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Share your tips & tricks for USPSA/IDPA matches!

This is a discussion on Share your tips & tricks for USPSA/IDPA matches! within the Competition forums, part of the Shooting category; Raz and Mike Thanks for your input. Very new at the sport, haven't even shot in it yet (have been waiting for my gun). Looks ...

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Old November 4th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #16
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Raz and Mike

Thanks for your input. Very new at the sport, haven't even shot in it yet (have been waiting for my gun). Looks great fun and challenging.

Some great expert insights and starting pointers. Thanks
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Old November 4th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #17
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I've had a busy year and my shooting suffered, but I decided to get my head back in the game. I'm not near my peak by any stretch going back to basics helps. The first thing you can experiment with is "the trick of day", pick a facet of your shooting (lets say your grip or your sight picture or maybe your movement) and FOCUS on it for a whole match maybe experimenting with a new technique, ignoring everything else. Not only does that allow you to improve on that facet, it takes pressure of the rest of the things you do and allows them to just flow, better then you might expect. Its wiered but it works.

The second thing I've been doing the last couple of matches has been to shoot each stage with the same goal in mind: Get your hits, don't rush the shooting. Shoot slow do everything else fast. its been working out well.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 03:52 AM   #18
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Common IPSC Mistakes

Here are some tips and thoughts that may help to maximize your performance on the range. Some of the subjects I have put into my own words as a way for me to better understand them.

Mistake: Running the Gun Dry

Solution: Plan and do a reload, and stick to the plan.

Mistake: Bad Attitude

Solution: Keep a positive attitude at the range.

Mistake: Mental Breakdowns

Solution: Shoot in the present tense with absence of judgment.

Mistake: Reliving Past Mistakes

Solution: Avoid discussing and conversations of mistakes with others.

Mistake: Thinking About Speed

Solution: Think about Alphas immediately prior to shooting- work on your natural speed in practice.

Mistake: Negativity and/or Uncertainty Before a Stage

Solution: Hold a positive mindset about the stage at the time of “load and make ready”.

Mistake: Planning a Stage Around Personal Preferences

Solution: Score the most points in the least amount of time.

Mistake: Ammo Too Close to Power Factor

Solution: Load to 8-10 points over, and leave it alone.

Mistake: Unknown Zero

Solution: Be aware of your gun and ammo’s zero and its effects on various distances.

Mistake: Changing Your Shooting Plan

Solution: Have a well memorized stage plan “burned” into you subconscious.

Mistake: Rushing

Solution: Avoid rushing by not listening to other shooter’s times until after you shoot.

Mistake: Listening or Waiting for Steel to Fall

Solution: Call your shot and trust your vision.

Mistake: Waiting to Leave an Area

Solution: Shoot the last shot(s) as you are moving to the next array.

Mistake: Shooting Late

Solution: Enter position, setup and shoot simulta

Mistake: Not Warming Up

Solution: Dry Fire warm up in the safe area.

Mistake: Double Tapping

Solution: See an acceptable sight picture for every shot.

Mistake: Slow Transitions

Solution: Snap your vision to the next target in its memorized location, confirm an acceptable sight picture and fire immediately.

Mistake: Drawing and Reloading Without Moving

Solution: Look at the stage as a “moving” problem instead of a “shooting” problem- get moving as soon as possible to the first and subsequent arrays on every stage.

Mistake: Hero or Zero Stage Plans

Solution: Make stage plans based on what you know you can achieve.

Mistake: The Culture of Speed

Solution: Shoot Alphas at your natural speed- shoot your match.

Mistake: Stage Obsession Before the Match

Solution: Check for unusual challenges and practice them.

Mistake: Becoming Distracted From the Shooting

Solution: Just think about Alphas on targets.

Mistake: Trying to Buy Improvement

Solution: Have a gun with good sights and trigger- have a gun that is capable of hitting a mini popper at 25 yards- If you have that, practice more.

Mistake: Not Owning a Timer

Solution: Knowing your capabilities is a key asset.

Mistake: Poor Physical Fitness

Solutions: * Eliminate or reduce alcohol consumption

* Reduce carbohydrates and sugar

* Portion Control

* Exercise

* View food as a fuel instead of fun

Mistake: Unnatural and/or Overly Aggressive Stance

Solution: Keep a natural and relaxed shooting position as much as possible- from the start and throughout the stage.

Mistake: Fear of No-shoot and Hardcover Targets

Solution: Take the time it takes to make a precise shot- don’t think about the NS or HC, just shoot the “A”.

Mistake: Fear of Swinger Targets

Solution: Shoot at the apex of the movement- just before it changes direction- practice whenever possible.

Mistake: Not Visualizing Stages

Solution: Establish your plan- memorizing as much detail as possible and then play it in you mind like a movie several times.

Mistake: Trying to Win Stages

Solution: Forget about match placement and shoot Alphas at your natural speed.

Mistake: Analyzing Interim Results

Solution: Eliminate the desire to see or hear about them- that way they cannot bring conscious thought into future shooting.

