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Bad day at the range.


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Had a bad day at a match yesterday. My shooting was way off and had some gun malfunctions that didn't help. I would come up with a plan during walk through and forget it all as soon as the buzzer went off.

Left the match in a real bad mood. Like I don't feel this it's worth the effort to go to matches anymore. Felt like this last year and took five months off, My shooting got worse and so did my attitude about shooting in general.

So my question is, how do you pull yourself out of a slump mentally. If you show up feeling like you are going to suck you end up doing just that. It's hard to turn off the bad attitude. I look forward to matches and be in a positive mood until I get there.

I dry fire at home, live fire at the local range and everything is fine. That changes just as the match starts and get's worse as the day progresses.

I really need to find a way to solve this issue.

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First, you need to solve the "some gun malfunctions" - tough to shoot

well if you're worried about your gear. :bow:

Second, must diagnose why you shot poorly ... how to stick to a plan;

shooting too quickly? missing? (accuracy problem?). :cheers:

After you figure out the problem, you can address it.

What level shooter are you? C? A? M?

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Seem to have sorted the gun malfunction issue tonight. It was an issue with the slide stop hanging up on the slide. The two new Dawson magazines pooped the bed so I may go back to Wilson's for the next match. No shoot next weekend so I have time to test the pistol and be sure.

Misses and sometimes skipping a target entirely. I used to shoot a good amount of Alphas but I was too slow, sped up and the wheels fell off the wagon. Some times I pull it together for one stage and do alright. The next stage I screw up, 100% sure to. Two matches ago I had seven Mikes.

The bigger issue is not following a plan. I plan a way to shoot a stage, or follow another shooters advice. When the buzzer goes off, I go completely different then planned. It's just terrible.

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The last match I had that I completely screwed up, left me really questioning if I deserved the spot in the match to even shoot it.

I was shook and unfocused, and was just miserable. While I was packing up and about to go home and pout some more, a fellow a touch more experienced stopped to talk to me. I spent 5 minutes with him, tried to play it cool and not be too whiney, but he offered me some advice to shake my attitude and get back on it and try again. I did what he said, and found it immensley helpful. This was only my 2nd match, and IPSC is the only competative type thing I have ever participated in, so this ontop of my anxiety disorder was just a whole lot to take in, but his simple advice made a load of difference.

What he said to me?

" Take a day off. Don't think about the match for a single second. Than the day after that, spend some time to recreate the moment that was that worst for you. The stage you blew or shot you missed, set up the targets that gave you the worst time. Run the course, hard. do it 4 or 5 times, til you understand exactly where you went wrong, then show yourself you can do it right. After that spend an hour shooting a stage or set up your familar with, and enjoy. Even if its just a single target at 7 yards, just go to town and end the day kicking ass."

So I did. The next day I did nothing gun related. Stayed off the forum's, just everything. And the day after, I looked like a fool in the field with a crappy little airsoft gun ( Im Canadian, and pistols can only be discharged at approved ranges, and didn't have enough space in my house to dry fire the stage) and I ran it, over and over. Probably took me 7 tries to realise where in my planning I screwed up, and why I was letting the other competitors set my pace. Than I went to my range here in the city, which is indoors, and just did live fire at 7y, until that A Zone was a damn hole.

I learned more from how I picked my self up, than from how I failed, and I am grateful that I didn't get a chance to throw in the towel.

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My shooting buddies can tell you that one of my early major match goals was to get through it without throwing any of my gear into the woods.

Separate ego from performance is all I can say. I'd say it again and again to myself, too.

When I have a "bad" match, and I'm being objective, I can easily see that the areas I fell down in were not sufficiently covered in the last few months' training sessions. I had (for me) a stellar match at Alabama state this year. Looking back, the match was all about footwork and timing which I had been working on really hard for the last few months. Although I had a decent finish at Area 6 this year, it was in spite of the fact I had way too many misses (seven misses/two no-shoots). Looking back, I had not been working distance shooting at all. Easily seen, easily corrected with a clear mind.

There are few things as frustrating in this (or any) sport where you aren't doing as well as you'd like and you don't know why. Knowing why gives you a path to follow. I keep a range notebook at every match. When I screw something up, I make a note of it and come up with a drill (or steal one) to address it.

If you're looking for a book, I'd suggest Fearless Golf. Covers the mental game EXTREMELY well.

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A few books that have helped me a lot were "With Winning in Mind" and "Attainment". They both have helped my mental game a lot!

One thing talked about is how you train, you need to train your strong points, you also need to work on your weak areas. You should start training with a skill you are good at, this will give you a good attitude for the training session. Work on your weak areas in the middle of your session, finish on a skill you are good at. This will start and end your training on a positive note.

As far as bad performances, try to figure out how to fix them, rather than let them bring you down. Reinforce them with saying something like "that's not like me". Reinforce the good shooting with saying something like "that's like me".

Both books are fairly short and to the point, they are very well written and laid out!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Why are you going to the match?

It's a serious question that many will never ask themselves...

You may be having a problem meeting your own expectations because you don't really know why you are going.

Until you define success, you'll NEVER have any.

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Don't take it to serious. Just have fun.

This is what I have to tell myself. Sometimes when I have a bad stage it lingers on to the next one. I was an avid golfer b4 shooting and one bad shot could ruin a round so I learned to just forget the bad stuff And carry on.

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