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Training vs practicing vs competing.

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hammerli
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Training vs practicing vs competing. Empty Training vs practicing vs competing.

Post by kjanracing Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:59 am

My long term goal is to make Master. Short term goal is to break 2500.  Personal best is 2484, last match was 2469.  So, a ways to Master, but close to 2500.
  I think my most productive training has been firing on the back side of a target.  I’m taking score and an outcome goal out of the picture and am working on the process, area aiming, concentrating on trigger operation, etc.  I’ll do slow fire, multiple shots on the same raise, timed and rapid on range commands. I can always turn the target over if I want a “score”. My intent is to take that training process and “feel” to the actual match shooting for score.  So it’s seldom I shoot for score in training.   
OK here is where all this is going… I started the USMC course.  Passed blank target test. Passed firing on a training center test. Now I’m on the 2 targets (B8) of 10 consecutive shots in the 10 ring. I now have a few training sessions in and quite a few rounds in .22 and .45 and have yet to pass this stage. I’m sure that if I could do this, I would have improved quite a bit. BUT, this stage more feels like I’m shooting for score, which I am, and I’m questioning if I’m really getting any training effect out of this drill. 
Asking for input and advice.  Or do I keep trying to pass this stage?  Or maybe back away from it, do some other drills, and come back to it?
Thanks!, Kurt
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Post by Wobbley Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:23 am

Come back to it.  

I question, however, the continuing to shoot at a reversed target.  Maybe at the start of a training session to warm up your process, but your process is your process at this point.  Your next phase should be timed fire and timed fire drills.
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Post by mikemyers Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:59 am

Geez, I don't feel I'm in any position to give advice, but multiple people here have told me to pick ONE issue and train to do it properly.  I used to lump all my issues together, but whether it is sighting, or trigger control, or grip, because of that advice I force myself to concentrate on just one thing.  

Also, I have been told to do two things:
1 - Practice, as if I was competing, and
2 - Compete, as if I was practicing.

One is for "learning", and the other is for "doing".
I've read this in many places, and while it sounded silly to me, now I accept it.

The end of this month will be the first match for me in well over a year, and for most of last year, I didn't do anything much.
I didn't realize how much I would miss going to the range.......
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Post by xman Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:56 am

mikemyers wrote:Also, I have been told to do two things:
1 - Practice, as if I was competing, and
2 - Compete, as if I was practicing.

One is for "learning", and the other is for "doing".
I've read this in many places, and while it sounded silly to me, now I accept it.
+1 Might I add: Practice at what you suck!
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Post by bruce martindale Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:44 am

You'll get a hundred answers here all of which will solve one or more things. Two keys are Grip and Trigger. THose two words are somewhat ambiguous to their meaning.  So I'll add 2 cents; focus on trigger PRESSURE whille staying in the black center. Shots that are forced, fly. As do shots released while the gun is moving. Slow it all down. Most errors are trigger induced motion and from going too fast.  A weak grip allows shots to fly further due to the same trigger induced error. I was committing both errors and accepting shots before l fully recovered and settled in. Good luck

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Post by kjanracing Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:24 am

Grip and trigger are pretty much the two things I’m concentrating on now. My process in a match is scope the first couple shots. If they are there, I put the lens cover on my scope and forget about it. I concentrate on a “good” shot, meaning hold and good trigger operation. The score will be there if I do those things. I also won’t be mentally spanked if I make a bad shot and see it in the scope.
I really appreciate all the input.
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Post by Jack H Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:54 pm

kjanracing wrote:Grip and trigger are pretty much the two things I’m concentrating on now. My process in a match is scope the first couple shots. If they are there, I put the lens cover on my scope and forget about it. I concentrate focus on a “good” shot, meaning hold and good trigger operation. The score will be there if I do those things. I also won’t be mentally spanked if I make a bad shot and see it in the scope.
I really appreciate all the input.

I would change concentrate to focus.


Last edited by Jack H on Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : My opinions go nowhere.)
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Post by CR10X Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:12 pm

A lot of people have, and I'm sure many others will, provide their suggestions.

If I may try to answer to your comment "...this stage more feels like I’m shooting for score, which I am, and I’m questioning if I’m really getting any training effect out of this drill."

My concise answer is yes there is a training effect, it's just that most shooters do not recognize what this training is addressing. 

