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.

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