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How To: Use of Hit Factor in Your Stage Plan


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1 minute ago, CHA-LEE said:

Hopefully my post isn't pooping on your thread or video. What you provided is good stuff for people to think about and understand. Having more information and objective solutions to tackle issues is a good thing.

Not my thread it's the Euro guys. I just got quoted from something else I've said so I jumped in.

 

This should be THE place to hash all this out openly, for everyone's betterment. 

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20 hours ago, Eric802 said:

How do you determine what the HF "should" be for a stage?  Rowdy mentions above or below 5 being a demarcation, but how do you arrive at the HF?


This is where experience comes into play. My buddies and I try to estimate what the HF will be each time we break down a stage together. Do that for half a dozen matches, and you’ll start to get pretty decent at it. 
 

Getting your guess within +/- 1 point of HF is more than adequate when it comes to deciding a stage strategy. Precision isn’t required.

 

The KISS version? A bunch of wide open paper targets and 12ish yard poppers where you’re able to shoot nonstop from buzzer to finish is a high hit factor stage.

 

Anything which adds time into the stage where the gun isn’t spitting out .15-.20 splits brings the HF down. Unloaded starts, mags on barrels, tight noshoots, distant tiny steel, long movements without targets to engage. Etc.

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18 hours ago, HesedTech said:

Personally to me the whole idea of using hit factor as a measure of how I will shoot the stage just doesn't seem reasonable. Am I going to be sloppier with my hits in one verses the other? Of course not. 


You should be willing to be sloppier with your hits in certain situations, or you’re sometimes leaving a higher score on the table.

 

This is coming from a Minor shooter in Production, btw. In Major, eating the Charlies make even more sense.

 

When I was a frustrated B class, my very first M-class classifier was a ~10 HF stage. I shot a delta and three charlies in a 12 round stage. In minor. It was a Master class performance because it was very fast.

 

(I had shot that same classifier with all As earlier in the year roughly 1.3-1.4 seconds slower. It was good for B class.)

 

As the HF approaches 10-12, you must have a low stage time to survive. With as many points as you can gather along the way. 

 

On those rare low HF (2-4) stages? You must shoot every possible point you can get, and you have to be patient enough to do so.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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19 hours ago, rowdyb said:

The fastest person doesn't always win and the most accurate person doesn't always win. There is a continuum we fall on and knowing the hf of a stage and your particular strengths can be helpful in how you shoot a stage.

During a match this is the biggest thing many shooters disregard. During practice work on what you suck at, during a match take advantage of what you don't. 

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9 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

You should be willing to be sloppier with your hits in certain situations, or you’re sometimes leaving a higher score on the table.

 

What you are talking about isn't what I meant when I wrote this, "Am I going to be sloppier with my hits in one verses the other? Of course not."

 

We all know (maybe we all know) shooting all As isn't the fastest nor highest scoring strategy. And yes I've done it, shot all As in a stage. All the top shooters I know and follow say the same thing, "shoot what you see." Meaning a harder target takes a more focus while a close open target can be blasted. Blasting a close open target isn't being sloppy. While a hard sight focus isn't as critical it still requires an appropriate level of precision.

 

I hope this clarifies what I wrote. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/7/2021 at 5:06 PM, CHA-LEE said:

Regardless of the potential hit factor, your task is still to shoot as many points as possible in the least amount of time.

Yet there is always a tradeoff between the two and HF happens to be the exact value that quantifies this tradeoff.

 

If points are expensive (low hit factor), the tradeoff goes towards more patience and more A-s. If points are cheap (high hit factor), the tradeoff goes towards more speed and  it can even make a D or two acceptable. By "expensive" and "cheap" I mean in terms of time - the tradeoff between points and time. The rest of your post is spot on. 

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14 hours ago, IVC said:

Yet there is always a tradeoff between the two and HF happens to be the exact value that quantifies this tradeoff.

 

If points are expensive (low hit factor), the tradeoff goes towards more patience and more A-s. If points are cheap (high hit factor), the tradeoff goes towards more speed and  it can even make a D or two acceptable. By "expensive" and "cheap" I mean in terms of time - the tradeoff between points and time. The rest of your post is spot on. 

 

Using a "B Class" performance mentality, that makes sense. If you want to perform fairly decent at club matches this mentality will usually work ok.

 

At the top of this game, we are talking peak performance, the competitors winning National and World titles are not approaching the challenge in this manner. They are striving to shoot ALL of the points ALL of the time as fast as possible. They are not going into any stage with a mindset of "I can give away points on this stage because the hit factor is high". If they did, they would lose the stage because there will be another top competitor that will shoot the stage in the same time but with better points.

 

If you have to consciously decide on shooting a stage "Fast" or "Patient" because of the potential high hit factor then you are practicing wrong. Each type of stage requires a specific level of "Fast" or "Patient" deployment. When to use which needs to be hammered out in practice using empirical performance results data.

 

For all of the shooters that get mentally distracted by the potential high hit factor of a stage and let that impact their strategy I say "THANK YOU FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE DONATION". I am not going to allow that meaningless mental gymnastics derail or degrade my performance. I am going to execute the stage run as needed and whatever the hit factor ends up being, so be it. If that performance isn't good enough to provide a solid result, then the solution is to practice those skills more before the next match.

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7 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

Using a "B Class" performance mentality, that makes sense. If you want to perform fairly decent at club matches this mentality will usually work ok.

