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I have my third USPSA competition coming up in a few weeks and would like some specific advice how I can improve my scores. Here are links to my scores from my last match. Name is David Crosley ii and I shoot Production Minor with a Glock 19 g4.

Main page for Nov. Match score https://practiscore.com/results.php?uuid=8991ACBB-2118-4DB4-A3A4-EFCF030739D5

Overall score in Production I placed 19th out of 25 :/

Overall combined I placed 57th out of 80

Combined Class leader score was 7th out of 23 :D (U class)

To make it easier to find me on the individual stage scores I've listed my placement below.

Production score: Combined score:

Stage 1- 17th/35 55th/80

Stage 2- 17th/35 52nd/80

Stage 3- 17th/35 52nd/80

Stage 4- 15th/35 50th/80

Stage 5- 21st/35 66th/80

Stage 6- 19th/35 61st/80

I still don't fully understand the scoring system and am just trying to find out what I should try to improve on. Speed? Accuracy? Both?

Any feedback from you experienced shooters would be highly appreciated.

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Both.

Look at how your points compare to the top guys' points and also compare your times to theirs. You are more or less down equally on both, particularly when you deduct the penalty points.

For example, I frequently have the highest points on a stage but with a time closer to the bottom guys, so I clearly need to work on speed. I would shoot a few more matches to see if either points or times improve naturally as you are more accustomed to the environment and then see where you need to improve. It will also help to have someone video you so you can see where you are wasting time.

And also let me be the first to tell you that you shouldn't look at the combined score as the human mind can't possibly process the results as if it was a straight up "run what you brung" match, and in fact it is so complicated and/or demoralizing that your brain is likely to actually explode. I feel jittery just from reading about your combined scores. :devil:

edited for a more colorful analogy ;)

Edited by bdpaz

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I did not go look at your scores, don't really need to. You are new, there is a learning curve to get better at this game. The scoring system may seem really screwed up at first, but it boils down to earning points per second. If you throw misses, you are not earning points. If you are taking a long time to shoot the stage, you are getting too many seconds. Either scenario will lower your scores. Whoever has the most points per second, wins. Everyone else is graded on the curve set by the winner.

Now how to get better, in my opinion, get involved with all aspects of the match. Make friends with the people that set up and run the match and pick their brain about how and why they do things in the match. After you have made friends, ask for advice. Chances are they will give you good advice and coaching. The more you learn in the next few matches, the quicker your scores will go up.

Good luck

Scott

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As others have mentioned, no need to look at your actual scores to determine what to work on.

The way the Hit Factor is calculated really comes down to one thing. You need to be pulling the trigger as OFTEN (not as fast) as you can to engage targets and get points. I did not say to shoot faster at each target. Learn how to shoot while moving, when you get to a shooting position I would guarantee that it takes more than 1 second for you to stop moving, acquire the target, line up the sights and get the first shot off. If there are 3 shooting positions in a stage that is at least 3 seconds, and probably closer to 5 or 6 seconds.

The better shooters are more efficient as they go into a shooting position the gun is already up in their line of sight, their eyes snap to the target and the gun follows-quick check to make sure they have a 'good enough' sight picture for that target and they squeeze the trigger. Basically, better shooters are more efficient at everything including footwork, stage breakdown, shooting slower at longer or harder targets and faster at closer targets.

Another thing I see many new shooters do is consciously think about their reloads (if they remember to do them on time). Release the mag, and the next mag should be out of the holder and pass the other mag on the way to the gun with the gun up in your line of sight.

It took me just about 2 years before I started to make massive improvements.

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based on the scores...probably stage breakdown, your times are 2x of the winner, This usually only happens with poor stage planning Points don't look to bad other than the mikes. What was the deal with stage 5, why did so many people get some many penalties?

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First, stop looking at the overall. As others have said, it is virtually meaningless for you. Instead look at the division you are in. I can really only reiterate what others have said.

In my mind doing well at practical pistol shooting sports boils down to being able to execute fundamentals, on demand, at speed, perfectly every time. The fundamentals are what has already been mentioned, the draw, sight alignment, trigger control, reloads, target transitions, shooting position transitions and so on.

If you are new, any amount of work will show a good level of improvement. Dry fire. Pay attention to what you are doing, meaning you will have to learn by self monitoring, observation and inference. Unless you get some good instruction early, but then you'll still need to self teach what you learned the first time to reinforce it.

Keep shooting, dry fire, ask competent people for help. But I say first make sure your fundamentals of shooting a pistol are down solid. Stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger control. Then from there move to draws and reloads. Then from there move to transitions of all types. (targets, shots, distance, positions, everything that is an action followed by a 'space' and then another action).

After 6 months you should be surprised with your improvement. But rightly so as you did the work and you did it smart.

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First, stop looking at the overall. As others have said, it is virtually meaningless for you. Instead look at the division you are in. I can really only reiterate what others have said.

