Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Skill like a GM; Confidence like a B-Class


Reds_Dot
 Share

Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, Reds_Dot said:

Honestly POV videos aren't very good for the shooter either. I know they are popular but aside from the FPS crowd they don't help self evaluation and they are indeed annoying to watch. 

 

I had a few different guys hold my phone to video the stages. Good guys. 

 

Hopefully you got something useful out of the crazy long commentary of the match. 

I can relate to your commentary,

It was like I was at the match.

I am looking out of my window at 10" of snow and 18 degrees so your video let me escape my boredom

for awhile.

Nice splits.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, dmshozer1 said:

I can relate to your commentary,

It was like I was at the match.

I am looking out of my window at 10" of snow and 18 degrees so your video let me escape my boredom

for awhile.

Nice splits.

 

 

Awesome. Glad to hear it.

 

Yikes. I stay away from the frozen hinterlands. I'm shooting two matches this weekend. :)

 

Thanks. My one superpower is splitting fast.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

SO, to catch everyone up: In December I had a severe calf-pull during a match. That sorta side-lined me for more than a month. In the meantime I shot a couple of "for-fun" matches as I hobbled around.

 

Video:

Dec 2020 Alpha Mike USPSA

 

With movement limited I decided to focus on improving my fundamentals consistency at speed in dryfire. It's an odd training conundrum. I need to push speed but I need to NOT slow down to fix issues and gain more consistency. I think I have improved my reliable re-load to like 1.1 secs. I can really push it to like 0.85 secs but that is a 3/5 success-rate. I worked on my draw and transitions in much the same way. It was interesting, occasionally frustrating, but fairly effective. I really doubled down on the concept of "seeing faster" on transitions and always having a prepped trigger to break shots as soon as I could see a decent flash of dot where I wanted to hit. Felt good in dryfire but how well it would work in live fire is another thing. So, I put that to the test at a ProAm Style falling steel match. The results were mixed. I found that I could definitely move the gun faster than I could react to the dot passing over the target. Unfortunately, I was focused on shooting the match and not taking video. So, no video of that.

 

Funny enough I spoke to Bclass4lyfe a few weeks later and he provided me training concept that may help progress what I was trying to accomplish with the fast acquisition technique I was trying at the falling steel match. I am still training/testing this and I have seen some bright spots where my transitions are much faster between targets and I am getting good hits on targets.

 

"The Travesty" occurred at this time. Apparently this forum doesn't want it discussed so I will leave it at that. 

At this point I have recovered from my calf-pull and I have shot two more USPSA matches. Both matches I tried that fast acquisition/transition concept and found a personal flaw that occurs normally during draws/reloads: I hesitate. I know 99% of you will tell me I am over confirming my sight-picture but it's not that. It's like there is some form of mental block that makes me hesitate when I do something administrative (drawing/reloading/and now transitioning) quickly. It's like my brain locks-up. I don't know how else to describe it. Part of my brain is SCREAMING for me to shoot, while the part of my brain that controls motor function says, "Hang on a sec..." It's bizarre and when I am focused on just doing the administrative thing fast and shooting immediately afterwards I can remove that block with extreme mental effort and shoot at the cost of motor function precision. In plain English: If I concentrate to the point of almost having a headache and force myself to shoot immediately (on a draw/after a reload/on a fast transition) I can do it but at the cost of not being completely in control of my hands so accuracy becomes a game of chance. Don't know if anyone else knows about or experienced this but I am open to input here.

 

Here are the two USPSA Matches I shot:

 

January 2021 CAPS Club USPSA
 

February 2021 Temple Gun Club USPSA

 

I am in a bit of a holding pattern right now as I am taking a small class (6 people) with Travis Tomasie next week. I am hoping to get a mixture of mechanical shooting advice and mental technique to reach my 2021 goals. I will report back after the class and I should have some video as well. Consider yourselves caught up. :)
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Reds_Dot said:

If I concentrate to the point of almost having a headache and force myself to shoot immediately (on a draw/after a reload/on a fast transition) I can do it but at the cost of not being completely in control of my hands so accuracy becomes a game of chance. Don't know if anyone else knows about or experienced this but I am open to input here.

