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For those who've made GM in USPSA


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I went from an initial Production classification of B in 2014 to M in a year and change. But for 3 years I've hovered around 91 to 94%. Always just one 100 or two 95s from clicking over to GM.

 

Did you double down and try to force it or did it just happen? Was you change a result of planning and extra work or just doing what you'd already been doing?

 

I've only shot 9 GM level classifiers and an equal amount of 90-94%. Looking at my numbers and timing I'm just inconsistent. I never shoot hero or zero but I haven't been able to be peak performance 6 times in a row. 3 or 4 yeah but not 6.

Edited by rowdyb
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I never really thought about it until I made M and saw that GM was a possibility. At that point I hadn't really been doing a whole lot of regular focused practice. When AJ and I decided we were going for GM we were shooting live fire twice a week and dry firing every day, with matches every weekend. We did a fair amount of practicing classifiers too. Not to artificially inflate our scores, but as drills since we knew what a good score was on them and to learn what that GM pace was.  

It was good to shoot classifiers in "speed mode" for a bit too, because if you can't make the time, it doesn't matter what your hits are. At first it was a mess, very wild, but once we saw that we could hit the times we started to hit the times and keep the bullets on paper, and then hit the times and keep the bullets in the middle. 

Classifiers in matches then were definitely hero or zero mode, but now that I've done it I find it easier to shoot good scores because I'm not pushing because they don't matter.

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7 minutes ago, rowdyb said:

I went from an initial Production classification of B in 2014 to M in a year and change. But for 3 years I've hovered around 91 to 94%. Always just one 100 or two 95s from clicking over to GM.

 

Did you double down and try to force it or did it just happen? Was you change a result of planning and extra work or just doing what you'd already been doing?

 

I've only shot 9 GM level classifiers and an equal amount of 90-94%. Looking at my numbers and timing I'm just inconsistent. I never shoot hero or zero but I haven't been able to be peak performance 6 times in a row. 3 or 4 yeah but not 6.

I think this is where the classification system breaks down in the popular divisions. A friend of mine who made GM in open and shoots at the nationals Super Squad level has very few classifiers that have counted since he made GM, when making GM was the goal he drilled classifier skills to death, and shot many classifiers hero or zero, after he worked match skills and shot classifiers like they were just a stage.

 

I made it in Revo so it mostly doesn't count, when I was getting close I started working more on what I needed to do on the specific classifiers I expected to shoot to get the scores I needed, and pushed for those scores to make it happen, there were many matches where the only stage I cared about was the classifier, and there was a decent amount of, I wont call it "hero or zero"  lets call it "hero or 79%  runs so it either helped the average or didn't count. 

 

unfortunately the way the system works, shooting a 85 means you need to shoot two 100s to average it out, so to make it over the line the real match skill of don't blow any stages is counter productive.  

 

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What # of  USPSA matches are you shooting per month?  their is no substitute for shooting matches, will any of the clubs let you pay an additional fee and shoot the whole match 2 times as just another shooter on your squad?  Are you evaluating your performance  to the other divisions  in HOA for the match and individual stages? 

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For most shooters striving for a GM classification, to produce 95% or better runs on classifiers it usually requires an unbalanced amount of gun handling and stationary rage blasting practice on classifier style drills. Calling this practice "Unbalanced" is probably the wrong term to use as being able to execute speedy gun handling and generate hits at rage blasting speeds while flat footed are good skills to have. They simply don't reward you very much in overall match performance across all stages. Since most of the stages we shoot in matches reward effective movement, blending positions together and stuff like much more than gun handling or rage blasting all of that "Classifier Style" practice usually produces minimal return on investment from an overall match performance perspective. Basically put, the guys that bias their training to maximize their classification are usually also the same guys that get beat fairly easily in majors because they have way too many holes in all of their other skills to finish solidly overall. This basically sums up the "Paper GM" scenario.

 

The next factor to consider is the randomness of the classifiers you have the opportunity to shoot in matches vs the current high hit factor for the classifier. The high hit factors for all classifiers are always in an ebb and flow scenario based on how new or old they are and when USPSA decides to arbitrarily change the 100%. So if the local match MD picks a classifier that is easier to achieve a good percentage one month, then picks a very difficult one to achieve the next month, it won't matter what you practice because one will always balance out the other. You could pick and choose specific matches to attend based on the classifier they are going to use. Or ask the MD to use a specific classifier that you know is easier vs harder. Some people would consider this "Gaming" but this is all a game anyway right?

