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Accuracy/Speed conundrum


Malarkey

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Just want to share a recent experience with speed and accuracy.

So, here is what i have experienced in my past few practice sessions and i want to see if other people have experienced this same thing.

We have all heard the saying, slow down and make your shots. This intuitively makes sense. Slowing down gives you more time to analyze what you are doing and get the shot off the way you want it to.

I have noticed the past couple of times i have been practicing, that when I slow down to get my shots (distances 7-15yards) I end up getting worse groups than if I push me self as fast as I want to. The groups on paper are tighter, and it feels more comfortable.

There seems to be an easy solution to this, just go as fast as you are comfortable going. What is interesting is that this is a positive feedback training cycle, where you slow down, get a wider group then slow down more to improve.

At least for me, this is the cycle I was trapped in for a few sessions. I kept backing off the gas, which was frustrating mentally and uncomfortable physically. I don't like to hold back if I have the ability to go faster. I eventually said to myself....eff this, you can go as fast as the next person and sure enough I got all my hits at a much faster time and this mentality has played off very well sense.

These mental aspects may have been modifying the effect of the speed/accuracy relationship, but this is why I want to open this up to the forum.

Thoughts?

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There are a lot of variables associated with a reduction in accuracy when "Slowing Down". Here are a few things to consider....

(1) When you slow down the shooting you are more consciously aware of when the shot is going to break. This conscious expectation of the "BOOOOM" can lead to an increased negative response to the event, such as mashing the trigger, flinching, blinking, or pushing the gun around right before or as the shot breaks. All of these self induced reactions can negatively affect the on target hit quality.

(2) When most shooters slow down their shooting they also grip the gun with less pressure. Gripping the gun with less pressure allows more sight deflection to be induced into the gun by a less than optimal trigger press. The next time you try to "Slow Down" maintain a solid grip on the gun even though you are going slower. Most shooters realize an accuracy increase when they shoot faster simply because they are gripping the gun harder because they are shooting more aggressively. The harder you grip the gun, the more mechanical muzzle flip recoil management you are going to have which usually allows the sights to return to an aligned state post shot. The harder you grip the gun will also translate into less sight deflection from a less than optimal trigger press.

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as Ben Stoeger likes to say; slowing down usually just results in the same crappy hits as before but with a slower time ....

no one learns to shoot accuractly at speed by slowing down ...

slowing down is never the right answer .... the key is you need to learn to see faster ....

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as Ben Stoeger likes to say; slowing down usually just results in the same crappy hits as before but with a slower time ....

no one learns to shoot accuractly at speed by slowing down ...

slowing down is never the right answer .... the key is you need to learn to see faster ....

i think that is the key.

The best way that i can describe it is like this(using some benos references):

The slower you go, the more input you have from your conscious mind. As you speed up, your conscious mind is replaced by subconscious actions. These actions are what you want to rely on, as they are generated and refined through repetiton and practice. Just as i am typing this comment, i am not consciously thinking about what keys i am pressing, but i know the word that i want to say, my subconscious control of my hands is what is taking over.

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It's amazing to me how I intuitively know something, but don't know I know it until someone else explains it with crystal clarity like the folks who have posted earlier on this thread. Thanks to all of you!!

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Speed is a function of "doing" and can be trained in isolation for dramatic gains.

Accuracy is a function of "seeing" and can be trained in isolation for dramatic gains.

If you choose one or the other you'll always make the wrong choice.

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Speed is a function of "doing" and can be trained in isolation for dramatic gains.

Accuracy is a function of "seeing" and can be trained in isolation for dramatic gains.

If you choose one or the other you'll always make the wrong choice.

this is probably covered in the thirdest book you ever wrote, but I only have the firstest and secondest so far. So when you are practicing in speed mode (dry or live), how much do you need to see? You say not to judge accuracy, but do you at least want to get all your shots on the paper when you doing speed stuff?

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not judging accuracy means exactly that .... if you are worrying about whether you should have all your shots hit the paper you are judging accuracy ... you are looking for dramatic gains in speed in speed mode, nothing else. over time you will learn to see more as you are going faster than you are comfortable with. the goal is have your times in Speed Mode with the same accuracy as you have in Accuracy Mode ...

And stop being a cheap SOB and buy his book ..... :)

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I'm always looking for specific gains in speed mode practice.

I want to replace my current "normal" speed with a new faster "normal."

I don't care what's on the target until I have a new normal speed that is significantly quicker than the old one.

That may take ten minutes or two hours.

When the new speed is the new normal (requires no conscious thought or effort)

then I'm back in match mode.

You'll amaze yourself with the speed at which you can do things in training when you don't judge accuracy.

For example: if you can do a sub 4 el prez into the berm, you're much closer to a "real one" than if you start with a 5.5 down zero and try to chip away at the speed while preserving the points.

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And stop being a cheap SOB and buy his book ..... :)

Not my fault it took him two practice books before he figured it out. But yeah, I plan to buy his thirdest book too when I get caught up.

Thanks to both of you for the clarifications.

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And stop being a cheap SOB and buy his book ..... :)

Not my fault it took him two practice books before he figured it out. But yeah, I plan to buy his thirdest book too when I get caught up.

Thanks to both of you for the clarifications.

if you had taken a class from him you wouldn't have needed to wait on the book .... :) I've been using this method of training for quite some time and credit it as the one thing that has allowed me to break the sub 2 sec barrier for several SC stages

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So if I got those experts here right the approach is -

  • learn how to shoot precise (small groups...) by having proper techniques
  • push for speed and don't worry about what's on the target, that will settle when the speed becomes "normal"

Or did I get something wrong?

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So if I got those experts here right the approach is -

  • learn how to shoot precise (small groups...) by having proper techniques
  • push for speed and don't worry about what's on the target, that will settle when the speed becomes "normal"

Or did I get something wrong?

I took it as, push for speed...and the accuracy will follow.

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So if I got those experts here right the approach is -

  • learn how to shoot precise (small groups...) by having proper techniques
  • push for speed and don't worry about what's on the target, that will settle when the speed becomes "normal"
Or did I get something wrong?
I took it as, push for speed...and the accuracy will follow.

+1...this is the mantra I try to follow. I did the same crappy thing for years (accuracy first, speed will follow).. well, the speed never followed.

Looking forward to reading Steve's new book, getting it on order today.

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I took it as, push for speed...and the accuracy will follow.

I think you have to work on both in practice, frequently. By relaxing your accuracy standards when you are specifically building speed, you can essentially learn how it feels to simply run the gun faster, and get comfortable going that fast. I have found that I can often keep most of that speed when I start to dial back in some control. That new level of speed doesn't feel like 'pushing' anymore.

I personally have my best results in matches when I just shoot as fast as I can see, and don't push for anything.

Also, I'm not 100% convinced that it really makes sense when working on accuracy to totally remove time pressure. I'm sure there is room for better shooters than me to argue either side of that, but I still keep track of time when doing dot drills or 25 -35 yard partials. I just don't stress about it.

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