Look at it this way, the shooter has already completed firing similar sized groups on a blank target, so the shooter should have mastered, or at least have, a good shoot process and physical capability to complete this exercise.

So why is it there, and more importantly, why is it very difficult for most, if not all shooters to complete these type exercises?  

My take is that this is a test of the shooters ability to follow their shot process in the face of "match" pressure or basically "perform on demand".  And it takes training (understanding what to train for and how to train) for this part of shooting.  

The shooter is now faced with a "black" target to frame their wobble area and "scoring rings" to judge the outcome, if they get distracted enough to let this happen.  Shooters will start to dress up the shot, then get distracted with judging the shot good or bad based on the score, etc. etc.

The training process here is for the shooter to trust and believe in their shot process that produced an acceptable shot on the "blank" targets and reproduce that under pressure similar to shooting a match.  So, this is not about shooting 10, or 20 tens in a row.  This about believing and performing 10 or 20 correct and acceptable shot processes in a row with additional mental distractions / pressure.

So just remember, it does not matter if the center of your aiming area is "white" or "black", you perform the shot process the same way.

And by the way, quit spanking yourself, its not productive (although cheaper than getting someone else to do it for you I guess).   Again, that's a mental issue that also takes training to address.   So, I generally recommend to scope every shot your can, because you are confirming your call, not looking to see where it went.  If it doesn't match your call, its probably better find out now so you can visualize the correct shot process and call, and then initiate another actual shot.  Wouldn't you like to repeat what was actually good than what you thought was good but wasn't?  And if it wasn't actually good, you just visualized a good shot anyway before you shot again to refresh your memory.

CR

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Post by Wobbley Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:37 pm

CR10X wrote:A lot of people have, and I'm sure many others will, provide their suggestions.

If I may try to answer to your comment "...this stage more feels like I’m shooting for score, which I am, and I’m questioning if I’m really getting any training effect out of this drill."

My concise answer is yes there is a training effect, it's just that most shooters do not recognize what this training is addressing. 

Look at it this way, the shooter has already completed firing similar sized groups on a blank target, so the shooter should have mastered, or at least have, a good shoot process and physical capability to complete this exercise.

So why is it there, and more importantly, why is it very difficult for most, if not all shooters to complete these type exercises?  

My take is that this is a test of the shooters ability to follow their shot process in the face of "match" pressure or basically "perform on demand".  And it takes training (understanding what to train for and how to train) for this part of shooting.  .

I had an internet chat with Gunny Zins about a year ago and he confirmed that the exercises on a target with scoring rings was to put psychological pressure on the students to put the shots in the desired scoring area.  The rationale for the “ten shots in the ten ring” is to show the student that, A it can be done, and B to develop skills to shoot ten “tens” and what that looks like.  

The shooter is now faced with a "black" target to frame their wobble area and "scoring rings" to judge the outcome, if they get distracted enough to let this happen.  Shooters will start to dress up the shot, then get distracted with judging the shot good or bad based on the score, etc. etc.

The training process here is for the shooter to trust and believe in their shot process that produced an acceptable shot on the "blank" targets and reproduce that under pressure similar to shooting a match.  So, this is not about shooting 10, or 20 tens in a row.  This about believing and performing 10 or 20 correct and acceptable shot processes in a row with additional mental distractions / pressure.

So just remember, it does not matter if the center of your aiming area is "white" or "black", you perform the shot process the same way.

And by the way, quit spanking yourself, its not productive (although cheaper than getting someone else to do it for you I guess).   Again, that's a mental issue that also takes training to address.   So, I generally recommend to scope every shot your can, because you are confirming your call, not looking to see where it went.  If it doesn't match your call, its probably better find out now so you can visualize the correct shot process and call, and then initiate another actual shot.  Wouldn't you like to repeat what was actually good than what you thought was good but wasn't?  And if it wasn't actually good, you just visualized a good shot anyway before you shot again to refresh your memory.

CR
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Post by chopper Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:06 pm

"The training process here is for the shooter to trust and believe in their shot process that produced an acceptable shot on the "blank" targets and reproduce that under pressure similar to shooting a match.  So, this is not about shooting 10, or 20 tens in a row.  This about believing and performing 10 or 20 correct and acceptable shot processes in a row with additional mental distractions / pressure.
So just remember, it does not matter if the center of your aiming area is "white" or "black", you perform the shot process the same way." 