 

Personally I think that USPSA does a pretty poor job of making the classifiers consistently fair through the life of a classifier. When new classifiers are initially released the 100% hit factor is usually 10% - 15% lower than it really should be making it "Easier" to produce good percentages on them. Then they get readjusted to what I would consider a realistic GM skill level 100% should be in a club match scenario. Then they get readjusted to an unrealistic level of performance that is usually 10% - 20% higher than the 100% really should be because people are going Hero or Zero on them and lucking into generating unrealistic high hit factors. After that classifiers stick around forever or eventually get decommissioned.

 

You can choose to play the Classifier Game within the USPSA game by cherry picking matches that have specific classifiers you excel at or reshoot them here or there when you think you can go for broke and hook up. This combined with biasing your practice towards gun handling and rage blasting will allow you to climb the Classification ranks quickly. But as I stated before it will also be done while sacrificing training skills that are primarily used to win matches. This is where you need to choose which is more important. Is it the classification letter next to your name in the results or where your name is at on the results list? 

 

The interesting commonality about this situation is that the Quest to make a GM classification is usually the number one road block keeping them from competing at a GM level in matches. Once shooters stop caring about their classification they can focus their efforts on fixing what is really keeping them from winning and adjust their training accordingly. That is usually when their skills and match performance starts to have a dramatic improvement. If you look at it from that perspective its all about making training decisions based on different goals. Obtaining the goal of achieving a GM Classification has a lesser secondary outcome of winning matches. Obtaining the goal of Winning Matches has a lesser secondary outcome of achieving a GM Classification. One of these goals is more important to you than the other. Pick one of these goals but also understand that they are not always correlated to each other.

Edited by CHA-LEE
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I didn't specifically practice classifiers, but was shooting about 50k rounds per year. Started out shooting minor and B was my initial classification. Was A class for about six months. M for about 10 months. 

 

GM in 21 months. Production GM came at a slightly quicker pace if I recall. 

 

As Cha-Lee stated there's definitely an "imbalance" involved. In my case it was so bad that in about 2010 I petitioned USPSA to move me DOWN in L and Production. They did so. 

 

To directly answer Rowdy's question.....it was just more of what I was already doing

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It took winning a state match to get the 100% that kicked me over in Open... prior to that I was just floating around in the low 90s for what seemed like ages.

 

After that the stress is off and GM runs get easier when they are just another stage.

 

With USPSA constantly messing with the HHFs I do think it's gotten a bit harder overall.

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Making GM is a bad financial decision. Stay M... Win all the guns at larger majors... 
 
Or Make GM and watch your less skilled friends walk away with the loot. :roflol:
Truth

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, Maximis228 said:

Making GM is a bad financial decision. Stay M... Win all the guns at larger majors... 

 

Or Make GM and watch your less skilled friends walk away with the loot. :roflol:

 

Exactly what I thought 

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For me, it happened when I started to trust myself. Meaning, I would trust that the best way to get the best HF was to trust that I need to just relax and let everything happen. Not make it happen or try to make(force) it happen. Trust. One thing I’ll tell myself is, “my fast is fast enough “. It makes sense to me. Basically, I trust  that I do stuff fast enough and that If I try to go faster it can end up bad. Trying to get faster is something I work on in practice. Not during a stage. 

 

I’ve proven to myself over and over again that if I  am disciplined and relaxed and I don’t “pull the trigger now”, I not only get better points, the time is not slower.  Rushing or “pulling the trigger now“ is not any faster. If you miss a reload, you just accept that run isn’t gonna get you over the hump. Accepting that subconsciously even before it happens is helpful. Just focus on the process and not the result. Again, that all falls under the trust part. This plays out the same at matches. This is the best way for me to perform at my level of skill and that should be the goal. 
 

 

now, saying that,  I wanted to check making GM  off the list. Not gonna lie. But,.....I’ll also be honest and say that the moment I made GM, I induced some other stress/pressure because I was afraid of being the dreadful “paper GM”!  Not to mention, that everyone wants to see freaking magic when you walk up to the stage and if you do mess up, you’ll hear “that wasn’t a GM run”. I’ve since proven to myself that I’m “legit” and that’s what really matters.
 

So, my advice would be:

1. Practice like “legit GM’s do”. 

2. Realize it’s not a big deal. Nobody calls and offers you endorsement deals. Nobody cares(but you). You don’t get punched in the face if you don’t hundo a classifier either. 
3. Relax and let it happen. (Easier said than done sometimes)
4. Do it for you and don’t worry about others. 
5. Find the right concoction of advice to make it work for you. 
 

 

 

Edited by B_RAD
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21 hours ago, rowdyb said:

I went from an initial Production classification of B in 2014 to M in a year and change. But for 3 years I've hovered around 91 to 94%. Always just one 100 or two 95s from clicking over to GM.

 

Did you double down and try to force it or did it just happen? Was you change a result of planning and extra work or just doing what you'd already been doing?