I would agree with that sentiment for major matches where there are tons of people in your division, but in local matches, where you shoot against the same people al lthe time, it can be very illuminating and helpful to track your progress against people in other divisions, especially if your division isn't heavily populated.

My advice to the op, learn to shoot more quickly and more accurately and while moving. Pretty simple really, lol.

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First, stop looking at the overall. As others have said, it is virtually meaningless for you. Instead look at the division you are in. I can really only reiterate what others have said.

I would agree with that sentiment for major matches where there are tons of people in your division, but in local matches, where you shoot against the same people al lthe time, it can be very illuminating and helpful to track your progress against people in other divisions, especially if your division isn't heavily populated.

My advice to the op, learn to shoot more quickly and more accurately and while moving. Pretty simple really, lol.

As the "other" I was trying to poke a little fun at those who hate overall results and in real life I agree with motosapiens. A good shooter is a good shooter regardless of their division and if you improve relative to one of them you are improving. So to be clear, your brain will NOT explode if you look at the overall results.

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I still don't fully understand the scoring system and am just trying to find out what I should try to improve on. Speed? Accuracy? Both?

Any feedback from you experienced shooters would be highly appreciated.

David, IPSC/USPSA are all about DVC, which stands for Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (Accuracy, Power, Speed). It's a balance of all 3. Accuracy is critical in an minor division(less power), Speed is needed in any division, without sacrificing accuracy. It becomes a complicated math problem at times, trying to determine if speed will be better based on available points or accuracy. The best advice, get accurate shots as quickly as possible. The biggest time savers are transitions between targets and getting to the next shooting position. You'll do that much more than draws and reloads. What I noticed, you were very consistent in your results. (didn't look at the actual scores, just your finishing spots). Consistency is key to a good finish. You could shoot all of the stages and finish 3rd, but win your division. Points are divided by time to get your hit factor. See the thread linked below for more on that.

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=54312

Hope that helps,

Pat

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I agree with all responses above.

Keep the appropriate perspective and you will avoid much frustration. You are a beginner. Don't compare yourself to M and GM level performers. The reason for the classification system, for all its shortcomings, is to handycap each shooter so they can compete with similarly skilled shooters in the same division (gun type). Stick with doing that, comparing yourself to your peers at this early stage of your development.

That does not mean ignore all that the more experienced shooters do, because you need to learn what they know and do in order to move up. But do not be hard on yourself about the comparison, use it as a benchmark instead.

You need to learn all of the "target math" and how USPSA scores are calculated, now. Don't wait. These are the tools by which you can measure your progress and to self evaluate. It is ridiculous how many USPSA shooters can compete for 5, 10 or 20 YEARS! and still not know how scoring works. Yikes. Take the time now to learn it, and own it forever. You will use it all daily in our sport. In fact, the scoring IS OUR SPORT. Without it, is just shooting.

When I started, I made a spreadsheet, from a scoring results report, and then wrote the formulas needed for each cell to calculate the score results again. This forced me to really learn, and understand the scoring. Then I used it often and never had to think about it again. It is as automatic for me as using words to speak.

One thing I do after EVERY USPSA match I shoot, big or small (and I shoot as many as 50 a year), is plugged the results into my spreadsheet for analysis. The primary metrics I keep track of in my results are 1) percent of the maximum points possible I shot (before and after penalties applied) and 2) my time relative to a top GM who also shot the same match in my division.

I want to know if I am too sloppy or too accurate. That's right, TOO accurate. If you are shooting over 95% of the points possible, you need to SPEED UP and trade some of that accuracy for speed - it will result in higher scores due to the math. Hit Factor is defined and calculated as "points per second." That means HF is a RATE, not a speed.

I want to know how my overall match time compares to the top tier GM's time - i.e., I took 20 seconds more time than Travis Tomasie, which is 15.75% more time than he took. I can do that on each stage as well.

Be involved, hands on and aware of this math. It is your stats. It is an objective record and measurement of your progress.

So, to summarize, learn the match and scoring, track your own stats and realize it takes 10 years shooting FULL TIME to get to the top, so as hobbyist, keep in mind your level of participation when judging your own progress and setting your own expectations. A lot to learn, experience and master. You should not get bored!

Good luck!

Edited by Robco

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You asked about how to improve your scores. You improve your scores by improving your (1) basic shooting skills, (2) USPSA-specific shooting skills (movement, barriers, ports, plates, partial targets, uprange starts, etc.), and (3) stage planning.

#1 includes all the fundamentals, so that's first. Bad shooting can't be overcome by speed, no matter what. Fast misses won't make it ("you can't miss fast enough to win"). When you're getting 75% of the available points at your own best speeds, then you can start working on competition shooting skills.

Practice, practice, practice! Dry fire often, and shoot at the range. If you're not doing both, you're doing it wrong (to quote Ben Stoeger's 1st chapter of his Drills and Skills Book).