To tie it together to your racing background, having that speed is similar to cornering on a track while using a slip angle. Too slow and you lose time, too fast and you end up burning more time, and there's that golden spot in the middle. Both games have similarities where there's a lot of repetitive actions - minus some changes with opponents on the track vs your one shot at glory on a shooting course. None of us are robots, and therefore we know we won't have perfect execution all the time. So how are you going to make things comfortable for yourself?

 

For me, I have to visualize that reload at speed, and think about being slightly uncomfortable with the pace I need. Being relaxed with the slight urgency to get there and making it a habit, but not being high strung (had this reaction not long ago). If I need to, use an extra tenth of a second to confirm the dot is on the A zone instead of predicting that everything will be correct.

 

Try plotting out what your success rate is in dryfire for those reloads and what you're thinking at that moment to have that note to see what you can modify.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TheChewycookie said:

To tie it together to your racing background, having that speed is similar to cornering on a track while using a slip angle. Too slow and you lose time, too fast and you end up burning more time, and there's that golden spot in the middle. Both games have similarities where there's a lot of repetitive actions - minus some changes with opponents on the track vs your one shot at glory on a shooting course. None of us are robots, and therefore we know we won't have perfect execution all the time. So how are you going to make things comfortable for yourself?

 

For me, I have to visualize that reload at speed, and think about being slightly uncomfortable with the pace I need. Being relaxed with the slight urgency to get there and making it a habit, but not being high strung (had this reaction not long ago). If I need to, use an extra tenth of a second to confirm the dot is on the A zone instead of predicting that everything will be correct.

 

Try plotting out what your success rate is in dryfire for those reloads and what you're thinking at that moment to have that note to see what you can modify.

 

I appreciate what you are saying and that is good general advice. However, it demonstrates my poor attempt at communicating what is happening in live-fire that I am referencing focusing to the point of causing a headache. 

I am physically unable to pull the trigger on the gun at speed after fast administrative actions in live-fire. My mind is sending the signal to pull the trigger and nothing happens. If I focus very hard on the action of pulling the trigger in this instance I can do it at the speed I want after the administrative process but the muscles in my arms/shoulders get a bit loose and difficult to control at a finite level (aiming the gun) So, if I force the neurological function to pull the trigger happen I can do it at the desired speed at the cost of the fine muscle control of my arms in that moment and a tension headache afterwards. 

 

Edited by Reds_Dot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 2/11/2021 at 4:03 PM, TheChewycookie said:

It may have to be a question you ask Travis on how to get over that kind of mental roadblock. Have fun in that class!

 

Thanks. Well class was scheduled the same week as the ice storm so that didn't happen. I did, however, get to talk to Travis over video chat. He is such a good dude. He did provide some insight. Basically I am generating A LOT of tension which is impeding my ability to actually pull the trigger. Frankly I was completely unaware of how much. Travis gave me some advice to start with a "relaxed face". I have started integrating that into my dryfire. Purposefully relaxing my face makes me recognize how much tension there is in my whole body which is impeding my ability to pull the trigger quickly and creates hesitations on my part. It seems crazy but in dryfire the hesitation is gone and when I focus on that it goes away in live fire. I am not doing it subconsciously at matches and in live fire yet. That will take time but, I have the time to contribute. 

 

The class has been rescheduled to April 17-18 so there will be a report after that. 

Since my call with Travis and the bit of work I have been doing I have felt and increased general confidence. That has allowed me to push a bit harder at matches. It's not resulting in the best scores but I have noticed my stage times have improved drastically. A large part of this is Cclass4lyfe's advice on pushing while seeing what's happening. So, thanks for that! 

 

I shot the River City Shootout this last weekend. I had two goals. 1) Beat Tyler on one stage. 2) Get as close to Tyler on overall match time as I can. I did beat Tyler on a stage and I got within 10 seconds of his overall match time. 4 seconds of that differential were on a stage that I tried a wacky stage plan that cost me a bunch of time and going to war with a piece of steel. So, 8 stages and basically less than a second per stage in differential makes me feel good about where all of my training is taking me. I did manage 7 mikes and a NS as well which didn't help my final score but I still ended up 2nd in CO. All but one of those penalties I saw. I am reviewing the video to better understand what happened on the one mike I didn't call.

