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Skill like a GM; Confidence like a B-Class


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58 minutes ago, TheChewycookie said:

Define this bracket. If I guessing, you may be using a similar method to Tim Herron's "anchoring the rear sight"

I did. Read my March 2nd post. 


I have been told this before but seeing as I haven't said more than about 20 words to Tim Herron let alone taken his class I have no clue if that is true or not. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Well I jumped into my first major match shooting Limited Major. It was literally my third ever match shooting the G22 in competition. THe Texas State Open Championship seemed like the best place to find any bugs and work them out. It turned out to be a "bad" result and GREAT match for me. 


The bad: My first stage of the match was stage 6. I shot it pretty well. I left a mike on a tux target but it was pretty quick and the rest of the hits were good. So, not the best stage ever but FAR from a match killer. However, one of the other guys on the squad prematurely pasted a target. So, re-shoot. On the reshoot it all went pear-shaped. I edge-hit an activator and I called a good hit so I left the position. by the time I got to the third position where I was supposed to take the swinger it wasn't moving. I thought it was a range-prop malfunction. The RO didn't stop me and I was confused. Then I saw it. The popper was standing with a hit on the left edge of the scoring zone at the 9 o'clock. So much time had passed I just shrugged and called for calibration. Which, of course, I lost. So I got a mike on steel then three more 2M FTSAs for the swinger and two remaining targets. So 7 mikes and three penalties later I had a zero'd stage. That was all of the "bad" for the match. In the match video I included the first run that went pretty well. 


After that started my day the rest of it was awesome. I wasn't perfect and I had a more than a few places I can work on but that is a good thing. This match did a great job revealing those issues so now I can go work on them and get better:


  • I'm still hesitating on fast draws and "blind" transitions (transitions and entries past opaque objects like barrels and solid walls).
  • My entries into lateral and backwards moving positions need work. I lost a bunch of time on footwork alone.
  • The last thing I need to work on is sight "confidence" with steel. I only seemed to miss steel that I was worried about and when I was anxious about the steel I over-confirmed my shots like crazy. Meanwhile in the same match I center punch an activator mini-popper on the move at 15 yards without thinking about it. 

That being said so much good stuff happened. I was fast on my splits. I routinely had tight groups and good hits on 0.15-0.17 splits in match shooting major PF. My grip was solid the whole day. I forgot I was shooting major ammo at all. My hits were INCREDIBLE. I shot 91% of points INCLUDING the zero'd stage. My A:C ratio was 200:38 which is way better than the 3:1 ratio I was looking for. That means I can pick up a bit more time on target engagements as well. I finished 5th out of 38 Limited shooters in the match. I actually had two stage wins for the day. One was on an unloaded table start (I guess all those unloaded starts at locals helped? 🤣) and the other was the mega win: Stage 7. 


Stage 7 was the very next stage after I zero'd stage 6. It had 15-20 yard mini poppers and a 15 yards tux swinger. I went 1 for 1 on steel and grabbed 2A on the tux swinger and won the stage. It was awesome. Such a huge mental win for me. I was able to be a bit mad at the last stage then just carry on with the next. I have struggled with that for a long time and to be able to do that at a major match was such vindication. 


So, all-in-all it was a great experience hanging with friends, seeing folks I haven't seen in a while, and sending some rounds downrange. I have Dragon's Cup in a few weeks then Michigan Sectional after that. I don't expect to have any drastic improvements to my shooting for those matches but the only measure of my performance will be at Area 4. Until then it's all practice and and fun experience. 


Here is the match video: 



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Just finished reading through this and really appreciate all the insight you provide into the process and mental struggles of progressing in this sport. It's refreshing to see an honest perspective on it instead of just sugarcoated instagram stories, and I'm glad to see you're enjoying yourself again now. I'm definitely not at a point where I can offer you any advice, but something I heard came to mind as I was reading. I hope it can provide you some measure of peace, as it has for me.



Our memories and expectations are what make us unhappy, and the present rarely does. The thing that affects us is the expectation that something is going to be different from what we want it to be, or the memory that something was different from what we wanted it to be. Today, in which we are, for the most part it's okay, and we're sitting here, right here, right now. We can choose how we feel.


I'm new to shooting, but I think this applies as much here as in any other activity. Of course it's natural to feel disappointment, frustration, etc. after a poor performance or result. I get angry because I have done better or I know I could do better, or maybe because I think others expected better of me. It's hard (or maybe even impossible) to just let go of those feelings immediately. We're humans, not robots. It's easy for someone to say "just let it go" but it isn't as easy as pressing a button to actually do that. What has helped me is acknowledging that those feelings are due to my own expectations for myself. Once it's done it's done, and I'm still at the range/race track/whatever doing what I enjoy, with people that I enjoy doing it with. There is no button I can push to make those feelings go away, but I can choose to focus on why I am really there. When the answer changes from having fun to achieving some specific performance I think it's time to put some serious thought into my future with the activity.

