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Making up your shots during practice?

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For those of you who practice the stages, do you make up your shots or only shoot one shot per steel?


I've been shooting one per steel (and adding a .5sec miss penalty to simulate my makeup shot) because it's convenient for me.  I usually shoot four stages when I practice and have enough mags that I don't have to reload between stages when I don't make up shots.


I think I might start making up my shots in practice too as I can usually only manage one or two clean runs when trying to shoot to my goal times in an actual match.


Just wondering what you guys usually do.  I read somewhere that you should only practice one per steel because this is what you are aiming for in competition, but when pushing myself I'm invariably missing and am not getting the practice of "making up the shot" during my actual practice sessions.



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I pick up the shots to practice the pickup.  It will happen in the match.  If you watch the top three, Max, KC, and BJ, they miss A LOT during the match, but are so fast picking up the shots.  Interested in what others say.

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Practice the way you run your match.  If you have misses make them up so you can learn what to do during a match.  You've got to be watching your sights and know when you hit or miss.  The more you practice the better you will get at it and you will realize when you miss and can make a fast makeup shot.

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Posted (edited)

As a rule, I generally shoot five because I'm almost always working on speed, trying to cut my time. I'm trying to prove/learn that I *can* go faster. My natural inclination is to paint a Picasso on each plate, when I only need to finger-paint. The latter is much quicker. Make-ups aren't my biggest issue, so they aren't my priority during my mid-week "work on my worst % stage" backyard trainng sessions.


On a side note, I spent an entire day in early March being evaluated, coached, and trained by Steve Foster. It was invaluable having an experienced coach figure out what I needed. My RFPO is up 8% since January,

Edited by BentAero
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This has been a recent topic of discussion within our shooting group.  One friend of mine was a commercial airline pilot for years...now retired.  His analogy is the flight simiulator.  Flight simulators are used to simulate flight issues that require quick processing and reaction....not just smooth, uneventful flights.  Our groups conclusion is that to hone our match skills we should focus on calling our shots and to shoot make-up shots during practice sessions.  It's not uncommon to hear a shooter say in frustration during a match that they don't understand why they can't score as well during a match as they do in practice.   I suppose we all can shoot faster during practice when there is no pressure or adrenline flowing.  That's one reason I prefer to practice with a fellow shooter.


I have decided for my next practice sessions, I will focus on calling my shots and picking up missed shots.  


This is my opinion.  I too am interested in what other's think about this.

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I don't see this as an either/or situation.  I do both---it depends on what I am practicing at that time.


Note:  This is how I practice, so feel free to ignore it.  :)


When I practice for SC, I normally (in one range session) only practice one stage, with MAYBE parts of a second stage (if there was something annoying me about it the last time I shot it).


I start off by shooting it like at a match---five strings, going for match scores.  (So all makeup shots, shooting at match speed.) 


Then I take a look at where I'm losing time, where I tend to have misses, and anything else I remember having difficulty with the last time I shot the stage.  This gives me specifics of parts of the stage run I need to work on whether in terms of technique, speed, or whatever.


I work on speed to first shot, the hardest transition, the most difficult 3-shot sequence, and the hardest shot on the stage.  Occasionally I work on different plate order as my skills change, to see if things could be done differently.  (For example, I currently shoot Roundabout VERY differently from when I was an C-through-A class shooter in centerfire divisions.  As my skill levels changed, certain things became easier which meant I could do a more efficient stage order to save time.)  I practice my stance, shifting my hips, and where I should center myself (on what plate).


When I'm doing THOSE things, I don't worry about makeup shots. 


Then I go back and do a couple of strings like in a match, but without any makeup shots.   Just working on getting the hits, but as fast as I can do so. 


Then I practice whatever I screwed up there.  Then I do some more "let's push the speed now that we've practiced this" runs, without makeup shots.


And lastly I go again and shoot the whole thing like I just came up to shoot the stage in a match--5 strings, makeup shots, etc, exactly like a match.


So----sometimes I do makeup shots, because calling your shots and fixing misses quickly is important.  Sometimes I don't, because I'm focusing on one particular aspect of a certain skill. 

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^^^ This!


I'm only a GM in one division, but Thomas is a GM in eleventy-three divisions, and I think his explanation is excellent. Do both. It is definitely helpful (especially for turtles like myself) to just shoot fast, and learn how to see faster while shooting significantly faster than your normal match times.  It is also very important to some full-on match-mode practice, and train your self to not just shoot fast hopers, but to call good shots at high speed.

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I really like the routine that Thomas laid out.   I do pretty much the same.   Eventually consistently is more important than just a hero stage or 2 throughout a match.


@Stixpassed along the pyramid style of training which I also like to have a more quantitative approach, especially when starting a new division or gun setup.  The Pendulum is a classic stage that this seems to help.    It identifies where you are loosing time and accuracy weaknesses.  


While originally designed for dryfire, it is applicable to live fire, just a bit of swapping on par time setup in the timer.  

    Accelerator Draw to plate one  .75 par time
    Accelerator Transition one 1.03 par time
    Accelerator Transition two 1.48 par time
    Accelerator Transition three 1.93 par time
    Accelerator Transition four ( stop plate )  2.38 par time   
Each transition is an individual drill.  For pyramid training, you need to be able to see where your weaknesses are and work to fix them. 
I do 5 repetitions for each drill.  So in Accelerator draw I do 5 repetitions to just the first plate. 
Then in Accelerator Transition 1 I do 5 repetitions to plate one and plate two,
Accelerator Transition 2 I do 5 repetitions to plates 1,2 & 3.  until I go through the entire stage. 
So in essence, you are doing 25 total repetitions for each stage. 
I only practice one to two stages a day.  Over the course of the week, you are still practicing each stage.


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