 

Genuinely I am happy with how I am making progress in my mental game. Relaxing, while still going fast and I am genuinely having more fun at matches than I have in the past. 

 

Here is the River City Shootout vid:

River City Shootout 2021: The Floppy Hat Returns!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Managed to get my butt out to another match in River City. Had a good time made some mistakes for the sake of learning. 

 

I decided to shoot this match "uncomfortably" fast. Not quite the same level of fast Cclass4lyfe would do but fast enought that my brain is telling me that it can't quite get comfortable confirmation on targets. This lead to missed steel and funky stage adaptations. This wasn't without purpose. Part of this was to test how fast I can go and still "get away with it" as well as teaching my eyes what to look for at higher speeds. I have been doing that in practice but there is still a mindset shift in practice versus a match. So, it makes sense to try and push this during a match.

 

My old HS band director had a term for this, "More than you like." Stand taller, engage your core, use your diaphragm to pull in more air, etc... All 'more than you like'. This is with the intention that when the performance comes your "relaxed" state is taller, you are more stable, you are sustaining through the whole musical phrase. Shooting is much the same as band in many ways. 

 

So I spent the match going faster than I like. Calling mikes and finding myself set up in hasty positions that made taking stable shots difficult. Each one was a data point and useful. To top it all off I had a good overall time. I might have even had a good time while I was at it. 😉

 

Here is the video: 

 

BTW: if You ever find yourself in the area on a match weekend go shoot River City Shooter's Club in San Antonio. They put on stellar matches that are like 6 stages of something you would see at a major. Good challenges. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

So a whole month later and I am back with some amazing personal revelations, great conversations, a fun match, and some goofy go fast knowledge. 

 

First and foremost I had tasty frozen custard with Tony (Cclass4lyfe) about a month ago. We talked a bunch about personal philosophy regarding mindset. First and foremost (and regardless of golfing goals) if you ever get the chance to talk to him do it. Let him challenge your pre-conceived notions and be open to it. You may have a few "ah hahs" along the way. It was WAY more than a few ah has for me and I feel like I owe the guy money for the time spent talking. Regarding our conversation Tony pointed out that I had been needlessly holding myself back on "going fast" with a backwards notion that I hadn't trained myself to "see that fast yet". News flash: you never will unless you go that fast. As I had said at the outset of this one of my primary enemies is my own ego. It was rearing it's ugly head again. I couldn't let go of "winning" the local matches for the sake of getting better overall. (More on this later) The other topic covered was the idea of confidence and how it affects performance. In my mind confidence could improve performance but that should somehow be measurable (more Alphas; faster stage times; looking cooler; etc). That isn't quite the way to look at it. The confidence is the willingness to perform and risk failure and learn, and mean REALLY learn from whatever went sideways. That is what confidence has done and will do for me. Needless to say, it was a great conversation and very tasty frozen custard. 

 

I also went to Dragon's Cup in Odessa, TX. I had a very cool experience. I got in late the night before the match and I couldn't recon stages ahead of time. So, I basically got the 4-5min walkthrough for each stage to build a plan and start visualizing it. I chose to shoot the match at a pace that was "comfortable". I never felt like I was rushing shots or "throwing hopers" as Steve Anderson would describe it. It was a base comfortable pace. I shot, as near as makes no difference, the same % of Max Michel Jr. as I did at USPSA Nationals back in October. So, I haven't lost a step. I just really haven't gained one either. That's also 100% okay. I wanted Dragon's Cup to be base line for my skill level to work from anyway. The match did a fantastic job of that. Also: I had a HUGE amount of fun. #TeamSandman

 

 

Right after Dragon's Cup I had the distinct pleasure of training with Travis Tomasie over two days in a small class setting. Travis is an amazing human being along with being a great shooter and a fantastic teacher. We covered a ton of topics. Everyone in the class came away with both technical and mental "ah-ha" moments. I continued to add to my understanding of the mental game and had a couple of good pick-ups on movement for stages. One of my take aways was getting a way to recognize that ego I mentioned earlier and squash it quickly. To recognize that not winning a local is irrelevant to my goal of performing well at Nationals. It turns out there is a personification of that ego in a person that I HATE losing to at locals. I made him the face of my ego and not when I feel that doubt or fear of losing creeping in I tell that personification of my ego to "shut up". It's a funny but effective way to recognize then easily put my ego in check. 