Get instruction. You don't play golf or tennis without lessons, and it's no different here. I've taken a jump forward every time I've gotten connected with a good teacher (followed, of course, by intensive practice!).

Shoot matches. Try to do better than YOU did last time, because that's the basic metric. Looking at you scores vs. others' is helpful in telling you how YOU'RE doing.

At this point, as a beginner, you don't need to be spending so much time looking at numbers. The numbers are basically an indicator of how you are doing with your development, using the strategies above and those suggested by others here. You can compare yourself to others at your local match, but it's only useful if they're being consistent.

I personally like using the combined results (Practiscore and combinedresults.com are helpful for USPSA matches), because I'm going to be at some percentage of the top shooter(s) there, regardless of what each of us is shooting. For instance, shooting in C class Production you might be at 50% of the top (GM) shooters in Production and 40% of an Open GM - that's fair and provides more comparisons. After all, we're doing the same stages, just at different skill levels and with different equipment. I don't mind comparing my progress against other Divisions, because it lets me know how I'm doing.\

And remember that, above all, this is fun! Relax (we shoot better relaxed), shoot, have fun. Go home and practice, come back again.

Enjoy!

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When you're getting 75% of the available points at your own best speeds, then you can start working on competition shooting skills.

Good post teros135.

One correction, I am sure you meant this and just mis-wrote above =, one needs to be shooting perhaps 75% Alphas, NOT 75% of available points possible.

Any shooter should be endeavoring to shoot 90 to 95% of available points possible.

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When you're getting 75% of the available points at your own best speeds, then you can start working on competition shooting skills.

Good post teros135.

One correction, I am sure you meant this and just mis-wrote above =, one needs to be shooting perhaps 75% Alphas, NOT 75% of available points possible.

Any shooter should be endeavoring to shoot 90 to 95% of available points possible.

Yes, you're right. It's early here...

Another resource is the USPSA match results, which have stats for individual shooters that show how we did on each stage, plus an analysis that includes the percent of total points shot, both with and without penalties. Very helpful. Take a look at the leaders (the GMs) - for instance, Lesgar Murdock shot 91% of possible points at very high speed at the Florida State Championshp. That's DVM!

Edited by teros135

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When you're getting 75% of the available points at your own best speeds, then you can start working on competition shooting skills.

Good post teros135.

One correction, I am sure you meant this and just mis-wrote above =, one needs to be shooting perhaps 75% Alphas, NOT 75% of available points possible.

Any shooter should be endeavoring to shoot 90 to 95% of available points possible.

Yes, you're right. It's early here...

Another resource is the USPSA match results, which have stats for individual shooters that show how we did on each stage, plus an analysis that includes the percent of total points shot, both with and without penalties. Very helpful. Take a look at the leaders (the GMs) - for instance, Lesgar Murdock shot 91% of possible points at very high speed at the Florida State Championshp. That's DVM!

Good point teros135.

I always use the USPSA results page, under individual results to analyze with (assuming the results are posted there) and the same for Practiscore results (IF they were uploaded from an Apple device that is - cannot get individual results if it was uploaded from Android! They still have not changed that). And absent either of those available, I put the results into my own spreadsheet. Just takes a few minutes, but you need to have all your individual stage hits data to do this well, and unless you somehow capture it at the time you are being scored, you may not have your hits data later).

What I look at is my overall hits distribution, how many A, B/C, D and Mikes, the % of possible points shot, before and after penalties and my overall match time. I then compare my match time to the division winner if they are a top tier GM. And express my time as a % of time I took MORE than the winner's time. If winner took 200 seconds in the match, and I took 240 seconds, then I took 20% more time than the winner. I track this number more than any other stat in my development.

The accuracy indications can be skewed big time by, for example, a match with tons of head shots and N/S risks, meaning you are going to be giving up a lot of A's to avoid risk, making your points shot lower than usual in the match, or I could have shot 58 additional shots, like I actually did in the Florida Open ARGHHHHH!, which of course is both going to increase my accuracy stats, but at the great expense of so much wasted/added time. See my point? One stat alone can lie big time. So since we are in the points per second business, either side of that equation can be pushed to skew the outcome.

We could shoot 99% in any match we want to do so in, but I would end up shooting 50% of the winner by so doing (by taking forever to aim every shot to guaranty all A hits). Or I could get my match and stage times down to top GM speeds, but in the process, I would win or be top 3 on one stage I would get lucky on (hero or zero) and totally trash most of the others with so many bad hits and penalties that I would end up lucky to be at 50% of the winner.

Here are the links to my Practiscore individual results report for a club match at Rio Salado yesterday. And below that is the USPSA version report.

https://practiscore.com/results.php?uuid=fa4a7c37-304c-43fa-9af7-443221cd6ff9 (Go to the bottom left where there "View Individual Result" then just type cook in the window and select me in drop down)
Below is the USPSA results version. Note the stats at the lower left bottom as teros135 mentioned.
Edited by Robco

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