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JohnL's Training Journal

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I'm going to take a cue from TheChewycookie and start writing down some thoughts on matches and training up here, partly to get some feedback and partly to hold myself accountable for putting effort into thoughts on my performance. I've been shooting USPSA for probably a year and a half now, started out in limited minor and progressed to C class and at present am short of B class by a couple percentage points. I switched to CO within the last few months to change things up and to see if watching a dot would shed some light on some areas of challenge. I do believe it has helped me a bit, but there's still work to do. So - here goes...


This weekend I shot a local match and had a good time even with it being freezing and rainy. My goals for this match were a few fold -

  • Balance the aggressiveness of movement and work to pause instead of stop during the course of fire - Good
  • Work on visual patience - Needs Improvement
  • Reduce make up shots to only necessary - Needs Improvement


I'd say that I did alright with the first goal but my other two goals still need some improvement. I feel like my movement through stages and attempts at shots while pausing instead of posting up have come a long way in the last year. Not to say there is not room for improvement, but I feel much better during stages as well as when I watch video of myself than I did this time last year. A skill that I've really been working on in tandem with the movement is putting effort into walking stages and really memorizing and visualizing the stage plan to get it as close to auto pilot as I can. This time last year, I would be skipping targets because I would get confused after the beep went off - while the brain farts can definitely still happen I feel like they are far more under control now.


My visual patience is really in need of work though - I still get into the headspace of feeling like I'm running at a snails pace and trying to rush stages more often than I'd like. There's even been a few occasions where I hear the time called out at the range clear and I'm shocked. I'm still throwing far too many deltas which is really hurting my scores.


Another habit that I'm seeing take root in my runs is unnecessary make up shots. I think this can probably be solved with a combination of learning proper shot calling and work on visual patience. On more than one occasion make up shots have cost me a mike on the very last shot of a stage - I guess part of that can be attributed to not counting properly as well.




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I'm open to any constructive criticism really. I guess the best one for feedback is my first goal - some feedback on the movement, does it look decent or am I fooling myself? I know there are areas for improvement, but I feel like this is one of my strongest aspects right now. The second two goals I'm fully aware of.


I did have a thought after my initial post - my stage prep/plans are in the OK range. I had one or two blips where I had a brief hiccup during a run (Stage 3 in particular, I started to go for a reload one target early but caught myself). I think on the stage plan aspect I've gotten to where I'm not forgetting targets and such like I was a year or so ago.


One thing I struggle with is that I feeling like I'm drinking through a fire hose. I know there are a lot of things that I need to improve upon, and it's difficult to prioritize them. Apologies if I'm turning the firehose on the forum - I appreciate any feedback at all!

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8 hours ago, johnlshoots said:

I'm open to any constructive criticism really. I guess the best one for feedback is my first goal - some feedback on the movement, does it look decent or am I fooling myself?


Since you are asking for movement let's just specifically focus on body movement around the stage and positioning.

  1. Focus on staying low by keeping knees bent: keeping that body position lowered helps prevent any leaning cranes from tipping over. Had moments of bouncing up and down when slowing down between target arrays and entering a position high. Using the knees as shock absorbers will also help prevent translating that energy to your arms. Move around your house with a bottle or cup of water in both hands like you have a gun. The movement of water shows how much you are bouncing while moving.
  2. Positioning: You had a moment on stage 5 where you paused because you didn't see a target. Plan to move to a location that either will let you see everything in that array, or move in a way to see everything. That ending position maybe could have been dealt with a heavy lean to end the stage if you hadn't moved to the corner to see everything.

  3. Turn your body using your knees: You're doing the infamous tank turn at the waist. Slightly drop the opposite knee of the direction you want to turn.

  4. Have the gun up and ready for the fastest appearing target: Shoot as you enter a position or have the enough sight picture for the appropriate target. Be ready to shoot before you have a clear light of sight to the target.

Shooting on the move was very possible in this match, but let's not focus on that yet until you get this down solid.


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