 

I've only shot 9 GM level classifiers and an equal amount of 90-94%. Looking at my numbers and timing I'm just inconsistent. I never shoot hero or zero but I haven't been able to be peak performance 6 times in a row. 3 or 4 yeah but not 6.

 

I was in a similar sounding place as you. I got close to making G in open and Limited at like 93-94% in both. Then I built a Single stack gun, and had my sons name engraved on it in his memory. Decided it would be cool to try to make GM with it. So I basically kept doing what I was doing with a little more focus on classifier skills. I barely snuck into GM in SS spring of 2018. I was dry firing 5 days a week, 20 min every morning and 20 min every night and live fire once a week. Only 1 or 2 matches a month. I'm not a real high round count shooter, I probably shoot 12-15k rounds a year is all. 

 

Then 2019 I mostly shot IDPA with plans to shoot their "worlds", my first major USPSA of the year was mid season I got a match bump to in Limited out of no where.

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I shoot 1 uspsa match a month at best due to my situation and where I live. I get one chance at each classifier, that I  don't know what it's going to be ahead of time. 

 

I only want to do this for myself. 

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6 minutes ago, rowdyb said:

I shoot 1 uspsa match a month at best due to my situation and where I live. I get one chance at each classifier, that I  don't know what it's going to be ahead of time. 

 

I only want to do this for myself. 

 

Welcome to the pain train then because it may be a while before the stars align.

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20 minutes ago, rowdyb said:

I shoot 1 uspsa match a month at best due to my situation and where I live. I get one chance at each classifier, that I  don't know what it's going to be ahead of time. 

 

I only want to do this for myself. 

Move to a better place to shoot more! 
 

San Antonio has to be miserable in the summer!

 

 

Edited by B_RAD
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What I'm hearing is:

-find classifier matches due to my schedule

-practice more classifier skills specifically 

-realize the increased focus there is not a real boon to stage shooting

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I was a little different than most. Mine came on accident. 

Crazy busy at work and I was barely able to do anything gun related for several months. 

Made it to a local (that we've shot together in your AR living days) and we ended up jumping a squad so we were in a hurry to shoot the classifier so we could jump back and not slow them down. 

It was Merle's Standards which is all the things I'm really weak at. Didn't even think about it just wanted to get done and move on, ended up with 100% and getting bumped to GM.

Long way of saying my advice is to just shoot your game and let the numbers fall where they do.

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Rowdy, the first thing I will say is I will never make GM or anything close, because of disabilities.  The second thing I'll say is there is a lot of truth in what B_Rad first posted.  Let your subconscious targeting computer take over.  It does a much better job than you can consciously.  That's what B means when he says trust youreslf.

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On 5/19/2020 at 9:39 PM, rowdyb said:

What I'm hearing is:

-find classifier matches due to my schedule

-practice more classifier skills specifically 

-realize the increased focus there is not a real boon to stage shooting

 

I say either stop worrying about it and just shoot, letting the chips fall where they may, or go all in on seeking out classifier matches and practice the hell out of your classifier skills.  With one match a month, Cha-Lee has it... stars you can't control also need to align (weather, time, classifier, HHF, some luck, etc) and so you need to decide how much of that you want to put up with.

 

 

 

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On 5/19/2020 at 11:01 PM, tkane said:

I was a little different than most. Mine came on accident. 

Crazy busy at work and I was barely able to do anything gun related for several months. 

Made it to a local (that we've shot together in your AR living days) and we ended up jumping a squad so we were in a hurry to shoot the classifier so we could jump back and not slow them down. 

It was Merle's Standards which is all the things I'm really weak at. Didn't even think about it just wanted to get done and move on, ended up with 100% and getting bumped to GM.

Long way of saying my advice is to just shoot your game and let the numbers fall where they do.

I knew you could do it!

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10 hours ago, shred said:

 

I say either stop worrying about it and just shoot, letting the chips fall where they may, or go all in on seeking out classifier matches and practice the hell out of your classifier skills.  With one match a month, Cha-Lee has it... stars you can't control also need to align (weather, time, classifier, HHF, some luck, etc) and so you need to decide how much of that you want to put up with.

 

 

You know me in real life. If I lived where I could shoot 4 classifiers a month it would be soooo much different. I'm just going to rededicate myself to my skills and cross my fingers.

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On 5/21/2020 at 6:44 AM, echotango said:

It just happened. Never practiced classifiers. 

Yea same for me in 30 years at this sport I probably have less than 5 hours total of dry fire, no routine practice might do 100 rounds of drills if I am on a range to adjust a Zero or do some chrono work 2-3 times a year... I just shoot 6-8 matches every month

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