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Stage Strategy/Plan Mooching vs Independence


CHA-LEE

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It would be interesting to know what percentage of shooters rely on stage breakdown Strategy or Plans of other shooters (mooching) for deciding on how to shoot a field course stages which have multiple choices in how to tackle the challenge.

I am not talking about the fine tuning of a stage plan either where you run ideas off of your buddies about one method verses another. I am talking about shooters literally being lost or unsure about the best way to shoot the stage so they let others stage performance or walk through determine or solidify their stage plan/strategy.

Beyond that, if you were forced to formulate your own stage strategy/plan without anyone to mooch from, now much do you think that would impact your match performance?

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I occasionally mooch a plan but that is not the norm. Would never mooching a plan affect my match scores, yes, normally when I end up mooching it because to plan I had sucked and the one I stole is way better and the score reflects that.

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By your definition, I never mooch. There is occasionally a holy crap moment when I didn't see something, but if I've already started visualizing my run I don't change anything. The low-cap divisions I shoot often require a different break down anyway.

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I make my own plans and only mooch someone else's if it seems better than mine, particularly if it involves something I didn't see. I do pay attention to what better shooters do, and sometimes I'll ask a question or two about why they did it that way afterwards, so that I can learn.

I don't really stress too much about it tho. Most of the time it seems to be the execution that costs time.

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zero. I formulate my stage plan at local matches days beforehand since the stages are setup the week of the match and i get to see them ahead of time when training. On match day I show up at least 1 hr early to walk every stage to ensure nothing has changed. For the few majors I've shot I do basically the same thing, walking the stages the day before to develop my plans .

however, i do see plenty of shooters who are doing what you describe ... i can only imagine the ensuing trainwreck if they were not allowed to mooch off anyone ...

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I like to come up with my own plan based on my skills and bounce them off the guys, sometimes I adjust sometimes they adjust. I think that the stage plan has to take into account the skills possessed by the shooter. Straight up mooching an A class or Master shooter plan wouldn't end well for me.

We have some good shooters at the local match so I like to watch them and see what I can or can't do. More than anything they usually nudge me in the direction of pushing my limits.

I would say that I am a semi-moocher if anything.

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In my stage planning, I have a reason for every choice I make. I normally don't talk about strategy, but it's not because I'm trying to be secretive, we just seem to talk about other stuff. Sometimes I get asked how I would shoot a particular stage and I don't have a problem with sharing what my thoughts are. I also watch how other shooters do a stage and sometimes I'll have an "aha" moment when I see a way to do it that I hadn't thought of, in this case I don't have any loyalty to my original plan and quickly readjust the plan. (which more times than not, screws up that stage royally :roflol: )

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Try to avoid mooching, especially if you already had a plan, then see someone ahead of you do something that seems "better." Changing your plan at the last minute is never a good idea,
If I DO see someone that has a better plan, and I have time to walk through it and rehearse, then hell yeah! You'd be stupid not to use a better plan if you see it, and have time to rehearse it.

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I make my own plans and only mooch someone else's if it seems better than mine, particularly if it involves something I didn't see. I do pay attention to what better shooters do, and sometimes I'll ask a question or two about why they did it that way afterwards, so that I can learn.

I don't really stress too much about it tho. Most of the time it seems to be the execution that costs time.

+1 for me.

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There are occasions where someone does something that I hadn't thought of or it turns out that something I had rejected actually works better than I thought. So, yes, I sometimes mooch, copy, clone, borrow, and steal ideas from others.

Unfortunately, this sometimes happens on a stage that I designed and setup. So I'm left wondering why I didn't see it that way when setting it up.

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Even at local matches, I'm one of the last people to walk up to a stage. I do registration and setup the tablets so don't have the luxury of looking at and walking them for 30 minutes like many of the competitors that show up and don't help build the stages or the match.

I can't imagine being able to see the stages for an extended time before shooting them.

At the major matches I normally shoot on staff day, so again, don't have much time to walk the stages or develop a plan outside the 3 to 5 minutes that the squad gets.

Because of this, many of us work together to try to come up with a plan that we can internalize quickly and shoot the stage.

Even if I do get the opportunity to look at a stage a little beforehand and come up with a plan, I'll bounce it off others. Usually the discussion is about the time it would take to engage targets and splits from further away vs moving up on the targets. How can we possibly eliminate a shooting position? If there is an awkward position dlis it worth starting there as opposed to ending there?

Although I can break a stage down and come up with a plan, I'm amazed how many people see something I didn't see and find a way to do it differently. As others have said, unless have have time to really bake that new plan into my head, I'm much better off doing it the way I had come up with.

Nothing worse than having 2 plans in your head at Make Ready.

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I am talking about shooters literally being lost or unsure about the best way to shoot the stage so they let others stage performance or walk through determine or solidify their stage plan/strategy.

This sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If they can't figure it out what are they supposed to do, shoot it blind?
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I shoot production, and while occasionally there might be some options, usually there's not too many. Once in awhile I'll see an approach and wonder why I didn't think of it. I suspect that's the case in any of the capacity limited divisions. Open and Limited usually have more choices and its always interesting to see how those shooters approach stages.

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I am talking about shooters literally being lost or unsure about the best way to shoot the stage so they let others stage performance or walk through determine or solidify their stage plan/strategy.

This sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If they can't figure it out what are they supposed to do, shoot it blind?

I actually took his statement as more of a "do you know people who can't do stage plans, so they never even try and just do what other people come up with" type thing. I know a couple of people like that. They just wait until other people have walked the stage, and ask "How are you going to shoot this?"

Stage plans are something I'm actually good at (which is separate from whether or not I can shoot), so not only do I not mooch, I rarely get an "aha" moment from someone else's stage plan/execution. It happens every once in awhile, but just not often.

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I shoot production, and while occasionally there might be some options, usually there's not too many.

We must be lucky. It seems like the majority of stages I see have multiple valid ways to shoot them in a low-cap division. The folks that design our stages seem to really be going to some effort to make sure that lots of targets are available from multiple positions. this lets me make choices based on shot difficulty, where the gun needs to be before and after the shot, entry/exit as well as my physical path through the stage. Seems like maybe only once a match or so I'll happen upon a stage that is just one-lined.

It can really be a good learning tool to compare and contrast your plan with someone else's. Things you think might save you time end up not really being significant, and vice versa. Of course your own preferences play a part too. I'd generally rather come in on an easy target and leave on a harder one than vice versa. Some people are the opposite.

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I am talking about shooters literally being lost or unsure about the best way to shoot the stage so they let others stage performance or walk through determine or solidify their stage plan/strategy.

Beyond that, if you were forced to formulate your own stage strategy/plan without anyone to mooch from, now much do you think that would impact your match performance?

I should also mention that for several years I was an MD and even though I had created or reviewed all the stages, I never really had the time of walking them the way others did. Often, I would be busy with match related things, going around and making sure the squads weren't running into problems or working on range stuff that I hadn't had time to do, etc. On those days I usually just shot through as time permitted rather than going with a squad.

So, in too many cases, I literally was the guy who had no plan. In cases like that, I would often watch a couple people shoot to get an idea then do a quick walk while people were pasting targets then shoot. I actually found that worked fairly well because whatever passed for a plan in my head was fresh.

As to the second part of the question, I actually find that paying too much attention to what others do can sometimes be a detriment. It's easy to second guess yourself and then get mixed up when the buzzer goes. Happened to me more than once that I ended up just confusing myself.

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I occasionally mooch a plan but that is not the norm. Would never mooching a plan affect my match scores, yes, normally when I end up mooching it because to plan I had sucked and the one I stole is way better and the score reflects that.

By your definition, I never mooch. There is occasionally a holy crap moment when I didn't see something, but if I've already started visualizing my run I don't change anything. The low-cap divisions I shoot often require a different break down anyway.

I make my own plans and only mooch someone else's if it seems better than mine, particularly if it involves something I didn't see. I do pay attention to what better shooters do, and sometimes I'll ask a question or two about why they did it that way afterwards, so that I can learn.

I don't really stress too much about it tho. Most of the time it seems to be the execution that costs time.

All of the the aboeve! I try to plan accoring to my strenghts and most of the time stick with it. If I see something that works WAY better I may or may not adapt depening on the risk / reward balance.

At Area 6 we had a stage where a GM shot it first and everyone after that shot it the same way. When I shot it, I shot it diffenent becase it worked better for me. other times I'll see someone shoot and think "why didn't I think of that?". The more I shoot and the less I depend on other's idea's. If I'm shooting with good friends we sometimes develope / debate plans. Sometimes we shoot it the same, sometimes not since we shoot to our strenghts.

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The reason why I started this thread is that I see three basic types of shooters when it comes down to stage strategy & planning....

(1) The inexperienced shooters who really don't have any understanding of how or why a stage should be shot in a particular way. These are what I would call the congenital "Moochers" who would have a significantly worse stage performance due to a poor stage plan if they couldn't mooch a plan off of another shooter. In my observations at matches there are usually very few shooters who fall into this bucket. Its usually the new shooters or the really lazy ones.

(2) The experienced shooters who can usually formulate a pretty solid stage plan, but when they are faced with strategy decisions on how to do things or tackle certain sections of the stage which it not a clear good/bad or faster/slower decision they need to mooch the plan or discuss it with buddies to solidify the decision. These are the shooters who have not put in the practice range time to test the different scenarios to actually know if one way is more or less effective than another. I would say that the bulk of USPSA shooters fall into this bucket.

