Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ARPC IDPA October 13 Match Review

This past Saturday we had our monthly IDPA match at Arnold.  I was the match director this month, so  I planned the stages and whatnot.  The first time I did this earlier this year I shot horribly.  I was too preoccupied with making sure everything was going well during the match.  I didn't stick with a squad to shoot, but I just dipped into each stage, shot, and left. That's a recipe for a poor performance.  I normally need more time to mentally prepare and run through my plan a number of times in my head before I actually shoot.  This month I stuck with a squad for the whole match and only walked around to check on things when I finished shooting a stage.

Even though I did well relative to everyone else, I was not really happy with my shooting on most stages.  My reloads were slow. I had at least two episodes where my gun did not chamber a round when I reloaded.  That happened on my first stage.  As I said in an earlier post, I believe I'm causing this either by 1) hitting the slide release with my strong hand thumb during the reload, or 2) just jarring the gun so hard when I put the mag in the mag well that the slide releases before the magazine is fully seated.  Either way, I need to work on that.  So I won 4 out of the 6 stages, but I didn't feel great about any of them except stages 5, 6, and 7.

The "Zombie Apocalypse" stage was fun.  It was closer to a USPSA stage because no cover was required (zombies don't have guns) and there were a ton of targets that required you have a plan in your head before you started shooting.  I had a smoking time, but missed two head shots.  Sigh.

I need to work on my reloads.  Not just because of the problem I described above, but also I've noticed that I've slowed down.  A 2 second reload is too slow.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mastering the Mental Game

I shot the USPSA Open match at Sparta, IL, this Saturday (Sept. 29).  Here's a short video of a few stages.



Now for a little match review.  I'll start with the bad and end with the good.  Stage #5 was the first stage I shot.  And I was the first shooter.  I ran the gun dry shooting the steel because I missed one shot.  That shouldn't have mattered too much. But when I reloaded I must have accidentally thumbed the slide release so that it slid forward before the magazine was fully seated.  A round did not chamber.  That's why the gun didn't go bang when I pulled the trigger.  There went two seconds or more.  Sigh.  But worse than that, I let it get to me and got mad, pulling the trigger way too fast on that last array.  These were easy 10-yard shots.  But I hit a non-shoot and racked up 20 penalty points.  I've got to control myself after a simple glitch like this and not let it affect my shooting on the rest of the stage.  Fortunately, I had no other "gun problems" the rest of the match.

Besides this miss on the first stage of the day, I had two other mikes.  Both of them happened on the last target in an array.  I'm pulling the gun away to reload and move on too quickly. I need to follow through on that last shot.

Not counting the three stages where I had mikes, I had some pretty good runs on most stages.  I tried to run through my plan at least a dozen times in my head before I shot.  But when I shoot first in the squad I have a harder time keeping to my plan.  I shot first on two stages (because our squad only had six guys in it) and made mental errors on both.  The worst mental mistake was bringing up a new mag to the gun after only firing 4 shots.  I just tossed the new mag and kept shooting. But it cost me 3 seconds or so.

I was much more comfortable shooting this match than I was at the Illinois Sectional.  This could be because I was squadded with 2 Grand Master Production shooters at the Sectional.  In addition, the Sectional was my first major USPSA match. Until then I had only shot 6-stage club matches.  So much of USPSA shooting is about smart shooting.  I believe my mental game is getting better.  That's good news.

The results can be found here.  The combined results here.