Plateau plateau plateau

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Post by mikemargolis on Mon May 04, 2020 1:36 pm

Maybe I am asking for too much too soon.

Here's my story:

I was a bullseye shooter 30 years ago, then kids came, hiatus, no time, etc...

Came back a couple years ago.

2018-2019 season average 202
2019-2020 season average 251
(same gun, added a red dot)

Since the 2019-2020 season (abruptly) ended, I bought a Pardini SP, and have been putting in three sessions of training a week, working on the USMC training book as a guide.

Season High Standard Slow Average 75, Post Season Pardini 84
Season High Standard Timed Average 89, Post Season Pardini 92
Season High Standard Rapid Average 87, Post Season Pardini 92

So that brings me to a 268 average for April and May, on my own, at the 50' indoor range.

Personal best, I managed to shoot an 87, 97, 98 once for a 282. Every shot in the black, what a great feeling!

But the last ten times I've shot, I've been right at the 268 average. One 275 a couple 266's etc....

Thanks for reading so far, and here's my questions:

Of course, I am happy that I am shooting better than I ever have. But I also know that a 268 average in practice is not a 268 average at matches.

I have done what I can with hardware and ammo, watched a million videos, etc..., and am wondering if now is the time to find a coach (excluding covid issues of actually being with a coach), or if I should just keep shooting by myself three times a week and keep doing what I am doing with the USMC manual.

What can I do to push me up into the 270's and 280's consistently?
At what point should I get some help to push me further/faster?

mikemargolis

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Post by Oleg G on Mon May 04, 2020 2:27 pm

Mike,

In your post you describe what you're doing as "shooting" and "practicing" rather than training.
I suggest that you change your approach to training. This means (an incomplete list):
1. Set specific goals for what you want to achieve and work towards reaching these goals. Goals should be SMART to use a tired acronym.
2. You are shooting 3 times per week but how much do you dry fire? Dry firing is an invaluable tool that will show you exactly what is happening at the gun. You will work on the fundamentals with dry firing.
3. Do you have a written shot process? If yes, are you fully committed to following it?
4. Do you have a shooter's diary, notebook, or anything else where you write and analyze your experience (with good shots) during your dry fire and live fire training sessions?
5. How well are you able to call your shots? That is also an important aspect of training and developing as a shooter.

Hardware and ammo are important but your skills as a shooter are paramount. To use another cliche - you can't buy points Smile

I am posing these questions that you should ask yourself. If you need more explanation on each question, search the forum or ask for details in this thread and people will help.

This is just a start, I hope that more knowledgeable and experienced people will chime in with a better advice.

Regards,
Oleg.
Oleg G
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Post by CR10X on Mon May 04, 2020 5:55 pm

Every time you reach a plateau, it means you have probably reached the limit of your current shot and mental process; your current understanding and application of the fundamentals; your equipment and / or your current physical potential (body condition, strength and vision). 

Therefore, it is time to make sure you are calling your shots.  Being able so call the shot and see the shot completely through your shot process will help give you a clue about the weakest area. 

Go back and review the fundamentals.  

Test your equipment.

Map map out a new training program.

Seek the assistance of your doctor, vision specialist and physical trainer. 

And write it all down in your journal.

CR10X

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Post by TomH_pa on Mon May 04, 2020 6:37 pm

One thing that I did recently that seems to have helped was during live fire practice/training I started shooting double shots during slow fire. IOW shoot 2 without putting the gun down. What I found was that when I wasn't worried about time limits like in TF & RF the 2nd shot felt completely different than the 2nd or 3rd shot in sustained fire. I have also been troubled by shooting too fast in sustained. I started applying the same "feel" of the double slow fire shot to my sustained fire process and my scores (practice so far) have improved considerably.
I think I wasn't "seeing" the slower, smoother shot release because I was rushing through timed and rapid. I still have plenty of time when shooting with a timer. I just don't dress it up as much in RF

As far as this process in SF where I was actually trying to improve, I would say at worse it is the same as shooting 10 individual shots and  occasionally it is better. That's telling me I need to do a better job of getting the trigger going on the initial shot.

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Post by Arthur on Tue May 05, 2020 9:41 am

Dry fire dry fire dry fire, be honest with yourself or it's just a waste of time. The Mantis unit is helping me adjust my grip and position resulting in a reduced wobble area.  