 

I cannot praise Travis enough. If you are a student of the game and want to learn from from the same, set-up a call or even better a class with Travis. No, I haven't been compensated to say that. That is my honest opinion. Speaking of my opinion I got Travis to sit down with me and do an interview where he talks a bit about his love of the game and his approach to teaching.

 

 

 

I got a slot to the CO/PCC Nationals so that is officially on the calendar. As of this writing: 167 days to go. That is 167 opportunities to get just that little bit better. I'm excited.

Edited by Reds_Dot
Missed a paragraph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Another month has gone by and some more interesting things to cover.

 

First I'll cover the "fun stuff". I have shot a few matches in full velocitization/speed mode. It has been going very well. I'm picking up time and getting through stages as fast as the fastest guys (GM Open Shooters and other GM CO shooters) just with a few, expected, penalties. I am seeing the mistakes for the most part. Every once in a while I'll have a delta or mike that makes me go "huh?" That is a rare occurrence though. I shot a local match with nothing but speed in mind. I had one stage that I got distracted prior to shooting so I didn't get the visualization I wanted. Aside from that I just pushed like hell the whole match. It felt good. I managed to win the match. Which is nuts. Here is the video of that:

 

 

 

Speaking of velocitization I wanted to tell the tale of my inner speed demon. I call it, "How I stopped worrying and learned to love going fast." tl;dr At the end

 

As I mentioned in a previous post when I took the class with Ben Stoeger one of the positive take-aways was go fast. It was a lesson I both learned and didn't learn. I started going faster but I never willingly just dropped the hammer at a match and I would even hold back in practice because "I shoot minor so I have to get As." In my head there was that cartoon Angel versus Demon going on. Angel telling me to "get good hits" and the Demon screaming for me to "go faster!" They were often at odds and I tended to side with the Angel. I spent literal YEARS ignoring it, fighting with it. All along in the back of my head I could hear that voice say, "GO faster! Why are you taking so long?!" My inner speed demon was telling me something and I was telling it to shut the hell up. 

Once I started learning about "The House of Speed" from Cclass4lyfe (Tony) he showed me that I CAN go so much faster. It was eye-opening. As I mentioned in the previous post I was still holding myself back on speed. For the last month, I have been listening to the speed demon. I have just gone faster. I haven't heard that speed demon telling me to go faster once because I have just been going fast.

 

My observations at speed have been interesting. 90%+ of the time my first shot is an A. The second shot is typically low and if I am transitioning or moving the shot is left or right in the same direction of travel. I rarely split slower than 0.20s on most targets. I have gotten better at seeing the second shots and they are starting to tighten-up. My grip has improved and I can keep the stock G17 shooting flat. Which is also awesome. I am going to continue to keep my foot on the gas as it were and see where it takes me. I am well on my way to reaching my goals for the 2021 USPSA Nationals. 

tl;dr: Go fast and learn how to manage speed.  

Edited by Reds_Dot
Movie/Book reference
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

SO another month and another update. (I owe you all match vids they are in the can; I just haven't done final edits)

 

A ton of velocitization this month. Just melting faces with speed. It has induced more than it's fair share of mistakes. Which is good. I'm starting to learn how to quickly navigate a stage. My A-D and C-M hits are becoming A-C / C-D hits. I can see what is happening and know when wild shots happen and it's been fun the split 0.15s at 15 yard partials.😁 I'm gonna break down some interesting info regarding tension and efficiency and talk about my next steps. I am also having some doubt and wrestling with nerves over my goals for the 2021. As always there will be a tl;dr at the end. I expect to have some match videos out soon'ish and I will post them here once that is done.

 

I am getting lower (physically; bent knees and engaged core) and finding a better way to control my mass (I'm 6'1" and 260lbs). It's helped. Moving faster also shows me where I am being inefficient (more on that a bit later) because I almost wobble past or over-run positions. Once I see that it makes the next run better.

