... if anyone was thinking about going feel free to PM me ...

Friday I'll be shooting Smoke & Hope & then it will be my first USPSA match this Saturday in over 1 1/2 yrs as well as my first match shooting open ever ... should be epic

Edited by Nimitz

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What are you using for rimfire ammo?

my ruger 22/45 RFPO gun seems to like best of all the 42gn winchester power point MAX but they are crazy money where i am. like almost centre fire ammo money!

CCI stinges and velociters run nicely too but also cost a bomb.

So I find I mostly use CCI minimags (generally the 40gn RN seem a little more accurate than the 36GN HP which I'm assuming is due to slightly larger bearing surface)

I also use the CCI std from time to time (1/3 the price of mini-mags) but they are just so dirty and the freaking wax gets everywhere. 

One funny thing is how different the speed is on stages like OL or speed option. hitting that far plate with the stds it takes for every to hear the ding. the 42gn power points seem to be more accurate at distance and certainly get to the plate a lot faster. 

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for match ammo I use the CCI STD velocity rds for all Tier I matches.  For majors I'm using the CCI Mini Mags.  For training it's whatever is on the shelf when I go to buy some since 'full-time availability' still has not returned for 22 lr here in the states.  My Buckmark eats just about anything with very few misfires  so i don't worry what kind for training - price is more important since I go through 25,000+/year.  I've had exactly one misfeed in over 25 matches using the CCIs so that is all I'll use for any match

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thanks. yes the cci std is good quality and seems very reliable, I just hate how much wax is on it. cci mini-mags are really good quality. :)

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Just returned from the Tier III East Coast Steel Challenge Championships this past weekend ....

The final results are in & I managed to take the Rim Fire Pistol Match Senior Champion title & finish 15th overall.   A penalty on the last run of my final stage caused me to drop 5 places.  I also shot the Main Match, mostly because I had already paid for the entry even though I've stopped training seriously with my Open 9mm gun.  This will probably be the last major I shoot in Open for a while until I start training with the gun again.  Even with that on the first stage of the match I managed a new personal best on Smoke & Hope of 10.6 secs.

For the rim fire match my only mistake was on that last run & because on run #2 of that stage I had an ammo issue I needed that last run to be good.  My momentary lapse turned at 10.23 sec stage into a 13.23 sec stage -- luckily it didn't cost me the senior title.  Otherwise I had a very solid performance only requiring a total of 4 make up shots across the 31 strings of fire.  I was really focused on not rushing or being concerned with a particular score I 'should' be shooting on a stage. I shot Showdown & Smoke & Hope within about .5 secs of my personal best as well ...

After the match I decided to do some analysis of my last few majors and something interesting popped up that I hadn't really noticed before.  In each match I'd have one or two stages at or near my typical training times but for the others I would have 3 good runs at what I'll call my expected classification times but the other 2 runs would be significantly below par.  So the conclusion is not so much that I can't shoot at my current ability at majors but that I can't do it at the requisite consistency for Steel Challenge.   3/5 is nice but I need 4/5 and having one poor string on 5-6 stages easily is costing me 5-7 secs in the match.

What I don't know at the moment is if there are any physical training techniques I can incorporate into my sessions to work on consistency or whether it's purely a mental toughness issue .... I'm heading to Texas on Sunday to spend 2 full days with Lanny Bassham so I expect to come away with those answers & then adjust my training accordingly.  The other training change I'm toying with is to focus on 1 stage each month & just work on it to start burning down the multitude of tiny issues I need to fix vice what I do now which is to just rotate through each stage - a different stage each training day.  Even with my schedule of 3x/week live & 6x/week dry I don't feel like I'm getting enough time on each stage to work the tons of micro issues I have.  It really takes a lot of time to address each tiny issue & correct it.  Also, since these issues are somewhat different for each stage I can't simple focus on one systemic issue & fix it hoping is flows across all the stages ...

My next major will be the South Carolina Championship at the end of Oct ....

