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So here is my embarrassing problem. I'm having a real issue running past or missing targets in my 3 gun stages. When I'm shooting USPSA I might run past or miss a target once in a while but in three gun its way worse. Any ideas for training or stage prep would be greatly appreciated.

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Stage planning in 3 gun is way harder. There are often more positions, more options, and there is more to do while you are moving between positions.

 

I've read on here about visualizing the stage plan and i do try to do that, but there are also more distractions in 3 gun (more to reset, more gear to get ready aside from timer & tablet duty) so that's another challenge.

 

Unless I see something that's pure genius, I've stopped trying to copy other shooters stage plans once mine is locked in mentally. Things usually unravel completely if I make a last minute change.

 

 

Look forward to seeing what suggestions you get

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I always go in with a plan but if anything happens ( fumble a reload, jam or anything) I can't seem to stay on track. Like you if I change the plan at the last minute disaster is eminent.

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I just find 3 gun a lot more complex so when you make a mistake, it has cascading effects that are much larger than in USPSA. It's especially bad if you mess up on shotgun and your reloading sequence is out of whack.

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USPSA has only one gun and one option.  3 gun has several options for each stage.  Stage planning is everything.  Once you get lost in your stage, its hard to recover.

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It's just like USPSA in that you have to run through your stage plan until you can shoot the stage in your head, with your eyes closed.

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Maybe try slowing down a little in your movement. If you are missing targets regularly, you will likely see better scores with slower times than fast times with FTEs or coming back to make up the target.

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This just happened to me at the Pro match a couple weeks ago. I attribute it to mental cloudiness from not eating anything before the stage. It was our second stage of the day on a noon start and all I had eaten was breakfast. Big mistake and I know better!

 

Some things that I am going to start doing.....#1, obviously, make sure to eat and drink enough! #2 count all the targets on each stage before I do my visualizations, taking note of how many targets are in each array #3 shoot some of the harder angles first, as the 2 steel I didn't even engage were the toughest angle thru the port.

 

 

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You didn't say how much experience you have but I am new, having only shot a dozen or so matches in the last couple-three years.

I really enjoy the day and usually shoot with two really good friends.  I find sometimes I have not done nearly enough to game and prep for the stage and when I "load and make ready" I realize I am not prepared.  I find I need to draw a line before each stage between fun time and planning time to focus on the stage to have any chance of not embarrassing myself.

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I did/do that a lot but slowly getting better.  I can go back through my log book and I see many times where I completely blew past a target or array. What helped me the most was two things: drawing the stage before I shot it and then visualizing AFTER the match.  I work with the assumption that a good stage plan well executed is better than a great/efficient/fast stage plan that I screw up.  

 

Drawing the stage: Before the stage I would walk the stage and look at targets and draw them on paper (either a printed stage diagram if the match published them or in my shooting log).  I picked the EASIEST (not fastest) route through the stage and during the walk through I visualized how each target would look as I came up to it and I pictured my sight/reticle on the target in my mind.  Then I would walk away from the stage and think the entire thing through with my eyes closed.  If I couldn't picture it in my mind I'd watch another shooter and figure it out.  (this didn't work when I was early in the shooting order).  I also figure out the pattern of how many targets to engage through each port and I would draw that in my diagram.  When I see all the ports and numbers on paper, it's easier to remember (I'm a visual learner and it's easier for me to remember if I've seen it).  Before I shoot a complicated stage I want to be able to close my eyes and see the sight/reticle on every target in the stage.  

 

Visualizing after match: What helped the most is that when I get home, I refer back to the stage diagram and re-visualize the stage many times (2-20 or more). If it was an easy stage, I might go over it 2-3 times.  There was a really complicated stage last month that I've replayed probably 30-40 times since then.   Basically it is like practicing the walk-through, but I do it at home after the match. I often dry fire every stage from the most recent match in my garage/back yard when I'm practicing - this helps me identify places where I was slow and that leads me to the things I need to practice. This gets my mind accustomed to learning how to remember transitions and sight pictures and I've found over time that it's easier for me to learn stages and make a plan.  I found that a stage videos help me with the parts I forget and watching posts from others who shot the same match is good also.  After several matches of doing this, I found I was able to remember stages better.   Also, as I re-run each stage in my mind I think of better/faster ways to shoot it both in terms of technique (leaving positions sooner/being ready to shoot earlier) and in terms of different order.  For example in the last match I ran the stage like @jh3gun (below ... but I was much slower) but @kitzmiller_3gun pulled the rifle from the trunk first and then got ammo and shot left to right.  I've gone through both methods now about 10 times in my head trying to figure it out.  I'll replay every stage 5-10 more times this week as I get ready for the 3gun match Sat.  I'm not sure if this is exactly what Lanny Bassham had in mind when he talks about visualizing, but it has helped me a LOT with stage planning and execution.