 

I'm still trying to integrate "strong-side" entries to make them the norm for stopping movement and starting shooting. I have been using "trailing-foot" entries so this is a change-up. Honestly I think if I get good at both I won't have to worry as much about how I get to the shooting position quite as much because I will get my hips and shoulders turned towards the target and I can just focus on setting a vector of fire with my feet and setting up for my first shots on target as I enter the position. 

 

I have been finding myself breaking my grip much less. I will bring the gun into my body at like chest level for 1-6 steps or so. Much more than that I tend to break my grip. This happens with very little conscious thought. Oddly it "feels" slow but my stage times and transitional splits say otherwise. It's interesting that this evolution is happening naturally from velocitization. It's forcing me to be more efficient.

 

The big lesson (the forest instead of just the trees) is that by speeding up inefficiencies are magnified. I don't bleed enough momentum into a position and now versus just being a bit unstable on my feet (at a slower pace) I stumble out of the shooting area entirely. That poorly planted foot isn't just an adjustment to exit a position now it's a lost 1.25s on a stage because I didn't set myself up to shoot on the way out of the position. Etc.... Going fast reveals deficiencies not only in your shooting technique (I think most practical shooters know that) but also highlights inefficiency in how you negotiate a stage. It's not just moving on a stage but how you plan to shoot the stage and how/when you choose to manipulate your gun. It's no good to be able to move through a stage at high speed and you can't get the gun up fast enough to capitalize on that. That sort of thing. 

 

The part of going fast that most people miss is the need to *relax* to go fast. It seems counterintuitive. This goes to both relaxed in body and relaxed in mindset. I use a mental gauge when I shoot. Was that easy or hard? This applies to running drills, mock stages, or actual stages. If it was easy odds are it was very fast (for me) and I had few inefficiencies. If it felt hard then there was probably at least two notable inefficiencies or one large one. Tension (the opposite of relaxed) is usually the primary source of the inefficiency. Again both physical and mental tension lead to issues. This is a tad bit esoteric when it comes to the mental side but I will use a two-step reload as an example for both physical and mental tension. So let's say you are working a short movement drill where you are taking two steps laterally and need to reload. You have a par-time shot-to-shot you are trying to accomplish. There are a bunch of moving parts to consider. For the sake of simplicity (and speed) we aren't going to worry about the hits and just look at the split from one position to the next. Now we are really focused on two things: Moving over quickly and getting the reload done fast. I'm going to assume that moving two steps laterally isn't a problem so we are now down to just the reload. Here are the potential issues that can arise and how one is physical tension the other is mental tension:

  • Physical Tension: In order to facilitate a fast reload you need to get that new mag off your belt in a hurry. If you try to "muscle down" to the magazine in a hurry then you create antagonistic muscle tension which actually works against the muscles (and gravity) that will actually accelerate your hand to the mag pouch. That tension slows down your reload and can even impede you from getting a consistent seating of the reload as well. So, net effect is that you can't make that reload happen before you take your two steps and you don't make par. You need to relax your pecs, traps and tricep to get to the mag fast. Your deltoids and lats are doing the work and they aren't doing that much. They are just assisting gravity. If you relax those muscles your had will get to that mag pouch faster. By removing the inefficiency of the antagonistic muscles you gained speed and used less energy to do it. That is the effect of physical tension and how physically relaxing is actually faster.
  • Mental Tension: Same scenario. Now you have been working on this drill and you still can't quite make the par time you've set. In your head you think something like, "I always flub this reload." Once you start the drill mentally (maybe even physically) you 'flinch' hoping it goes okay but believing you're not gonna make the par and you flub the reload. That mental 'flinch' is the mental tension. You aren't allowing yourself to perform the task. You are actually interrupting the process worrying about something that hasn't happened yet. (I know I am getting into Brian Enos territory here but this seems like the right place to do it... 😉 ) It's like flinching on recoil. It's not a problem anymore for you right? You know the gun is going off and you know what to expect. You relax and don't flinch. Same goes for that reload under the par time you set. Know that the reload is going to happen. Relax mentally and just LET it happen. You'll see that mentally you almost 'move through' the whole process. You don't 'flinch' mentally the whole drill just happens. When you get to that place mentally you will pick up a ton of speed.

