Friday, September 19, 2014

Practice, Failure, Improvement

Any discussion of competition would be incomplete without some discussion of practice. Of course, being poor, most of my practice consists of putting on my pistol belt and doing 15-30 minutes of dry practice on nights when I have time. Every couple of weekends though, I can sneak off to the range for a few hours, and that's what I'll focus on today.

I completed (and won) my first 3-gun event on September 13. I had never really practiced any sort of tactical shooting with my shotgun. The above video was a practice stage that James put together so I could get some practice with my scattergun. You can see that things sort of fell apart during the reload. James, master of the scattergun, diagnosed my technique and largely fixed it. I went home and practiced doing it the right way.

This video is Stage 4 at the Eddyville 3-gun match. I made a ton of mistakes, but made good hits, and best of all, my shotgun reload was nice and smooth.

Good training doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate. All you need to get tier-0 operational operator training is: 1) a shot timer, 2) a friend who is better than you , 3) a range, 4) a willingness to learn and change the way you operationally operate.

Don't get discouraged if you fail at a drill, fumble a reload, or leave some steel up during practice. That's the point of practice. If you aren't making any mistakes, you're either Jerry Miculek, or you aren't pushing your failure point. See how fast you can go, make mistakes, shake it off, and complete the stage. Learning to roll with mistakes will also give you a competitive edge. 

Doing just a little live fire and a lot of dry fire will go a long way toward pushing your name up the list at your competition of choice. It will also increase your chances of winning an actual shooting match.

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