 

 

  

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When you walk through, make sure you count every target totaling up to the round count, then get the most concise and efficient plan, try to avoid tight angles to view things where it is easy to run past them, sometimes just the "run here, shoot, run there, shoot" works well when it is a confusing stage, think best 9/10 times, what will be the fastest. And walk through enough times.

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On 9/4/2018 at 9:11 PM, emjbe said:

I did/do that a lot but slowly getting better.  I can go back through my log book and I see many times where I completely blew past a target or array. What helped me the most was two things: drawing the stage before I shot it and then visualizing AFTER the match.  I work with the assumption that a good stage plan well executed is better than a great/efficient/fast stage plan that I screw up.  

 

Drawing the stage: Before the stage I would walk the stage and look at targets and draw them on paper (either a printed stage diagram if the match published them or in my shooting log).  I picked the EASIEST (not fastest) route through the stage and during the walk through I visualized how each target would look as I came up to it and I pictured my sight/reticle on the target in my mind.  Then I would walk away from the stage and think the entire thing through with my eyes closed.  If I couldn't picture it in my mind I'd watch another shooter and figure it out.  (this didn't work when I was early in the shooting order).  I also figure out the pattern of how many targets to engage through each port and I would draw that in my diagram.  When I see all the ports and numbers on paper, it's easier to remember (I'm a visual learner and it's easier for me to remember if I've seen it).  Before I shoot a complicated stage I want to be able to close my eyes and see the sight/reticle on every target in the stage.  

 

Visualizing after match: What helped the most is that when I get home, I refer back to the stage diagram and re-visualize the stage many times (2-20 or more). If it was an easy stage, I might go over it 2-3 times.  There was a really complicated stage last month that I've replayed probably 30-40 times since then.   Basically it is like practicing the walk-through, but I do it at home after the match. I often dry fire every stage from the most recent match in my garage/back yard when I'm practicing - this helps me identify places where I was slow and that leads me to the things I need to practice. This gets my mind accustomed to learning how to remember transitions and sight pictures and I've found over time that it's easier for me to learn stages and make a plan.  I found that a stage videos help me with the parts I forget and watching posts from others who shot the same match is good also.  After several matches of doing this, I found I was able to remember stages better.   Also, as I re-run each stage in my mind I think of better/faster ways to shoot it both in terms of technique (leaving positions sooner/being ready to shoot earlier) and in terms of different order.  For example in the last match I ran the stage like @jh3gun (below ... but I was much slower) but @kitzmiller_3gun pulled the rifle from the trunk first and then got ammo and shot left to right.  I've gone through both methods now about 10 times in my head trying to figure it out.  I'll replay every stage 5-10 more times this week as I get ready for the 3gun match Sat.  I'm not sure if this is exactly what Lanny Bassham had in mind when he talks about visualizing, but it has helped me a LOT with stage planning and execution.

 

 

  

 

This POST stage/match planning and redoing mentally is very smart.

 

I'm going to try to do this a bit more. Thanks for the tip.

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As for hitting spots where you want to begin shooting, I always look for something distinctive where I want to stop or measure off a fixed object like the end of a wall or a tree. I look for odd rocks. Clusters of brass/hills, a stick on the ground etc. it’s poor sportsmanship to place something to mark your spot and I have seen pint sized TRex looking pros do it in USPSA, but it’s not legal. You can almost always see something already there to mark your spot. When I am moving I then look for that sign and start slowing down as I approach it. 

Edited by Shooter116

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When I RO or keep Time, I watch everyone else make their run. Alpha/Charlie, Delta/Mike....so forth. All the while trying to keep in mind my stage run. I'm in the hole, someone else need to RO or keep Time. I get back to my plan. "Are your ready"? ....beeep.....everything I thought I thought goes out the window.

 

When I don't RO or keep Time, I do a thorough plan and get to the Written Stage Briefing and confirm my run. Looking at the WSB and sticking with your plan and getting away from RO and Time Keeper, actually gets my head in the game. Plus all the joking around with your buds during a Match can be a hinder, until I am solid on my COF. 

 

I find I can do better if I clear my head, (I've only been to about 20 USPSA Matches). Get the WSB and make a plan. Walk my route after taping targets. Just repeat over and over my chosen COF. Think about it visually and commit. Rinse and Repeat. Get your head clear, cut the bs with the buddys, less RO/TK, check the WSB and watch others run their COF. I hope after many more Matches, it comes naturally.

Edited by Lastcat

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I shoot both 3-gun & USPSA and because I am blind in my right eye I shoot pistol right handed and shotgun/rifle left handed so I have a really weird stage plan and would constantly miss targets due to trying to move different directions based on reloads and stage/gun planning.

 

So here is what I did to eliminate as much confusion as possible. I go with either in a linear plan or a clockwise/counter clockwise plan. Linear equals straight line left and right, or clockwise/counterclockwise. I have found I don't miss targets and I am just as fast because of no penalties. Better scores. Occasionally you have the dreaded memory stage where you can't do this so hopefully I don't shoot first and watch the shooters better shooters stage plan during walk thru.

 

gerritm

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