Shoot until scores fall?

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Shoot until scores fall?

Post by MrBorland on 12/31/2013, 12:20 pm

Hi, folks - I recently decided I'd like to shoot some bullseye matches this year. Never shot bullseye, but have wanted to for some time (to date, I've just competed in practical pistol run-n-gun games, but bullseye's always intrigued me). I've got a MkIII with an UltraDot, and I figured that'd be fine to start with.

Anyhow, I started practicing about 6 weeks ago in mid-November and quickly found 50 yard SF would likely take the most work, so that's where I've been focusing my efforts. I started at 50 yards, but then thought I'd move up to a distance where I could consistently shoot mid-90s. Once I can, I'd move back a yard or 2 until I'm in the mid-90s again. Last 2 times I was at the range, I shot 2 strings at 40 yards & scored mid-90s. Terrific. Moved back to 42 yards and scores consistently dropped more than the extra 2 yards would cause. It dawned on me that it might not be the distance, per se, but more mental fatigue, even after only 2 measly strings.

Today, I decided I'd just shoot 2 SF strings, but shoot them at a full 50 yards. During my first string, I shot 2 shots that I knew I should've aborted, but took the shots anyway, and ended up with an 88-2x. ok, not bad. Keep my head, move on, and re-commit to taking only good shots. The next string went much better with a 96-2x. So, I stopped, thinking I ought to end with a good score. My question is whether I should've stopped, or is it better to continue until you see your scores drop? Or shoot the 2 good strings, then move onto something else?

Many thanks - 
Tom




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Re: Shoot until scores fall?

Post by sixftunda on 12/31/2013, 2:36 pm

I almost always stop on a good shot or string of shots.  If I shoot a personal best in practice, I will stop, take the target down and jot notes on the back of it.  I will write down step by step what I did to shoot that string and how I felt.  I take it home and read it over and over in order to embed in my memory the process I used.  

I have never thought of practicing slow fire from a closer distance like 40 yards.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you are doing that with a wadgun, shooting ten yards closer would probably require a elevation adjustment to get a true idea of how you are doing.

You are off to a great start!!  Hope we see you at Perry!!
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Re: Shoot until scores fall?

Post by clark2245 on 12/31/2013, 3:08 pm

Hi Tom,

If you can shoot a 96 slow fire at 50 yards you are obviously off to a good start in bullseye, at least on the shooting mechanics side.   As you have discovered the mental part of the sport is the truly difficult part to achieve and maintain for the duration of a match, which for a 2700 is much of the day.   You will need to build up the endurance, both physical and mental, to shoot a full match so I would not be in a hurry to quit after a couple of slow fire targets, even if the second one is nice.   

I see you are in North Carolina, as am I, so if you can contact me off line depending on where in the state you are located I might be able to direct you to some indoor shooting being done this time of year and people who can help you as you get started.   Starting in March we also have outdoor matches almost every weekend around the state, and I run the ones at the Durham Pistol & Rifle Club (www.dprc.org) kind of in the middle of things.    clark2245@triad.rr.com

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Re: Shoot until scores fall?

Post by CR10X on 12/31/2013, 4:33 pm

Tom:  

Clark provided some good guidance.   Most olympic shooters and other great shooters I have talked to over the years recommend continuing shooting if things are going well.  Its a matter of reinforcing good technique and processes.  When the performance falls off, evaluate whats happening (mental, physical, visual focus, etc.) and make notes for future training.  Structure your training on what falls off first (usually mental focus, vision, or just physical fatigue and increasing wobble area).  I would also recommend training at the appropriate distance, 25 or 50 yards, but if you are getting good results, then whatever works for you.  

Depending on your location I can also provide some guidance on indoor ranges that best accomodate bullseye training.  Like Clark, I also run matches in North Carolina as well.  Please see the bullseye match listing at http://www.sirwaltergunclub.com/
Matches start in March and run through October.   We have matches in Asheville on the first weekend each month, Charlotte is generally the second weekend, Clark's match in Durham (Mebane)  is 3rd Sunday, and SWGC (Creedmoor)  is fourth Saturday.  Also Mid - Carolinas Pistol club in South Carolina shoots 4th Saturday.   Also within driving distance you will find the Richmond VA club if you live in northern areas of NC, although they do not have conventional matches listed yet http://www.cavrpc.org

Cecil

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Re: Shoot until scores fall?

Post by MrBorland on 12/31/2013, 4:54 pm

Thanks for the input. Yes, it would certainly seem important to build up mental endurance. Add match jitters to the mix, and I can see how an actual match can be much different that some funzies on my own at the range.

What I'm taking from your combined inputs is to keep increasing quality mental endurance a little at a time, i.e. moving on after a personal best is fine, but only to a point. I now recall reading Bassham's suggestion to keep shooting if you're shooting well, a point Cecil made. Also sounds like it's not too early to start keeping a performance journal. 

Clark & Cecil - First off, many thanks for running your respective matches. I know it's a tough job that's little appreciated. As it turns out, I'm in Durham. RDU is a great area for practical pistol, and I've long suspected other competitive outlets as well. I know of your matches at DPRC and SWRGC and look forward to attending some of them. I didn't know about the current indoor matches. I'll contact you about those. Thanks.


One final question, if I may: Is it too early to consider some 1-on-1 instruction? I know a little can go a long way, especially if done early to prevent bad habits, but is it too early? 

Thanks again - 
Tom

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Re: Shoot until scores fall?

Post by john bickar on 12/31/2013, 7:22 pm

What a great question, with some great answers already.

I have found Lanny Bassham's advice in this realm to be most helpful: when you are shooting well, keep shooting. Push the envelope, then push it some more, and then push it some more.

Note that this is a slightly different mental approach than, "Things are going well, I'm going to keep shooting until I start to suck."

It's more, "I'm shooting well - how high and how long can I push this?"
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Re: Shoot until scores fall?

Post by DeweyHales on 12/31/2013, 9:51 pm

Getting individual instruction early is always a good idea. Also, shoot as many matches as possible. From Durham/RTP, you're within 30 minutes drive of several ranges that shoot bullseye.
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