I am wrestling with my goals mentally this year. Looking at the at the stats top 25 in CO may be a tall feat. There are 268 CO shooters. 66 Ms and 36-GMs. I am one of those 66 Ms. My goal of top 25 would require me to beat at least 11 GMs plus however many Ms that are underrated and shooting at a GM level. I can think of three off the top of my head. Paring with this is the fact I have been slowly sliding back on my classification percentage I am feeling like I am somehow going backwards. Just before Nationals I was at 94.4%. Once decent classifier away from GM. Since then I have slid back to 89.5%.

 

At this point it's not likely that I will make GM before 2022. SO while I have been doing good work and making good progress (even though it doesn't feel like it). It isn't enough. I am on track to fail both of my goals which has me doubting my ability to perform when it counts. Mental tension. Since I know the skill ceiling is actually relatively stable at the top I think I am going to shift goals. I am just going to stop chasing classifiers. It's a mini game that I keep loosing and it's hurting me to keep trying. I will target mid 80s for my match percentage at Nationals. 83%+ Will be a success. That would have gained me a top 25 in last years CO Nats. Plus it will be based off a similar skill ceiling so that will be a true measurement of improvement. The mental game isn't just visualizing stage plans. 

 

That is a pretty epic update and a wall of text. I doubt anyone is actually reading this stuff at this point but it's helpful to me so that is all that matters. More videos to watch coming soon.

 

tl;dr: Going fast teaches you about efficiency. You should relax to go fast. Setting goals is part of the mental game.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I face similar numbers of M and GM in Prod. A few things have helped, making incremental goals as far as overall year to year.  Top 50, then top 40, then top 30. Next year is finish in the 20s overall. While having an overall goal it has helped me focus on myself, knowing that it is what I do that will get me there. 

 

Secondly one or two years I shot 5 to 6 of the area matches. Doing this i got to know the major players across the whole US in my division. This allowed me to demystify the names and manage my fear of them and their abilities. This also then freed me of those thoughts and let me focus on myself and nothing else.

 

If you get a handle on everything in your brain you'll probably get what you want. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Reds_Dot said:

At this point it's not likely that I will make GM before 2022. SO while I have been doing good work and making good progress (even though it doesn't feel like it). It isn't enough. I am on track to fail both of my goals which has me doubting my ability to perform when it counts. Mental tension. Since I know the skill ceiling is actually relatively stable at the top I think I am going to shift goals.

Glad to see that you still want to chase after it, even if it means putting it off for later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

As stated by Lanny, Steve and others, the higher the classification level, the more important is the mental aspect of shooting. Also important is the HF math. GM's are also always very consistent in their shooting.

Edited by StefVanHauwe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, rowdyb said:

If you get a handle on everything in your brain you'll probably get what you want. 

 

As The Bard said, "...ay, there's the rub." That is a big part of my journey. I found a good coach and mentor in this journey with Travis Tomasie. I also have a great group of guys I train with. Not just on shooting but in the mental game. We talk mindset and philosophy as much as we talk about position entries. So, I am getting better control of where my head is at. There is always more room for improvement.

 

15 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

I am.  Very much so.

 

Thanks for putting yourself out there.

 

Good to know. I know I'm not the only one going through this stuff so I'm hoping this can be helpful to others.

 

14 hours ago, GrumpyOne said:

 

I like this. Thank you for sharing. This is also a great example of something that is simple, but not easy. Worth working on.

 

11 hours ago, TheChewycookie said:

Glad to see that you still want to chase after it, even if it means putting it off for later.

 

Yeah, in the end while I'm not interested in a National Championship I know that I am good enough to be a legit GM. I'll just have to go check that box later.

 

6 hours ago, StefVanHauwe said:

As stated by Lanny, Steve and others, the higher the classification level, the more important is the mental aspect of shooting. Also important is the HF math. GM's are also always very consistent in their shooting.

