Match pressure management

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Match pressure management

Post by Bullseye99 on 4/21/2018, 2:43 am

I started Bullseye Shooting last year and got totally addicted to it. I joined a local club and we shoot .22 indoors at 50’. In practice, I am consistently scoring in the mid 270’s with an occasional mid 280’s. But when it comes to matches I score in the 250’s. I am getting totally frustrated and dejected with myself for feeling jittery at the matches. I totally agree with many articles i’ve read that bullseye shooting is mostly mental, but don’t know how to accomplish that.
Any suggestions?

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Dcforman on 4/21/2018, 4:41 am

Lanny Bassham's books. Good read. Working through the same issues.

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by PMcfall on 4/21/2018, 6:51 am

Shoot as many matches as possible.  After a while, you'll get used to shooting the matches and the jitters will go away.
Phil
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 4/21/2018, 7:06 am

In case you haven't already done this, I recommend reading the 'Shooting Psychology' section of the Encyclopedia of Bullseye Pistol Shooting: http://www.bullseyepistol.com/index.htm.  From my growing collection of Bullseye books, many of the articles are similar (or authored by those of) the 'Pistol Shooters Treasury'.  Tim Gallwey's "The Inner Game of Tennis" describes this same 'match pressure' and ways to deal with it.  And lastly, I'll add a a link to a short article on Mental Training by Dan Inge: http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t9488-mental-training

p.s. I still suffer from this same psychological condition but believe reading about the root cause of this (completely psychological issue) can shorten the number of matches before the practice score average can be shot in a match.

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Bullseye99 on 4/21/2018, 7:30 am

Thank you for your replies and advice.

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by BE Mike on 4/21/2018, 8:00 am

Having a written shot plan and focusing on it during shooting can keep the monkey off your back.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by pittpa on 4/21/2018, 9:53 pm

You shoot very well.  When I started in 1990, the internet was not around, except in Al Gore's mind.  I copied targets at my office, reduced to 80%.  I practiced with those 3x a week, and concentrated on keeping shots in the black.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by john bickar on 4/21/2018, 10:10 pm

Two options:

1) Shoot practice like matches.

2) Shoot matches like practice. 

Make your training hard, or train so hard that you make your competitions easy. I’ve only ever been able to do the former. Bill Demarest is the only person I’ve known who can do the latter.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Tim:H11 on 4/21/2018, 10:49 pm

What I would suggest has already been suggested. Shoot hard. Focus on your job. Don't worry about the possible down falls. Don't worry about any kind of outcome. Just focus on your job. Your job is to execute your shot process to the best of your ability for each and every shot. Consistency is key. Keep your practice as close to match conditions as possible. At matches treat them like you're at practice. The more matches you experience the more they will help with familiarity on the line and get you acclimated to the atmosphere. Keep working hard. It'll come.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by pittpa on 4/21/2018, 11:38 pm

Bullseye 99, match pressure will go away the more you shoot.  Shoot a lot.
Edit, i did not read a lot early on, just shot a lot. All 22.  When it was time to shoot center fire, I picked up a revolver.  I saw too many guys with alibis and looking for ejected brass.  Found a Python 38 around 1994.  Didn't know any better, everyone else had semi-autos.
Still shooting the Python and a 625. I made it work.  Early on. tried rapid fire single action, very busy. So shot timed and rapid double action.   Timed was a warmup.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Wobbley on 4/22/2018, 8:56 am

Practice should be SEPERATE from training. Practice is just like a match. Whether it is a 600, NMC, or 900 you shoot it just like a match. No mulligans, no alibis, no “gimmes”. Just like a match.

Training is working on specific stages, Drills, all timed fire 45, 50 yard slow fire,...etc, work on your fundamentals there.

the practice is for learning to function and the process of a match. It becomes second nature after a while.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Soupy44 on 4/22/2018, 9:36 am

The root of your issue is you are obviously doing something different in practice than in matches.  At some level you should be excited in matches, that's what we all do this for.  That excitement just gets in the way of performance and execution.  Everyone is different for their reasons for this, so here are some options in my mind that some combination will get you where you want to go:

1 - Train more, practice less.  Training is practice with a specific purpose.  Choose one for each live or dry fire session such as grip, trigger control, hold, shot plan, etc.  Focusing on these in practice will help you focus on them in matches in the same way.

2 - Drill!  Hopefully you're going through your team handbook.  It's been great for me.  I will admit I can see it being a bit dry for some folks.  Drills and games you find fun can break up the monotony of training and help you focus harder during future training sessions.  I'm a fan of using dice for this.  It give you a somewhat more alive challenge or opponent.  For TF and RF, roll a die and that's how many points you can drop.  Maybe use 2-3 dice for SF, you can adjust based on your skill level.  Another drill could be to roll a die and that's how many magazines you have to shoot a TF or RF string of all 10s.  Or that die roll tell you how many 10 shot strings you have to shoot a 100 in TF or RF.  This will give you some match-like pressure to deal with.  Just remember that executing your fundamental and shot plan is still the key.