Mistake: Trying Too Hard

Solution: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Resist this urge, practice accordingly and you won’t need to try at all.

Mistake: Allowing the Weather to Affect Your Shooting

Solution: Prepare accordingly and keep a positive attitude in the face of adversity. Continue a scheduled practice day despite bad weather.

Mistake: Lack of Visual Patience

Solution: Develop this in practice by allowing the timer to tell you when to start and do not let it control you pace. If there is not enough time for an acceptable sight picture, when will you have time for a make up shot?! “A gun in the hands of a great shooter fires itself when an acceptable sight picture is present.”

Mistake: Consciously Controlling Speed

Solution: Desire to shoot alphas and embrace “visual patience”. Let the timer worry about speed.

Mistake: Holding the Gun Low

Solution: Keep the gun high within your field of vision during movement. Also determine if it is best to keep both hands on the gun or to break you grip with the offhand for momentum. 10+ yards seems appropriate. Find out what is best for you.

Mistake: Not Picking a Spot for the Set-up

Solution: During your walkthrough stand in each position you will shoot from and then find some way of being able to locate that when you get there during your match run. Memorize where every target is and the best way to get to each of them.

Mistake: Obeying Fault Lines While Not Shooting

Solution: You can do anything you want outside them except shoot. Circumventing them while moving or reloading can gain quite an advantage.

Mistake: “Sweet Spot” Stage Plans

Solution: When considering this strategy, think about the risks vs. rewards carefully. They are most useful towards the end of the stage, when it is the last position and least likely to be overrun. Remember: movement costs time- eliminating movement may be the appropriate decision. Confidence in your ability to shoot long range accurately and quickly is key.

Mistake: Waiting for Movers to Activate

Solution: Time movers with a stopwatch whenever possible to maximize you time to shoot other targets available and not feel rushed to return to the mover. Shoot the activator as soon as possible when entering the target array.

Mistake: Poor Clothing and Footwear Choices

Solution: Make appropriate choices for the weather and range conditions. Be prepared. Remember that we do many things resembling sports where competitors’ use cleats. Good rubber type cleats can mean the difference between a sure footed run and a falling down disaster!

Mistake: Blindly Embracing a Technique

Solution: Just remember that the goal is to score as many points in the least amount of time with your VISION controlling everything. Keep things simple. Work on shooting whenever you have an acceptable sight picture. Sometimes it is better to spend less time worrying which foot should be where and just shoot!

Mistake: Not Shooting Your Own Game

Solution: Practice is the time to push your limits and to try other peoples’ techniques, not a match. Always shoot within your abilities during a match.

Mistake: Grandbagging and Sandbagging

Solution: Shoot classifiers like any other stage. Shoot Alphas at your natural speed. Resist the temptation to burn it down like some superhero. Remember, self-respect is the governing body, avoid practicing or re-shooting them frivolously.

Mistake: Major Match Mindset

Solution: Avoid the extra stigma attached to the bigger matches. Just shoot the Alphas at your natural speed and leave the worry of the scores to the stats people. Any other mindset is counterproductive. When the conscious mind receives the simple task of just shooting “A’s”, it responds very well and uses all of the subconscious skills to deliver the requested result.

Mistake: Lack of Self Analysis

Solutions: Take the time for honest self-analysis. Then turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Examples: * What are your strengths and weaknesses as a shooter?

* What can I do to improve my weaknesses?

* What skills require conscious thought to execute and with are truly subconscious?

* What types of shooting tests to I fear?

* Is my training program yielding satisfactory results?

* Am I willing to do the work required to see real improvement?

* What is the payback to me if I improve my technique?

* When am I going to begin?!


PRINCIPLES of PERFORMANCE: Refinement and Repetition 2

By Steve Anderson
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:09 AM   #19
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This has turned out to be an excellent thread.

Thanks guys!
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #20
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Rocket35 & Nemo

Fine post! Real fine. Full of all sorts of great tips. I've got some studying to do! :twisted:
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Old November 5th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #21
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How about a "sticky" on this one?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 07:11 AM   #22
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Thanks- I need to reread them too! I have been making some of these mistakes recently and need to "reprogram"! I do alot of research into this sort of thing and typed this up sometime ago as a guide for me to reread on occasion and a friend once asked me what he should be focusing on for USPSA is a compilation of several resources actually. From everyone like: Brian Enos, Steve Anderson, Matt Burkett, Sam Conway, Max Michel and Saul Kirsch. These guys are innovators in the way of modern day pistolcraft!
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Old November 5th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by coltman1985
How about a "sticky" on this one?
Good idea.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #24
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A big "+1" to shooting your own game at your own pace.

About five years ago, my wife shot the Carolina Cup (or it may have been the NC IDPA Championship back then) with me. Our squad consisted of Dave Sevigny, Scott Warren, Ernest Langdon, Rob Haught, Dave Harrington, my wife, and me. We thought we were helping her out by letting her go last on each stage.