 

At the top of this game, we are talking peak performance, the competitors winning National and World titles are not approaching the challenge in this manner. They are striving to shoot ALL of the points ALL of the time as fast as possible. They are not going into any stage with a mindset of "I can give away points on this stage because the hit factor is high". If they did, they would lose the stage because there will be another top competitor that will shoot the stage in the same time but with better points.

 

If you have to consciously decide on shooting a stage "Fast" or "Patient" because of the potential high hit factor then you are practicing wrong. Each type of stage requires a specific level of "Fast" or "Patient" deployment. When to use which needs to be hammered out in practice using empirical performance results data.

 

For all of the shooters that get mentally distracted by the potential high hit factor of a stage and let that impact their strategy I say "THANK YOU FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE DONATION". I am not going to allow that meaningless mental gymnastics derail or degrade my performance. I am going to execute the stage run as needed and whatever the hit factor ends up being, so be it. If that performance isn't good enough to provide a solid result, then the solution is to practice those skills more before the next match.

Everyone needs to just go back thru this thread and read what CHA-LEE is saying. 

 

No need to argue or debate. He lays it out and it's correct. 

 

No need to read anything else posted in this thread. 

 

I just saved you time, money and effort. You're welcome!

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On 4/9/2021 at 8:35 AM, CHA-LEE said:

If you have to consciously decide on shooting a stage "Fast" or "Patient" because of the potential high hit factor then you are practicing wrong. Each type of stage requires a specific level of "Fast" or "Patient" deployment. When to use which needs to be hammered out in practice using empirical performance results data.

 

What you say in this paragraph is precisely the tradeoff between speed and accuracy.

 

The theory behind the empirical part "hammered out in practice" is the "1/HF per point lost." The practice just makes it subconscious in order to avoid the calculation in real time, but the tradeoff is still there and the theory behind it is still in the math equations. In fact, if you analyze your empirical data, you will see that it will confirm that the correct "level of Fast and Patient deployment" is exactly where the theory says it is. So, the most efficient way to train for this tradeoff is to be aware of the expected hit factor and experiment around that value to train it into the subconscious. 

 

In other words, the "level of Fast or Patient deployment" is not only per-target, where each target is analyzed on its own, but also per-stage. It's the same concept, just with a broader context of "target difficulty and expected stage HF" vs. just "target difficulty." The calculation in this broader context is slightly different and provably optimal. Is it going to make me personally a better shooter? No. Is it going to help my scores? Only if I execute it correctly, which brings us back to practice - to use HF in evaluation of stage one must get it into subconscious during practice. 

 

On 4/9/2021 at 8:35 AM, CHA-LEE said:

At the top of this game, we are talking peak performance, the competitors winning National and World titles are not approaching the challenge in this manner. They are striving to shoot ALL of the points ALL of the time as fast as possible. They are not going into any stage with a mindset of "I can give away points on this stage because the hit factor is high". If they did, they would lose the stage because there will be another top competitor that will shoot the stage in the same time but with better points.

The "striving to shoot all points" is the usual cop-out (and I don't mean it in disrespectful way), with "striving" being the weasel word - Any top level competitor can shoot all the points. There is nothing to strive for when they can do it. Not shooting all points is a choice

 

The proof that it's a choice is easy - here is a screen shot from the last years Nationals: 

nats.gif.aae1f8e4e5db2018e9575b72fcfb64f0.gif

 

Percentage of A-s is 77%, 75%, 70%, 79% and 72% respectively. There are quite a few D-s, in fact it's between 1.3% and 5% for the top five. 

 

Yet, the stages are a mix of paper and steel, and all these guys shot 100% A-s on steel (the few M-s are likely not steel). One doesn't go from mid 70s% accuracy to 100% by coincidence. It's by choice and by calculation. The top guys most certainly chose to leave some points on the table in exchange for time. They chose to be accurate on steel because steel is very expensive in terms of HF.

 

The same concept of "expensive" and "cheap" points exists on stages with different HF. Sure, most of the time one can ignore it since most stages have similar HF-s, but that's not relevant for the OP - the differences do exist and the calculation changes with wildly varying "expected HF-s" per stage. In fact, taking into account the expected HF on stages that are "unusual" is something that can help the top competitors way more than it can help those with "B class mentality" - tweaking the speed of shooting is a a top level skill, not something for local matches. 

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2 hours ago, IVC said:

The "striving to shoot all points" is the usual cop-out (and I don't mean it in disrespectful way), with "striving" being the weasel word - Any top level competitor can shoot all the points. There is nothing to strive for when they can do it. Not shooting all points is a choice

 

Not to be rude or argue your point, but my impression of "shooting points" does not, nor never meant shooting all As. We all know in USPSA shooting it's the "points per second,"  we are going after. If I shoot 90% of CHA-LEE that doesn't mean my raw score is 90% of his. It means I shot 90% of his stage score. At least that's my understanding.

 

Yes USPSA match scoring can seem confusing. I just want to point out how I, and I believe others, understand what it means to "shoot all the possible points."  

 

Hope this helps clarify and is also the reason some use stage HF to help them plan. Personally, in every stage, low or high HF, I attempt to maximize my HF/points for my abilities. If I plan poorly, or make an error costing time, I'm leaving points behind, even if I shoot 100% As.

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