Edited by Nimitz

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After taking last week off as I always do after a Major I shot the monthly Tier 1 match that I'm MD for this past weekend ... had a good, solid match, shooting a 75.89 in rim fire which was my 29th Tier 1 match win since my first match win in Nov 2013.  I also started off well, shooting the first 4 stages in 8.34, 11.13, 8.44 & 8.27 secs & then followed that with an Outer Limits time of 13.64.   I also won the main match.

Right now I'm in Flower Mound, TX taking my Mental Management course with Lanny Bassham and it has turned out to be a private class with just me one-on-one with Lanny & his 2 sons instructing.  It's hard to over state everything I'm learning about the mental game and because I'm the only student we're specifically focusing the on mental management for Steel Challenge shooting.  Tomorrow we'll be dissecting my specific mental processes and then developing a new, specific program for me to begin applying.  I'm really excited about getting back to training to start applying these new/updated techniques to both my training & matches ...

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When is 'Steel Challenge Zen' coming out? I want to pre-order on Amazon :).

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No need to .... It's been out for years ....it's called "With Winning In Mind" ....:)

now you may be able to order "The Need For Speed - How to become a Steel Challenge Grand Master" by early next year .....

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After returning from the South Carolina STate Championship last weekend where I finished 5th in the rim fire pistol match I'm currently reworking my training approach to use for at least the remainder of 2016.  It as been suggested to me that instead of spending my time trying to tweak technique to get faster, I ishould instead start training much more aggressively.  At my current skill level small changes in technique are not going to generate the results I'm looking for and so I've been told to try training by setting very aggressive par times for the stages and working to make those times .... As was put to me "i don't care if you put all 5 shots into the dirt, you need to get more aggressive ..."

ok, so while I'm on my post major match break I've been establishing those new single run par times.  For some of the stages i know I can already make those times on occasion as I've done it in training before .... Others I haven't tried to push that hard yet so those should be fun ...

i'm going to start with Roundabout and Showdown since I'm the closest to those goal times now.  Also, I've convinced myself to relook at my shooting order for Roundabout so I want to get on the quickly. Currently I shoot it 5,4,1,2, stop.  I'm going move to 1,2,4,5, stop for 2 reasons: the transition from 4,1 is longer than I like and if I call a miss on 4 recovery is painful becuase of the long transition and the new shooting order allows me to shoot l-r which flows easier for me.

one of the things Lanny told me was that me thought I wasn't taking enough time off throughout the year so we designed a new performance plan which should enable me to be at peak performance prior to majors which I've begun to incorporate.  Among other things this means I'll be taking next week off as well which will give me time to continue to work on my SW41 ...

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This morning was day 2 utilizing my new training techniques and shooting order for Roundabout and things are going well.  Monday my cold stage run was a new training personal best for me at 7.67 secs & today I set another new cold stage run personal best at 7.19 secs.  I've uploaded some video from this morning as well on my YouTube channel, it shows the cold stage run and then 5-6 runs at the end of the session including a 1.56 sec run to end the session.

Given how much better I'm shooting this stage already I'm definitely adopting the new shooting order or 1,2,4,5,S.  It's a much more comfortable sequence and therefore I'm much more relaxed when shooting.  Also, my new technique of setting extremely aggressive par times & then just shooting until I make them is working as well.  It's clear from just this first week with this new training that I haven't been pushing anywhere near hard enough on this stage.  At the end of this week I'll decide if I'm going to continue with Roundabout for one more week or move to Showdown .... I'm leaning toward staying for one more week to continue to build successes which should help once I move to the other stages ...

This Saturday our Club is having a range-wide expo with classes, seminars & demos of every shooting discipline we have.  members just need to bring ear & eye protection as all guns & ammo will be provided.  For Steel Challenge I selected Roundabout since the shooters will all mostly likely have never shoot SC before.  Since I'll be demonstrating the stage before each group shoots I'll have a lot of opportunity to acid test my shooting with lots of people watching ....

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Could you talk a little about the mental management course and what you think you got out of it?  I have read the book but the class is a little expensive.  

