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bbbean

The GAS factor

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Several years ago, I was helping a buddy haul a bunch of heavy gear up a steep set of stairs at the end of a long day, and I was giving him some grief over having on mis-matched socks. Without turning around, he growled "Bear, my give a stuff (may not be an exact quote) factor is real low today. I just want to get this stuff upstairs." Since then, I've found the "give a s%$* factor" to be a pretty useful concept.

This fall, I was excited to be going to the Nats, with two sectionals to follow in the next month. I geared myself up, practiced fundamentals, obsessed on gear and ammo, and visualized like nobody's business. When I got on the plane to go to Vegas, I thought I had my head screwed on right, and figured if I treated the Nats as a learning opportunity, I would walk into the two sectionals with the strong possibility of a class win, and a great performance.

Unfortunately, I DQ'ed on day one of the Nats (no need to review the details now). Suffice it to say that this was a major blow to ego and confidence - mainly confidence. I tiptoed carefully through the MO Sectional a few weeks later, and while I held my own, one blown stage (missed a mandatory reload) and constant 2nd guessing kept me from performing anywhere near my potential.

Even more unfortunately, I decided I'd really push at the TN sectional, and make up for MO and Vegas. You can guess how well that worked. My gun developed a hiccup early in the match, and I had a FTF on 8 of 10 stages. That wasn't the problem - the problem was that I let the equipment problems completely rattle me, and I shot the match like a nervous newbie with no problem solving skills. I blew by targets, fumbled reloads, and just generally stunk up the joint. I successfully took a minor equipment problem and turned it into a major mental problem.

Now we get to the point of the post. After TN, My GAS factor was low. I shot just long enough to figure out what the equipment problem was (something I could have easily fixed at the match if I'd just thought about it), and went to the next local match more to get out of the office than to shoot. My GAS level was zero - I shoot the match without much more effort than a typical practice session. I just didn't care.

Brought home my first HOA.

Two weeks later, I go to another local match with the same attitude, and shoot the best classifier I've ever shot - BY 15%. Finish in the middle of a bunch of shooters who are usually 15+% ahead of me. Have to find my score by looking from the top down instead of the usual bottom up.

I'm thinking maybe I'll try to keep my GAS level low and not try so hard. Maybe if I quit trying altogether, I can really do something in this sport!

Edited by bbbean

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I like your post. My worst stage at almost any club match is the classifier. I often times shoot the side match fairly well. I am too emotionally invested in the outcome of the classifier, but just shoot the side match for fun. I have more misses on classifiers, than I do in the rest of the match. The more GAS factor I have, the faster I try and go. I guess I need to let off the GAS.............

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Several years ago, I was helping a buddy haul a bunch of heavy gear up a steep set of stairs at the end of a long day, and I was giving him some grief over having on mis-matched socks. Without turning around, he growled "Bear, my give a stuff (may not be an exact quote) factor is real low today. I just want to get this stuff upstairs." Since then, I've found the "give a s%$* factor" to be a pretty useful concept.

This fall, I was excited to be going to the Nats, with two sectionals to follow in the next month. I geared myself up, practiced fundamentals, obsessed on gear and ammo, and visualized like nobody's business. When I got on the plane to go to Vegas, I thought I had my head screwed on right, and figured if I treated the Nats as a learning opportunity, I would walk into the two sectionals with the strong possibility of a class win, and a great performance.

Unfortunately, I DQ'ed on day one of the Nats (no need to review the details now). Suffice it to say that this was a major blow to ego and confidence - mainly confidence. I tiptoed carefully through the MO Sectional a few weeks later, and while I held my own, one blown stage (missed a mandatory reload) and constant 2nd guessing kept me from performing anywhere near my potential.

Even more unfortunately, I decided I'd really push at the TN sectional, and make up for MO and Vegas. You can guess how well that worked. My gun developed a hiccup early in the match, and I had a FTF on 8 of 10 stages. That wasn't the problem - the problem was that I let the equipment problems completely rattle me, and I shot the match like a nervous newbie with no problem solving skills. I blew by targets, fumbled reloads, and just generally stunk up the joint. I successfully took a minor equipment problem and turned it into a major mental problem.

Now we get to the point of the post. After TN, My GAS factor was low. I shot just long enough to figure out what the equipment problem was (something I could have easily fixed at the match if I'd just thought about it), and went to the next local match more to get out of the office than to shoot. My GAS level was zero - I shoot the match without much more effort than a typical practice session. I just didn't care.

Brought home my first HOA.

Two weeks later, I go to another local match with the same attitude, and shoot the best classifier I've ever shot - BY 15%. Finish in the middle of a bunch of shooters who are usually 15+% ahead of me. Have to find my score by looking from the top down instead of the usual bottom up.

I'm thinking maybe I'll try to keep my GAS level low and not try so hard. Maybe if I quit trying altogether, I can really do something in this sport!

The last line said it all, you were trying too hard. I don't buy the idea of having a zero GAS level. If you have practiced at all you know what you are capable of and that is what you should be taking to a match. At worst throttle back a little but the fact that you shot good when you think you didn't care is just a fluke. What you did was let the ability you have take care of what you are calling not caring. There is not a shooter out there that doesn't care how they finish, if they say they don't it is BS.

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A quote from Todd Bender in the December issue of Skeet Shooting.... "As screwy as it sounds, not trying to win a competition is the best way to win one." Todd Bender is the 2009 World Skeet Champion.

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Todd Bender is also one of Lanny Bassham's Mental Management coaches. He managed to shoot 649 of 650 which included all 4 gauges. That's a 99.846% of actual shots fired not a percentage of match points.

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I realized that I shoot better when I take things in stride. It is not that I don't care, but that when something goes wrong it does not stress me or weigh on my mind. I am able to enjoy the match and do my best that day.

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I think that your beans are giving you gas...

Ouch.

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I have found that when I try too hard, ie. really ramp up for a particular stage or match, i usually screw it up really incredibly bad...the flipside to this, is that on several occasions ive just shot with that 'GAS' attitude and have done really well, this weekend, hadnt shot w/ this particular club in 9 months, went out, in the rain/mud etc...and finished 2nd overall...

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I use a oil with a very spesiffic smell. I conditioned myself to believe that when I smell that smell I will preform at my best. The moment I step on the line and draw at LAMR I first smell the gun. The moment the smell of the G96 hitts me I am in my "happy place" and at peak preformance. I never try and go faster, I just go at my speed.

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I can really learn from this. Often I know I am ready to do well :rolleyes: . SO I think to myself <_< , if I push just a little bit I can do very well. I think you know where this is going .... :wacko:

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Maybe if I quit trying altogether, I can really do something in this sport!

I love these types of posts!

Yes, it's amazing and even startling what you can do when you're not trying to do anything at all.

Less is more.

be

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Brian,

What you are saying is go into the zone and let muscle memory do it for you, correct? shut the world out and let your training take over,,,,,

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Shut the world out and let your training take over,,,,,

Also leave behind every sort of fear or expectation.

be

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