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3 hours ago, crg said:

When the answer changes from having fun to achieving some specific performance I think it's time to put some serious thought into my future with the activity.


The fix for that, IME, is to focus on the process of shooting rather than on the resulting performance.


That's how I retain the joy even when things go wrong.



Edited by Johnny_Chimpo
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well, I crawled back into an old mental pattern this weekend and it was due to a couple of things. I caught part of it and @CClassForLife poked me and pointed out the other behavior. 


This is a mindset / emotional state post so if you're here for other stuff skip to the bottom for a fun match video. 


The pattern is a negative self-image and negative emotional state which is tied to expectations of performance and failing to meet those expectations.


So, I found myself getting upset and being on a negative spiral on a stage that was prompted by going to battle with a popper that had a gangster lean to it. I had an expectation (note the "expectation" versus just a plan) that I should perform the stage in a certain way. Clearly, that didn't happen. Because of that this negative attitude and poor self-image that I am trying to re-wire popped back up. It all came down to the expectation (goal or outcome based target) of performance. I managed to vent and get over myself but me venting is another problem which I will get to later.


The negative self talk was an issue. While it helps to calm me down to vent the negative emotions I feel; it doesn't take my mind away from that negative space. That is an issue that on self reflection was problematic as well. I need to bring my mental state back to a more neutral position. This is actually equally applicable when a stage goes well. It's great to feel good but emotional states much past neutral in either direction can cause issues with performance by distracting your process to perform. So, @CClassForLife gave me an idea which I will *attempt* to employ at Dragon's Cup this coming weekend. Wait until you see the outcome to evaluate performance. See BOTH the positives and negatives. In that stage that I went to war with the popper at the end I proceeded to hit a mini-popper activator, swing 150° shoot a double stack of targets then swing back 180° to a swinger on its first pass out and put A/C on that. All of that and I was upset and focused on the popper at the end. So, it wasn't a bad stage and I did a whole lot right.


I'm not gonna suddenly change how I do things but I can work to change them NOW.


I have a real chance at Dragon's Cup to have a good time and work on that part of my game. I am certainly going to stage plan. I am certainly going to try my best. I am going to change what defines "success" is to seeing the result of my stage in it's entirety. Nothing about good or bad. Just recognize the result and evaluate it. I'm sure that emotions will come into play but the goal minimize them.


That leads me to my next issue and the point that was explained to me in a way that took some serious self-reflection to internalize and accept. No one is perfect but some are better than others when it comes to interpersonal interactions. I'm not a s#!tty guy but I have a temper which can flare (at myself; I've NEVER gone off on another person, EVER) and a negative side which doesn't leave people with the best impression of me as a person. So, I want to improve that. That means recognizing my behavior from another's perspective and acting accordingly. Assuming I can accomplish a more neutral (not assigning emotional response; easier said than done) evaluation of the stage then I can also be conscious of how others are seeing how I act then respond accordingly. i.e. No mag yeets; no negative venting. Neutral to positive interactions with the squad and ROs.


in the end; I want to enjoy the experience (Dragon's Cup is shaping up to be a blast) and remember the even for the fun I had. I think this stuff can help with that. 


Okay, you've made it this far through my gobbledygook. Here is a fun match video with me learning how to use an FPV camera. 




Edited by Reds_Dot
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  • 1 month later...

Wow, I am behind my monthly schedule. 🤣

Well kinda of going back to my old format of post: tl;dr is at the end just before the videos. 


Dragon's Cup: Having fun and feeling the heat

So, I had a goal of "Having Fun" at Dragon's Cup. I did but after the long day the heat got to me. So I will address each on it's own part. 


Having Fun: That was accomplished in spades. I had a great time and a fun squad. I got to spend time talking to two of the local Limited Guys that are the real heat in TX for Limited. That was helpful and they are fund folks to chat with. I was able to laugh, trade stories, and catch up with old friends. It was great. I also made major powerfactor, which was a concern at the time. All-in-all it was a good social event. I also shot terribly.


I'm not going to go back and look at the exact stats but I pretty much had a penalty (mike, NS, foot fault, etc) on every stage. I wasn't focused on the shooting and I wasn't really seeing a clear sight picture the whole day.  Some would attribute that to the heat but I am used to heat and I did a great job hydrating the whole day. I will address other heat-related issues later down. I wasn't upset at my performance at the match and it didn't dull my mood at all. I knew the sight picture thing was happening and my stage visualizations were basically nonexistent as I was more focused on video'ing other shooters on the squad and jack-jawing with folks. So, all-in-all I did what I wanted. I had a fun low pressure match. 