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hmmmmm .... unfortunately his in-person classes are his intellectual property and I don't think it would be appropriate for me to be giving that information out for free ... sorry.  I can tell you this - yes, they are expensive but that's what I expect when I want to go learn from the best in the world at something.  Take a group class from Max Michel and you'll pay $800, take a private 1 day lesson from him and you'll pay $1,500.  If you're a golfer, how much would you be willing to pay to learn from Tiger Woods?

Personally, it was the best money I've ever spent in the 5 years I've been competitively shooting on a single entity, and that's saying something for me ... however, I also know that the mental side of this game has been seriously hampering my progress so I wasn't concerned about the price ... if you've got the mental side nailed, spend you money somewhere else ... for me it was an easy decision ....

Edited by Nimitz

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I wasn't looking for secrets or detailed content. If a 3k dollar class could be rendered unnecessary by a forum post it's definitely not worth the money. More interested in the format and what's covered in the course in general terms. Is it a more personally tailored version of the book? Very glad you found the course beneficial. I've definitely considered it. I live in texas which makes it convenient for me. I think most of us could benefit from mental training. While his book is very interesting I haven't found a way to implement his ideas effectively in my shooting. His course may solidify some of that.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

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The format of the class is "small group seminar" style which means it will depend on the number of students in your particular class how tailored to your specific sport and your specific issues he will be able to get.  You all sit in a small conference room and they do a combination PowerPoint slides and discussion ...You can also take a 'one-on-one' class with him which will guarantee that you spend the entire time focused on using his program tailored specifically for yourself.  Of course this is also much more expensive.  However, because you're in a class with him you will have all the opportunity you need to to discuss any aspects of his program which you may need help with in order to put it into practice.  I know for myself there were several things from the book which i thought I was doing correctly but it turned out I needed some corrections ... I also asked a lot of questions throughout the 2 days since I've read his book several times and have been trying to put his program into practice ... hope this helps ...

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As I normally do at the end of every year it's time to take a quick look back at what I accomplished and then what's on tap for next year ...  for anyone who's been following this range diary over the last several years you may notice a slight (but significant) shift in what I emphasize.  No longer will you see anything about what I didn't accomplish during the year, only what I did.  As Lanny Bassham pointed out to me, this is supposed to be a 'performance journal' not a 'lack of performance journal' so no longer will you ever see me writing about what I did wrong, I'll only be talking about the things I need to do to address any issues which appear in training or matches; a subtle but profoundly important difference.  So, let's take a look back at 2016:

First any foremost I accomplished the long-term goal I set for myself when I got into this sport (& started this range diary on July 25th, 2013) of making GM !

I also made 'A" class in the Steel Challenge Open division

As for match performance:

I won my 30th level 1 Steel Challenge match this year since I started shooting SC matches in Jan 2012

I shot 4 majors this year:

  -  I finished 2nd Senior in the US Steel National Championship

  - I won the Senior title in the Rim Fire Pistol Match at the East Coast Steel Challenge Championship

  - I finished 5th overall in the Rim Fire Pistol Match at the South Carolina State Championship

My 8-stage match ave time for the year was 83.16 secs, down from 89.99 secs in 2015

I shot a personal best 8-sage match time of 78.8 secs this year as well

Overall, 2016 was a great shooting year for me and I'm looking forward to 2017 being even better.

So, what's on tap for 2017?

After working with Lanny Bassham on my Mental Management program this past year I've decided to simplify my shooting goals for 2017.  I'm at a point in my shooting that I don't need to make a lot of small goals to see improvement so I'm only making one performance goal, one shooting skill goal and one mental performance goal for the year:

Performance goal:  average sub 80 secs for all 8-stage Rim Fire pistol matches shot in 2017

Shooting skill goal:  Ensure the gun does not move when I break the shot

Mental performance: Execute the Mental Management Program developed for me by Lanny Bassham at 100% for each match

Also for next year I'm working hard to finish what I believe will be the first training book dedicated 100% to Steel Challenge shooting.  With a little luck it will be available on Amazon in late spring or early summer.  I just had my first book published on Amazon last week so now that I've been through the process once the publishing part should go quick after the manuscript is finished.

Right now I'm continuing to enjoy the month off from training and just making ammo & building my new PCCO gun ....

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