Well, my then-novice wife, who could hit a 3x5 card at 15yd without breaking a sweat, subconsciously picked up on all these Master-class shooters' cadences. So when the buzzer went off she blazed away every bit as fast as the rest of the squad. She just missed most of the targets.

Ever since, her plan at matches has been to shoot everything clean, no points down. She does exceptionally well against peers at her skill level even though she's operating at a sedate pace.

Along the same lines, beware "monkey see, monkey do." Just because other shooters are using a particular technique or strategy doesn't mean it's the best one, and certainly not the best one for you. You'll see that most folks tend to follow the example of the first shooter unless he screws up.

As an example, at IDPA Nationals this year they had a very quick one-shot stage. You stood behind a curtain and when the curtain was pulled open, you had a hostage shot you had to take with just one round loaded in your gun. Start position was gun in hand, muzzle at a 45-degree angle. The first half of my squad shot the stage with their pistols help at a 45-degree angle in outstretched arms; they just levered their arms up into the sight line and fired the shot. Halfway through it was my turn and I held my gun in a close quarters retention position with the muzzle pointed almost straight down, arms bent, not even a full grip on the gun. Well, my time was about a third of a second faster than the previous shooters had been averaging. So guess what the last half of the squad did? Started with their guns held close in and pointed almost straight down.

I then went on to crash and burn so severely on my last stage that the entire match became purely a social event for me. Seventeen seconds worth of penalties in a three target, five shot course of fire. Now that takes some serious skill.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 11:40 AM   #25
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wow...I love this stuff!! Here mine and it kind of applies to a beginner/new shooter but you fast guys will know what I'm talking about.

Calling my shot was a BIG milestone for me. I read about it and thought I knew what it meant but in reality I wasn't doing it. I would dryfire and get the mechanics of draw, reloads and movement down pretty good but my shooting never really got that much better until I learned what calling my shot really meant. Once you experience it for the first time its a lightbulb coming on moment. My dryfire practice became much more productive (it was like shooting without ammo as I knew exactly where the bullet would have gone when I pulled the trigger). I could push the envelope in dryfire and just KNOW when I was going too fast and not getting good hits.

There is so much to work on but I would say calling your shot quickly is one of those foundational things based on vision that other skills will be based on. If your not calling your shot you are shooting in the dark.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #26
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Us northern folk are getting ready for a new season of shooting sports

Any more tips or tricks out there?

Dry fire, dry fire, dry fire...
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Old June 17th, 2008, 10:41 PM   #27
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Many times shooters in IDPA don't look at the target they are going to shoot after the Standby is given. When the buzzer goes off, they have to acquire the target and get their sights on it. Eats up time.

When I hear the Standby, I fix my eyes on the exact spot I want to hit with the first shot.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #28
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Im feeling a little teacher-ish today.

-reinforce the "unacceptability" of any hit other than an "A"(ipsc) or a "0"(idpa).

-During practice, make it a goal to hit only those highest scoring rings during a practice session.

-Always leave a practice session on a good positive note.

-Ask yourself what your biggest weaknesses are. Practice those skills, not the ones youre good at. Save those skills for the end of the practice session so you do leave on a good note.

-Even on an indoor range, where you might be charged hourly rates, take some time on the line and put down your pistol. Reflect and think about your grip, your stance, your vision, your performance.

-When making goals, make skill related goals; not necessarily performance and event related goals. If you reach the goals of improving your skills set, those performance (shoot 80% of HOA) and event (win your class) goals will follow.

-If you are inconsistent with your skills (draws, your indexing, getting your support hand properly placed, etc) first slow down and see if its speed thats messing you up, before you go and try and fine new faddish grips and stances. -this is one of the biggest things beginners get screwed up with.

-The only place youll get lucky is in practice.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 06:41 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ToddG' post='75636' date='Nov 5 2007, 01:45 PM
A big "+1" to shooting your own game at your own pace.

I shot my first IDPA club match last week and I have to say it was more fun than a barrel of naked, greased monkeys. I'm hooked. This was why I bought my M&P in the first place.

The big takeaway for me was that the moment I started thinking about speed, everything went south.

The one thought I had in my head when I shot the first stage was "don't think about going fast...just hit the target."

Result: Very few deductions. Yes, my raw time was slower than a lot of the guys, but I beat a fair number of them anyway because they were "spraying and praying."

Later on I got caught up in things and forgot that simple directive.

Result: Much worse scores. Still slower than a lot of the guys (it was my first match, after all) AND I got a lot of time added for missing the mark.

Slow is fast.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by adouglas' post='153414' date='Jul 18 2008, 10:41 AM
Slow is fast.


Slow is not fast. Slow is slow.

Now, slow might be better than fast under some circumstances for some people. And "fast" is a relative term depending on skill, target, distance, conditions, movement, etc.

Slow > too fast. But fast > slow for things like IDPA/IPSC.

Learning the difference between "fast" and "too fast" is a critical part of one's shooting education.
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