 

That is the primary focus of this range diary. While I am working on my technique I am working on my mindset and mental game more. For me, it's not just some switch I can flip. However like any skill the more I practice it the better I get at it. I have made some big strides in my self-reflection and kicking my ego out of the way to make room for learning and development. I have to keep working at it. 90% of my improvement in the last 18 months has been mental game. My technical skill has only improved a bit. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

August, a rough month. 

tl;dr I have lost confidence and it shows in my stages then I get frustrated and then angry. I am working on some things but I am having doubts about having any real ability to shoot any major matches this year. 

 

 

So the mission changed this month. I went from velocitization to seeing a clean sight picture and getting high points percentages again. The object was to do this without losing any significant speed. So far, I have failed miserably at that task. I am shooting tense. As previously deacribed when I shoot a stage it doesn't feel easy. It feels hard. I am fighting myself for every shot taken. My failures to get the desired hits make me doubt my ability which makes me slow down and still I miss. This is the first time in 4 months I have had that nagging voice in my head telling me I am, "Going to slow. Go faster!!!"

 

It's that lack of confidence. It's being perpetuated by external life events which I will not go into here. It has me down. I get frustrated by my lack of performance because I KNOW I am capable of doing the things I want to do but for some reason I mess it up every time. When I do I get pissed off. Anger is a typical response for most males when stressed or frustrated. This is a typical response. My outbursts aren't. I am cussing. Throwing magazines all over the bay. I had to stop myself at one point from throwing my gun over the berm after a stage. This, sadly, is an old familiar pattern. It's one that almost had me quit the sport entirely in 2017. I have become the guy no one wants to squad with. I hate being that guy. I wish it was easy to just shut off the emotional response to this but as much as I try, it's still there. 

 

My goals for 2021 are basically out the window. I can't make GM by year's end (mathematically impossible), and I'm not gonna be top 25 in CO at USPSA Nationals with 25 GMs and 30 Ms registered. So what is the point? I will just be another no-name also-ran. This makes me feel angry just thinking about it. I'm angry at myself for not doing enough. For not practicing better, harder or more often. My body is breaking down on me and I am getting older. Unlike some folks with "good genes" that stay "young and fit" I have the opposite. So my chance at any real match performance is almost gone. I will just start to slowly get worse every year. This is basically it. I will never be better than I am now and I am fumbling the ball. So, I am frustrated amd angry at myself. This is a huge pile of self-doubt to deal with and a simple, "Just cheer up," from people makes me even more angry. 

 

I don't know the answer to this. I am trying some things for my mindset with my trainer and trying to talk to friends but I am in the early stages and I know stuff like this doesn't get better overnight. I have very little hope for any performance at Nationals which is 45 days from now and even less time to Area 4 and North Texas Open. I want to quit it all but I have hotels and Vrbos booked. I have carpools arranged and obligations made. Quitting would mean letting other people down. I refuse to let my failings as a person hurt others. So, I will shoot these majors and suffer the huliation of poor performance. 

 

In order to minimize the questions and humiliation I am killing off my social media. No more match videos. No more vlogs. No more Instagram. No more obligation to random people on the internet to try and "make a difference". At this point I am leaving this up only because I can't seem to delete the thread and I figured I would leave some written explanation as to why I left social media. Perhaps if someone I shoot woth reads this they will at least understand why I suddenly started sucking when I showed a glimmer of promise before it all came tumbling down. 

 

Maybe I will figure this out next year and I will learn to just enjoy the sport while my skills slowly fade. Maybe It will just be time for me to hang it up and stop shooting all together. I don't know. For now, all I have are questions and doubts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I think is happening is similar to my short "burnouts" throughout this year's shooting season. Your anger is stemming from not performing to what you wanted/what you know you're capable of. The mental change I was making would sometimes take several weeks to take place before I was performing where I knew I could. The moment I knew I was performing to my ability was more like a sudden "click" in the brain at moments of peak capability. At that point I just had to visualize what was needed to perform at max capacity. Perhaps taking a break away for a week to refresh is the answer. You can only want so much from yourself for a long period of time before your brain shuts itself down and you simply go through the motions.

 

-Process and mental calm, not hasty desired results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...