(3) The experienced shooters who can assess a stage independently then formulate a strategy that fits their skill set. These shooters would be able to formulate a stage plan that is as solid as it will be regardless of seeing others walk or shoot the stage. They usually don't need to see others shoot the stage to "Validate" their strategy decisions, as they have put in the practice range time to know which strategy is more effective than another. There are not many shooters who fall into this bucket.

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There are occasions where someone does something that I hadn't thought of or it turns out that something I had rejected actually works better than I thought. So, yes, I sometimes mooch, copy, clone, borrow, and steal ideas from others.

Unfortunately, this sometimes happens on a stage that I designed and setup. So I'm left wondering why I didn't see it that way when setting it up.

My worst stage plans also tend to be on stages I drew up, I end up planning to shoot them the way I thought them up, the reality on the ground is often way different.
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I usually try to come early and check out the stages that may take some thinking. I usually come up with my own plan but I will borrow a plan if I need to.

I have more problems with mooches asking what my plan is when I'm still trying to deside myself. I think they think I'm trying to hide some secret from them...and I'm not.

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At Area 6 we had a stage where a GM shot it first and everyone after that shot it the same way. When I shot it, I shot it different because it worked better for me. other times I'll see someone shoot and think "why didn't I think of that?". The more I shoot and the less I depend on other's ideas. If I'm shooting with good friends we sometimes develop / debate plans. Sometimes we shoot it the same, sometimes not since we shoot to our strengths.

+1 ^^^^^

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(3) The experienced shooters who can assess a stage independently then formulate a strategy that fits their skill set. These shooters would be able to formulate a stage plan that is as solid as it will be regardless of seeing others walk or shoot the stage. They usually don't need to see others shoot the stage to "Validate" their strategy decisions, as they have put in the practice range time to know which strategy is more effective than another. There are not many shooters who fall into this bucket.

I'm not convinced that even the best shooters always make the best strategy decisions. I see even top guys discussing plans with other shooters (especially other shooters of similar skill level). I shot nationals last year on a squad with 5 or so GM's. Sometimes everyone came up with the same ideas. Sometimes there was wide divergence. Sometimes my plan was non-optimal and I could see that after watching them. At least twice I thought my plan was better than any of theirs, and on those stages I was significantly closer to their scores than normal.

I think for people that are reasonably sociable (or just like each other), it is enjoyable to discuss stage strategy.

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(3) The experienced shooters who can assess a stage independently then formulate a strategy that fits their skill set. These shooters would be able to formulate a stage plan that is as solid as it will be regardless of seeing others walk or shoot the stage. They usually don't need to see others shoot the stage to "Validate" their strategy decisions, as they have put in the practice range time to know which strategy is more effective than another. There are not many shooters who fall into this bucket.

I'm not convinced that even the best shooters always make the best strategy decisions. I see even top guys discussing plans with other shooters (especially other shooters of similar skill level). I shot nationals last year on a squad with 5 or so GM's. Sometimes everyone came up with the same ideas. Sometimes there was wide divergence. Sometimes my plan was non-optimal and I could see that after watching them. At least twice I thought my plan was better than any of theirs, and on those stages I was significantly closer to their scores than normal.

I think for people that are reasonably sociable (or just like each other), it is enjoyable to discuss stage strategy.

The events, actions, and decisions that go on within a Super Squad between match winning GM's is not that clear cut. At that level all of the match winning contenders can and will execute a similar stage plan within 1 - 2 seconds of one another and the main difference between the stage performances is how many points they give up in crappy hits. There is also the factor of them deciding on trying to break away from the pack by deploying a far more risky stage plan that may yield a slight lead over the others vs just rolling with the flow and using the same stage plan as the others which would be less risky and basically allow them to "tread water" on the stage not risking too many match points. Just like racing anything against others, you need to pick your place and time to attempt a risky "Pass" or suffer the consequences.

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(3) The experienced shooters who can assess a stage independently then formulate a strategy that fits their skill set. These shooters would be able to formulate a stage plan that is as solid as it will be regardless of seeing others walk or shoot the stage. They usually don't need to see others shoot the stage to "Validate" their strategy decisions, as they have put in the practice range time to know which strategy is more effective than another. There are not many shooters who fall into this bucket.

I'm not convinced that even the best shooters always make the best strategy decisions. I see even top guys discussing plans with other shooters (especially other shooters of similar skill level). I shot nationals last year on a squad with 5 or so GM's. Sometimes everyone came up with the same ideas. Sometimes there was wide divergence. Sometimes my plan was non-optimal and I could see that after watching them. At least twice I thought my plan was better than any of theirs, and on those stages I was significantly closer to their scores than normal.

I think for people that are reasonably sociable (or just like each other), it is enjoyable to discuss stage strategy.

This^^^^^^

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