2 - Shoot practice matches.  These are separate from training and along the lines of Wobbley's no mulligans line.  This is the practice version of shooting shots that "count or "matter", take your pick on the wording.  Have a reward for yourself for performing.  If you have a friend or training partner, shoot a friendly match for who buys the beers.  

3 - Have a specific performance goal in practice matches and matches, and I'm not talking score.  This comes from the same list as #1.  Write it on a piece of masking tape and stick that to your scope/box to remind you of your goal.  This will help keep you focused on the things that actually help you perform.  Odds are you will find something specific that is lacking in matches.  I doubt you are completely falling apart.  My guess would be your trigger control is the culprit in matches, so maybe start with that.

Don't forget you have already done the hard part, you can shoot scores you're proud of.  Just keep doing that!

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by CR10X on 4/22/2018, 10:10 am

You've gotten some good advise, just find some parts that you can identify with and start using.

1.  Understand the concept of training versus practice. 
 
Training is working on very specific parts of the shot process.  Example: It does not mean that every training shot has to be a 10 or 9 or in the black to be good if  you are working on firm grip completely through the TF / RF string.  The only important thing for that training session was how consistent the grip was for each string.  Every training session should have a goal and a note of how well that was done.  Analyzing, reviewing notes and results, etc. happens when training.  Training is where all the work is done when at the range.  Probably 90 to 95 percent of my range time is training.  

Practice like a real match, no sight in periods, no "warm up", just 3 minute prep period and shoot for score.  Layout your practice plan, SF match, NMC, TF / RF, etc. match to shoot, write it down and stick to the match plan.  10 or 5 shot strings, scoring, standing around for a few minutes like you're waiting for the rest to finish scoring, then on to the next fired match.  Just complete each shot.  There is no training, no trying different things, simply completing each shot and observing the shot and the results.  No judgement, no expectations, just observations and notes when finished for the next training session.  Practice using the guns, ammo, box, clothing, glasses, etc you will have at a match.  The positive way to shoot is to shoot the shot that's in the gun right now.  There are no past shots, there are no next shots.  

2.  Understand the concept of Match versus Practice.  Not a damn thing except there's just more people there.  NOTHING changes from the practice session. Do not bring any expectations in that gun box to the match.  Just follow the shot process and if it doesn't seem to look right / feel right then visualize a great shot from your practice session and start over (or in the case of TF / RF, review a good string from a practice session and then just do it on the next string).   The positive way to shoot is to shoot the shot that's in the gun right now.

Hope this help or even makes some sense.  Good luck and good shooting.

CR

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by sbtzc on 4/22/2018, 12:10 pm

Dr. Raymond Prior, Bullseye Mind
https://www.creedmoorsports.com/product/2423/Books-CDs-and-DVDs

Here's an article he wrote.
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/6/17/where-confidence-comes-from/


Edit: remember, this is supposed to be fun.


Last edited by sbtzc on 4/22/2018, 1:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fun)
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by AllAces on 4/22/2018, 1:38 pm

1. Have a written shot plan. Stick to it. Bullseye rewards those who are consistent.
2. Dry fire at least 90 shots daily with each bullseye gun.
3. Live fire practice weekly on targets that replicate the eight ring with no scoring rings or x-ring.
4. Have an upper and lower body exercise program.
5. Stay hydrated during matches. Avoid caffeine before and during matches.
6. Read everything you can on bullseye shooting.
7. Listen to the Master's. They have been where you are now.
8. Shoot as many matches as possible.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Mike38 on 4/22/2018, 2:22 pm

Tim:H11 wrote:Consistency is key. Keep your practice as close to match conditions as possible.

I have been trying that lately. I set up my pistol box, scope, lay everything out on the bench just like I would for a match. I even wipe my glasses off with a Ziess eye glasses cleaner for training, just like I would a match. I go through the range commands in my head, just like I would hear at a match. I think it helps one's mind focus on the task at hand. Hopefully one day soon, it all becomes natural and I won't even think if I'm simply training or at a match. I'm here to put holes in that 10 ring.
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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Allgoodhits on 4/24/2018, 8:40 pm

Read, reread and study Lanny Bassham's book, WITH WINNING IN MIND.

Shooting is simple, it just isn't easy. Don't make something simple, complex.

Duplicate what you want, forget what you don't want.

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Re: Match pressure management

Post by Bullseye99 on 4/25/2018, 8:24 pm

Thank you all for great advices. Bullseye shooters are an amazing group of people and I am happy to be a part of this community.

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Re: Match pressure management

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