Best 
Arthur

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Post by mikemargolis on Wed May 06, 2020 4:47 pm

Thanks for all the help folks!

mikemargolis

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Post by jwax on Mon May 18, 2020 2:50 pm

The problem with plateaus is they appear permanent.
While learning, going from a score of 205 to 230, to 260, is that you are always expecting to get better, but not really knowing how or why. Shooting a lot does not cause improvement. Training does.
Ask yourself, "What do I want my score to be?", and shoot for that goal. Once achieved, make a new goal, and repeat. Expect more of yourself.
BTW, I'm no Master, but I know what my problems are!

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Post by CR10X on Tue May 19, 2020 8:49 am

JWAX made a good point, but I will point to something other than score as a goal. 

Plateaus can appear permanent because in general its the mindset of the athlete that has to change first.  Then the athlete can step back and say with confidence, "It's me that has to change.  Where do I start?"

The true value of a coach / observer is they can help with the basic issue of "Do I just need to do more of the same to improve?" or "Do I need to change what I'm doing to improve because I've reached the limits of my current process / technique / etc.)?
 
The coach will say when one reaches a plateau, they probably need to do the second one AND the coach will be there keep the training going when the performance actually drops because the athlete is learning something new.   

It's hard being your own coach, but give it a try.  Remember, if you keep on doing the same thing and not getting any better results after a period of time, then its time to do something different.

CR

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Post by Vociferous on Wed May 20, 2020 11:08 am

Cecil, I could email you this, but if it helps others on the path of self-fulfillment, so be it. I have been working from home and during my lunch break, shooting a 60 shot match. I'm tracking each shot, making notes and pushing myself to improve. Would you take a look at my performance journal and offer some advise? I like the format and the routine; any other training, to support my improvement, I would do after work. Much of my notes in the journal are mental gymnastics. At very least, I try to be honest with myself. I'm trying to focus on paying attention to what's happening, what is working and what's not.

By this weekend, I would have shot in 6 local 2700 matches, and would have shot the Eastern Games. Probably would have traveled down to Charlotte, and shot at least one or two matches there. So, like most here, I am restless and want to shoot with friends. I hope we will shoot Bullseye matches again someday. This keeps me hopeful, and to an extent, sane.

This is a picture into my mind, and it isn't necessarily pretty. So, if anyone wants to use this format, be my quest. However, the format and content will likely change, as I keep finding ways to improve my process of improvement.
Attachments
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Journal 5.20.20.xlsx You don't have permission to download attachments.(97 Kb) Downloaded 42 times
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Post by CR10X on Wed May 20, 2020 11:40 am

Thanks.  I downloaded a copy.  Good shooting overall, especially with everything else going on.

About the only difference is that I do most of my comments on 10 and X's while shooting.  Then later I'll go back and do a recap on the other shots / observations.  That keeps the outlook positive while shooting the strings / matches.  (Hard to tell if that is what you're doing from the notes.  
  
Unless of course there is some specific thing I need to make a note of at that time.  (Like - Check sight changes from 50 to 25!)

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Post by mikemargolis on Fri May 22, 2020 4:56 pm

Never mind on the plateaus.

I have been focusing on the fundamentals, dry firing, slowing down in slow fire, and very simply shooting three days a week, all alone, early in the morning, by myself.

I keep a running spreadsheet of my averages.

Since I wrote the initial post on May 4th, I have gone up slow 84.7 to 86.8, timed 93.1 to 95.2 and rapid 92.4 to 95.6, total 270.2 to 277.6.

I have still yet to shoot a 100, still yet to shoot better than a 283, and still have a lot of room for growth and improvement. But I am not at a plateau, which is AWESOME.

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Post by bpettet on Sat May 23, 2020 3:57 pm

That is awesome.  Congrats on moving the needle.  I love reading posts like that.  It's fun to talk about equipment and gear but I think this section of the forum should have a LOT more traffic.  

I was trying a new (to me) Marvel conversion yesterday on my hardball frame.  Not the best trigger for detail work (and a cheap red dot) but I put 500 rounds through it yesterday at 25 yards.  Just working on solidifying the fundamentals.  Working on my mental focus while the guy in the lane beside me (indoor range) was blasting his comped magnum and putting shotgun like patterns in his full silhouette at about 5 FEET...while I put in respectable BE groups at 25 yards.  I was pleased that my last 10 rounds were some of the best of the 500 expended.  Good training session for me and gave me some areas to focus on in this week's dry fire training.

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