The Heat: As for the heat that was a slightly different story. In my 20's I lived in Las Vegas and I was used to working outside on cars all day. 115f temps? No Problem. I, however, am not in my 20s anymore. I was doing okay with the heat until about the 10th stage of the day. At that point it just hit and all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and shower. There is a difference between dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. I was in the very early stages of heat exhaustion. That can happen even if you are hydrated. I was not alone. A couple of the guys on my squad were in the same boat. There is now a general consensus that we are gonna shoot Dragon's Cup on a two-day squad amongst us. To help minimize the heat related stress. 


Michigan Sectional: Good friends, temp acclimation, and a way forward


Good Friends: So the whole reason behind going to the MI Sectional was to shoot a match with my good friend Alex "Manny" Mansfield of Manny Talks Shooting. Along with the great pair of Tony and Jackie Salis of the Laugh-n-Load podcast. They brought along some folks from the Chicagoland area who were all awesome and such good folks. I got to meet a fellow friend of the Manny Talks Shooting show Joey from Wisconsin. The whole squad was amazing. Good people. Tons of fun and good shooters. Manny and I did a review of the match if you want to watch that I will put the vid below the match videos. I definitely made some new shooting friends and got to hang with some known ones. 


Temperature Acclimation: Since I talked about the heat I will talk about relative heat. It was interesting to see everyone exhausted and even making comments about how humid/warm it was during the match. To be perfectly honest, it didn't phase me at all. I still had two or three stages worth of energy left. I felt great. That time in the Texas heat paid off. 


A Way Forward: This match, despite my score, went VERY well for me. I was able to visualize the stages well and see my sights on targets clearly at speed. I executed all of my stage plans how I visualized them. It was exactly what I wanted to accomplish. The advantage of doing all of that is that the mistakes or shortcomings I had were all related to things I needed to train. The match is an excellent starting point for my training focus for the next few months.


  • I have one primary deficiency and that is getting an acceptable sight picture on tougher targets. Visual patience, acceptable sight picture, experience, whatever you want to call it I need to work on getting that good sight picture without slowing down. That means speed mode training. Which has me excited since I enjoy speed mode shooting.
  • More shooting on the move as I have found myself being much more positional on stages and standing still on intermediate targets I SHOULD be moving on.
  • The other thing I will need to work is my agility on stages. I have set-up time with a personal trainer to help me get my weight down, get me back to lifting weights (I enjoy that) and help me improve my agility. I'm not going to be 100% improved in three months but I should be making progress in that area. 

So, all in all it's been good and I am looking forward to shooting and training. 


tl;dr: I had fun at Dragon's Cup. My match performance suffered a bit. Being hot sucks. MI Sectional was a fun time with friends. I did well and now a have a good training plan going forward.


Dragon's Cup 2.0 Vid:



Michigan Sectional Championship 2022:



Me and Manny talking about the MI Sectional Match:


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You seem a bit more upbeat as of late. I'm loving it and looking forward to how much more you will progress. 

Fun is the real reason we do this, right?

It's good to remind ourselves of this sometimes. 

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14 hours ago, Iamdat said:

You seem a bit more upbeat as of late. I'm loving it and looking forward to how much more you will progress. 

Fun is the real reason we do this, right?

It's good to remind ourselves of this sometimes. 

It's been better. The change of pace has been nice. I am happy rolling in Limited so far. 


It's also been good to focus on the other reason I enjoy the crap outta the sport: the friends. 


I'm 100% sure speed mode is gonna bring out the giggles too. I enjoy it so much. It's like setting myself free and it does a great job magnifying smaller issues that need to be fixed. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/20/2022 at 9:44 AM, Reds_Dot said:

Yeah, that has been the truth that my head has recognized but I still wrestle with my ego over it. In the end, I am in this for me. 


As far as the frustration of shooting poorly I don't think that will ever go away. You and I care too much about our performance to not have a reaction to a bad day.


I’ll tell you that I respect the hell out of someone who does it for themselves with grace more than someone with just shooting skills. 

It shows life success and balance more than someone who can just do stuff but leave a burning crater of destruction around themselves. 




On 3/10/2022 at 10:08 AM, Reds_Dot said:

The CZ TSO has an inherent issue that the slide is narrower that the frame. Thus, the unloaded starts are difficult since I can't just reach over the top (like I am used to with a Glock; this is important later). I went to a local gunsmith and had a slide-racker installed.

I think you made the right choice with the Glock. 

For me, I solved the TSO issue by putting grip tape on the front of the slide so I could rack in my traditional way. 

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