I'm really getting tired of "learning things" at these matches. Why can't I just shoot well and be done with it? And the problem is that I "learn things" that I already know. But more often than not one has to truly learn something the hard way.
Like this: never go to the line to shoot if you have any questions about the stage or the stage props. Never let anyone rush you into shooting the stage. I knew that. But I went to the line as the first shooter on Stage #6 on Saturday assuming things about the stage that turned out to be wrong. Opening the door at the beginning of the stage activated 3 targets—one swinger on the right, one swinger on the left, and a left-to-right moving target a little further down range. When the SO demonstrated it all I was not in a position to see the timing of the activated targets. I should of asked for another demonstration. I didn't. I went to the line unprepared. At the start signal I pulled open the door, stepped inside the door frame with my gun drawn and pointed at where the first swinger should appear. Nothing happened. I lowered my gun and turned to the SO with the words "prop failure" on the tip of my tongue. Then I heard the swinger activate, almost 5 seconds after I pulled the door open. I was screwed.
If I would have known that the first swinger was delayed, I could have engaged one or two targets before it even appeared. As it turned out, I missed both swingers. There was just no time to turn and engage them after I had lowered my pistol.
But I am a lucky man. That stage was thrown out of the match as an illegal stage for other reasons. But I have a lesson burned into me now. I'm not likely to ever make that mistake again.
As for the rest of the match, well, I did okay, but I'm at the place in my shooting where I have a difficult time being happy with just shooting okay. If I don't excel and burn up a stage, I'm disappointed. I made at least 3 pretty dumb mistakes in the match that cost me Division Champion. I was 2nd in SSP Division, 1st in Master Class, and 4th overall (128 shooters). But I know that I could have done much better, at least 15 points better.
One excuse is the weather and the wait. I arrived at the range at 7 AM, but we sat around until after 10 AM before we were able to shoot. It was raining cats and dogs. By 10 AM I was ready to crawl back in bed after sitting for 3 hours. I know that had some affect on my shooting. Even so, we shot the first 3 stages in the rain. My head wasn't clear. But that's no excuse. I need to be ready to shoot no matter what the weather or the circumstances. I can't always have sunny skies and 70 degrees.
No pictures or videos of me this time. For the records, here is the matchbook with the 12 stages. The results are here. And here is Ken's analysis.