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Wesquire

At what age does performance start declining?

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What would you guys say is the typical age that starts to noticeably hinder performance?

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I am 55. I think I could still improve if I just put more time in. Some 3 gun events are getting harder physically and many guys want them even harder.

That's fine, I just don't spend the money to shoot those events.

I am liking Steel Challenge events more and more as I really feel I could get very good at that game even at 55.

Not sure one can pick and age where the diminishing returns begin for the effort put out. I think VISION plays a big part in ones longevity.

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How old is Jerry? He's not falling off yet :)

He's 61, certainly an example of someone with amazing capabilities despite having traveled around the sun that many times.

John Glenn flew a Space Shuttle mission at age 77.

We have Super Seniors at my club who are classified A or M in multiple divisions and continue to shoot at those levels, based on their performances at USPSA and practice matches.

I don't make age-related excuses for younger guys shooting better than I do. Those who beat me are more experienced and/or more talented. I don't think age is the primary factor. I'll start playing the age card at some point, but not just yet.

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IF you were at peak performance, the fall off occurs in the mid-thirties. Physical endurance, healing, flexibility and testosterone levels all decline in a normal man from about the early thirties on. Reflexes and vision deterioration start in the late 30s. I can say I certainly felt an inflection point at about 41. Experience is always increasing (if you let it) and knowledge increases for most people through at least their 60s.

At 48, I had my best pistol match this year. Some of that was due to finally figuring out what worked for me with my vision which started to decline at about 40 and I have ignored for almost 8 years. Some of that was due to a little training and dryfire I finally did this year for the first time, and some was losing 25 pounds.

If you look at a guy like Max or Grauffel, maybe their performance falls off some in the near future. But I think it is all academic for all but a few people who are close to maximum physical performance combined with their shooting knowledge and match maturity. Then there are a few top shooters who wrecked their bodies in one way or another, and are still at the top. If their physicality was not reduced due to injury, poor conditioning and or weight, where might they be?

For me, i could care less. As long as it is fun, I am going to keep shooting. If I get tired of a sport, I will switch or take a break.

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Its the same question as speed and accuracy. You might be 60, but then you are twice as sneaky as a 30 year old, and know how to play the game 10 times better. We have some guys that are Super Seniors and still doing well, and then some that you can tell are just there for socializing. You can usually spot them in the shade with their chair. What's remarkable about guys like Jerry and Rob is that they have been shooting all their life! And are still winning. Both were recently awarded the life time achievement award from USPSA.

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As always Mark's perspective is sharp.

With rare exception, anyone at the peak of skill and physical performance will decline after that peak (hence the other side of any peak).

If that is the question than you have the answer.

My view within our humble sport is... that other than the AMU and a few full time pistol USPSA /IPSC shooters. We can stay competitive and actually

improve (as Mark has) well beyond our body's peak. However. we will never be able to reach what we "could have" given the time, resources and brain and body at their best.

Edited by P.E. Kelley

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Its the same question as speed and accuracy. You might be 60, but then you are twice as sneaky as a 30 year old, and know how to play the game 10 times better. We have some guys that are Super Seniors and still doing well, and then some that you can tell are just there for socializing. You can usually spot them in the shade with their chair. What's remarkable about guys like Jerry and Rob is that they have been shooting all their life! And are still winning. Both were recently awarded the life time achievement award from USPSA.

And both men would tell you that they can't perform as well as they once did.

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Patrick, I agree with that, it's remarkable to me that they are still going strong.

No fair Jack, i only 63...

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I get a little better every day ...

and I have no idea how old I am .... :)

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Well, it's still like Daniel Horner and Taran Butler at a big 3 gun.

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Per Mark, in my mid-30's I should have peaked. In my mid-30's I had a full time job, two kids at home and a mortgage that could choke a horse.

Now I'm 63. No children within 300 miles of me, no full time job and a spouse that encourages me to go to the range and practice. (O.K.,she doesn't say go to the range, just get the H*** out of the house.)

With practice, my scores are as good as they ever were. But with age, the fun factor has increased. Like Patrick, some matches are just a little too tough on this old body to be fun. But there are plenty of other matches out there that are "old fart" compliant.

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I am 62 and still feel I have a lot more I can accomplish in the shooting sports. I am not giving up yet.

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Wesquire you really seem to focus your threads on whether age and the assorted physical conditions associated with it affect your ability to win.

Pro tip: (Within reason) age doesn't matter. Weight doesn't either. If you can grip a gun and pull a trigger straight back better than someone else you will beat them, assuming the stage doesn't involved a 100 meter iron man dash against track athletes. 95% of the time your limiting factor is your practice and how well you can self diagnose.

I'm 25, in fine shape, A class production. I still get beaten by fat old over the hill guys because they're simply way more competent than I am.

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unless you have some serious physical impairment (like you're missing an arm) what separates champions from everyone else is desire. How bad do you want it and how hard are you willing to work to get it?

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Peyton Manning, 38, more desire than ever, a body not able to execute at the level his brain knows is needed.

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Peally "I'm 25, in fine shape, A class production. I still get beaten by fat old over the hill guys because they're simply way more competent than I am."

I prefer the term experience over competence! But remember you will always be younger, faster and better looking. After 47 years of competition, there are only so many ways to set up and run a stage.

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Wesquire you really seem to focus your threads on whether age and the assorted physical conditions associated with it affect your ability to win.

Pro tip: (Within reason) age doesn't matter. Weight doesn't either. If you can grip a gun and pull a trigger straight back better than someone else you will beat them, assuming the stage doesn't involved a 100 meter iron man dash against track athletes. 95% of the time your limiting factor is your practice and how well you can self diagnose.

I'm 25, in fine shape, A class production. I still get beaten by fat old over the hill guys because they're simply way more competent than I am.

Just seems to be something that isn't talked about as much. I've heard Grauffel talk about him being too old compared to younger shooters, and he's only 35. I'm only 24 years old. And I'm in great shape. My only physical disadvantage was having worse than 20/400 vision, but I got LASIK and I'm seeing 20/10 now.

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