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I plan things out before a stage, but when that beeper sounds, I'm a deer in headlights


ass1434

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I've shot IDPA a handful of times, mostly practice, one official match, and of course during my wait for the stage I study and plan out every move. Then when the buzzer sounds I fumble for magazines, hesitate on targets and ran in the wrong direction once. How the heck do I get over this hump?

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17 hours ago, ass1434 said:

I've shot IDPA a handful of times, mostly practice, one official match, and of course during my wait for the stage I study and plan out every move. Then when the buzzer sounds I fumble for magazines, hesitate on targets and ran in the wrong direction once. How the heck do I get over this hump?

 

I wouldn't expect you to have the intricacies of stage planning ironed out after one match. I think you are being too hard on yourself. 
Come back after you shoot 50 matches and let us know if you have the same problem.  

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For now keep the plan simple. No where to reload and no the direction you’re going. When you’re on deck, stop pasting, start visualizing the plan. One thing that helped me and I thought no way it would, was to tune people out and run the stage in my head with my eyes closed. You can lean and crouch. I do all that oh and I still mess it up, but I’m messing it up less now. If the stage has something special like grabbing reloads off the table try getting some dry runs in picking up mags off the table and stuffing them in the gun. 

Edited by Twilk73
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  • 2 weeks later...

planning it out is one thing, but to execute, most good shooters memorize the plan, and visualize it repeatedly in their heads. draw a mental picture of the sights (or dot) lifting off each target, imagine moving with the gun pointed in a safe direction (esp when reloading), etc.... If you can't play a movie of the stage in your head, then keep memorizing it until you can. Then once the beep sounds, just watch the sights and your memorized routine will take over and basically execute itself subconsciously. It's pretty magical the first few times it happens.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Practice stage execution and visualization in dryfire. surprised noone has mentioned this. get used to determining a plan and picking your cues and then execute the plan at home in dryfire. this helps get reps in and makes you less nervous during the real thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/11/2023 at 7:32 PM, ass1434 said:

How the heck do I get over this hump?

Check out the many good instructors and books on the subject. But first of all is you can't remember the stage plan it may be because you really aren't comfortable yet with you shooting skills, the basics. These have to be subconscious so your only focus is on the stage and its execution.

 

Steve Anderson says it this way, "learn to shoot the targets and then do everything else." or something like that.

 

1. Practice the fundamentals of shooting, dry and live, until they are ingrained in you.

2.Work on a process for stage planning.

3.Before you shoot you must be able to close eyes and visualize where every target is and how you intend to move through the stage to shoot them. Every stage is a memory stage!

4.According to Anderson, at minimum, one must mentally executed their stage plan at least 10 times (yes count them).

5.When executing the stage the conscious mind can only do one thing at a time. If you are think speed then that will become the dominant thing and therefore the plan, points and shooting will suffer. 

 

Enos calls this mental aspect the "zen" of shooting and it takes practice to make it a norm.

 

There's a good book out there explaining the scientific side (myelination/repetition), "Outliers", and for the game side, "With Winning in Mind." Lanny Bassham.

 

Watch out you might get hooked with this sport!🤪

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  • 2 months later...

This will happen in your first few matches/months/years of shooting. Get a larger number of matches under your belt first, but eventually all of this will come with 1) more subconscious stage planning and visualization, and 2) being so comfortable with your fundamentals that they also become subconscious.  For now, just get out there and have fun!

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On 8/11/2023 at 8:32 PM, ass1434 said:

I've shot IDPA a handful of times, mostly practice, one official match, and of course during my wait for the stage I study and plan out every move. Then when the buzzer sounds I fumble for magazines, hesitate on targets and ran in the wrong direction once. How the heck do I get over this hump?

I had to laugh when I saw this.  This is sssssoooooo me!!!  I make a plan and then the buzzer goes off and then I just go all Leroy Jenkins and start blasting away, not in accordance with my plan.  

 

I find that when I try to slow and calm myself down, pause and take a breath that I have more control and am able to focus more versus being a spastic clown running through the stage.  I'll admit that going all spastic at times can be fun and definitely entertaining for the onlookers but it sure doesn't help the outcome.  An old saying always comes to mind, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.  We always said that when doing CQB in the Army.

 

This is fun, great training, you get to hang out with cool people and there is no Bass Boat at stake.  Point being, don't be too hard on yourself, have fun, relax, try to get better but have fun at it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/11/2023 at 8:32 PM, ass1434 said:

I've shot IDPA a handful of times, mostly practice, one official match, and of course during my wait for the stage I study and plan out every move. Then when the buzzer sounds I fumble for magazines, hesitate on targets and ran in the wrong direction once. How the heck do I get over this hump?

 

 

At a point in time, this was me. I played the whole shooting on my head before it starts and i end up messing up shooting in real life. As time goes on, i figure out I've been beating myself too hard to it. I tend to take things slowly afterward till i gained my momentum and accuracy...

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Like others have said, practice and acclimation are the basic answers.

 

I helped myself a lot with this dry firing complex stages in my basement, and making an easier remembered plan and then walking it and rehearsing 10-20 times. After a match or two it becomes an amazing autopilot feeling. I can literally still "see" the sights lifting of of targets through my whole stage plan from my last USPSA Match in July. 

 

Anderson also says that a well executed, imperfect stage plan beats a poorly executed "perfect" stage plan every time. Execution of the plan you are confident in wins every time. 

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  • 1 month later...

Visualization is the key.
After I have my plan, I run it through my head at least nine times. When I can "see myself" shooting the stage, that's when I know I have it down. For me, my eyes have a lot to do with it too; during walkthrough I think about exactly what I want to see and where my eyes go next. Break it down into smaller sections and go section to section.

When the beep comes, that's when you can relax because your (conscious) work is done. At that point you're just a passenger, kinda watching what your body is doing...what you "programmed" it to do.

 

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Something that I've had some success with is just bull headed stubbornness. 

 

I tell myself something like "I am not going to be an idiot and forget my stage plan when the buzzer goes off" , I have to combine it with the other good suggestions mentioned previously in this thread but when I put it all together it seems like the last thing needed to make things work. 

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Positively see the outcome you desire as you do your walkthrough and prep.

Avoid negative sentiment like "I am not going to screw this up" and think more like "Smooth is Fast, and I will execute perfectly". See the positive result.

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2 hours ago, sfinney said:

Avoid negative sentiment like "I am not going to screw this up"

 

Whatever works for the individual. I am not going to screw this up works for me, I think at the most basic level it helps me focus. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Next time you shoot, when the timer goes off just stop for a second and take breath. Then go. That second you took at the start you’ll make up by not making mistakes. 
 

also helps to visualize everything. Look up memory visualization. Don’t plan just I’m going to move from here to there, but actually do it. Commit to that exact motion in warmup. Do a flown blown reload. 
 

also, reps and dry fire at home will help the most. 
 

 

We don’t rise to the occasion. We fall to the level of our training. 

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  • 2 months later...

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