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1st stage in a major match is almost always one of the best


Hammerman

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When I'm at a match, my 1st stage is usually one of my highest placing stages, the most nervous feeling stage and feels like the slowest stage.

Does this happen to anyone else?  It seems like the less nervous I get as the day goes on, the more chance I have of getting a mike.  My times are usually pretty fast through out the whole match unless I have a major screw up.

 

Any ideas to why this is?

 

 

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My first stage at a big match is nearly always one of my worse, and then it generally goes downhill from there. I guess being nervous will heighten your awareness leading to that feeling that time is slowing down. Nervousness for me leads me to actually slow down which is probably the reason that my first stages usually suck more... or perhaps I just need more cph4 (been watching too much "Lucy") B)

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On 6/21/2017 at 10:05 PM, Hammerman said:

...the most nervous feeling stage and feels like the slowest stage.

 

Feelings don't matter. 

 

[/Stoeger]

 

The human mind weighs stress/panic/anxiousness heavily when determining how much time has actually passed. It is actually very bad at determining how fast things are happening.

 

Don't trust your brain's perception of fast/slow. It's a lying little bastard that's trying to trick you.

 

What I'm getting at is that your first stage is probably one of your slowest. As you relax you'll actually go faster with your mind perceiving it as the same speed. Or you're aware errors are likely during stage 1, and you're paying much more attention to your sights. Or both.

 

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You start to get comfy with and maybe thinking that you could have done better if your time was faster.

Next stop.............trying to outshot your gun. Sight picture gone. Trigger control gone. Stage plan at this point could be gone due to frustration of not doing as well as you think you should (mikes, no-shoots, less "A" hits).

Final stop...........self doubt and beating yourself up because what looked so promising is now in the trash.

 

The above is my observation of me, but I'm probably not alone here.

 

Just a thought. (That might help).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm guessing that you are trying to out run your ability to gun it on subsequent stages where the first stage you ran it as fast as you were able to see it.

 

.

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I'm a shooter with only 1 sanctioned match of experience, an IDPA match.  Before we started I asked a friend - a Master level shooter  -  for advice and he said, with great seriousness, to shoot all zeros (As) at the first stage and "don't worry about your time."   I followed his advice here, and shot all zeros with a respectable but not outstanding time. Whether it was luck or not, that apparently gave me confidence and I did much better than I expected on the rest of the stages...very low points down and ever improving raw time rank as I cycled through the day.

 

I'm no competition psychologist, and I'm sure folks will argue about these things and there are different recipes that work for different personalities. But that's my recipe even with club matches now: I focus on hits for the first stage and find myself moving pretty fast anyway, and my times improve thereafter with still good hits.   

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 8:05 PM, Hammerman said:

When I'm at a match, my 1st stage is usually one of my highest placing stages, the most nervous feeling stage and feels like the slowest stage.

Does this happen to anyone else?  It seems like the less nervous I get as the day goes on, the more chance I have of getting a mike.  My times are usually pretty fast through out the whole match unless I have a major screw up.

 

Any ideas to why this is?

 

 

Good for you.  My feeling on my first stage is just to survive it.  I do my best no to really screw up, no noshoots or misses.  But as you mentioned it sometimes turned out good in the end

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First stage nervousness is usually due to you artificially making that stage more important than the others. This nervousness issue usually compounds in severity depending on how "Special" the match is (Club match vs National match). A common train of thought for this is "I don't want to screw up the first stage because I want to have a good match". This type of thinking is closely linked to measuring your overall match performance as you shoot each stage and succeed or fail. Both of these mental games we play serve only as distractions that can negatively impact your performance.

 

Stop treating the first stage in a match as any more or less important than any other stage in the match. All of the stages are important and we can only shoot one stage at a time. Having this mentality also solves the issue of treating each stage completed as a calumniation of match performance. Your performance is what it is based on how well you have trained your skills. If you want to perform your best on any given stage then you need to leave all of the distracting mental baggage behind and fully focus on the task at hand, not what you want as an end result. 

 

If you deploy a process that mitigates mental distractions and maintain a solid focus on the present tense then you create a situation where you are allowed to perform your best. Here is a good example. I give every single stage I shoot the same respect, effort, and mental focus regardless of what match that stage may be in. To me, its as simple as me vs the stage and nothing else matters. Doing this allows me to perform my best on each stage regardless of where that stage may be. When I am at the Nationals, I am not shooting "Holly crap, this is the Nationals" stages. I am simply shooting another stage which is literally no different than one in a club match, practice or the Nationals. 

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When you practice, set up a small speed shoot stage and treat it like the first stage of a match. You usually don’t get any warm up shots at a match so put that into your practice routine. Then when you go to a match whether big or small, it’s just another stage like others have said. Positive mental attitude goes a long ways. 

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