  Cecil, this is what my coach is having me do right now and I write it down in a journal. I'm also doing other exercises, but I'm more honest with myself and have improved more by training and practicing my shot process to the best of my ability. I like your shot process, mine is basically that with more in depth explanations. I'm shortening it as I remember it better or accomplish each part, then you never know I might have to add to it so I can improve. Right now the mental part is the discipline to do my best on each part of process.
 
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Post by hammerli Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:58 pm

Practise, the outcomes of which are analysed and improved upon is what makes perfect. Anotehr word for this is Training.

mere practise does not make perfect.

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Post by robert84010 Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:19 pm

Kurt,
Didn't you say you bought an LP50 in February? Go through the workbook using that. Your shooting will be night and day better afterwards. You will learn/see things you never thought about. For 25 yard steps I offset the AP target by one ring. 10m AP shot in the 10 ring=X, 9 ring on the 10m target=10 etc...
For 50 yard steps in the book I used the 10m AP target as is. Not a perfect conversion but since I have iron sights and 3.5 pound trigger on my LP50 I figured it was good training. 

Do the 90 shot match at the end and watch the difference. AP is the secret, don't tell anyone.

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Post by kjanracing Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:48 pm

I’m really enjoying the LP50. I’ll do that, thanks.
Kurt
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Post by Arthur Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:21 am

In addition to what Bruce and CR said. 

Seeing your scores in training / practice is important. When I was young an short on cash I cast my own bullets for my match rifle. The coaching I got was that I should be using match quality ammo during practice / training. Why? Mentally you need to believe that you can shoot the good scores. 
Obviously, we all want to shoot better scores. This isn't about shooting rocks. Ideally the shooter develops the skills through training and reaches their intermediate goal for average score in practice. That desired average in training then needs to transfer to the match scores. To do so the shooter has to be super comfortable shooting their average. IF they look at scores on the partially completed score card and are surprised thinking "wow I'm doing really good" , it's likely a tumble is on it's way. After developing the physical skills, believing in your ability to deliver those good scores under all conditions, every time is a really big piece of the puzzle. 

Best regards, 
Arthur

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Post by mikemyers Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:11 am

Arthur wrote:......The coaching I got was that I should be using match quality ammo during practice / training. Why? Mentally you need to believe that you can shoot the good scores......

Not sure if what I did is valid or not, but I wanted to find a page that compares the accuracy of "cheaper" vs. "more expensive ammo.  I ended up here:
https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/eley-ammunition-accuracy-and-innovation/99080

That eventually led me here:

Training vs practicing vs competing. EleySpecs

As I see it, with a rifle, and 50 yards, the "least expensive Eley Ammo" had an accuracy of around 0.7 inches, and the best Eley ammo had an accuracy of around 0.2 inches.  The difference was half an inch.

I think my question for this group is in training, how important is a variation of accuracy of half an inch?
Until a shooter achieves a certain level of ability, how important is it to use "the best" ammo?

The above chart may be very different for handguns, but the question still remains.

I believe 99% of how well I shoot has everything to do with me, not with the equipment and ammo.  At some point that might change, but probably not in my lifetime, for me.
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Post by kjanracing Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:18 pm

I MAYBE saw a difference shooting some old Winchester hi velocity ammo out of my 17. Everything else, CCI, Fed hi velocity hp, Eley, all pretty much seems to shot the same-at 25 yards anyway. Seems most anything standard velocity target ish shoots great out of my Pardini and High Standard. There are people that compete with the expensive Eley ammo, and they are good. But they would be good anyway. If it helps with confidence, knowing you did everything you could maybe helps.
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Post by kjanracing Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:24 pm

Speaking of, shot a 2700 this morning. Ok with 22, but not completely happy with execution or score. CF  and .45 just sucked. I just couldn’t put it together on either one. Soooo regroup. Figure out the weaknesses and training to improve them. Next 27 is in two weeks.
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Post by CR10X Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:21 am

kjanracing:

You had a great question and I tried to provide information related to that question.  Just like the advice for that specific worksheet section, do not let discussions on ammo, grouping or whatever distract you from the successful completion of your shot process (for each and every shot).  Any of this entering your mind during training or match shooting will detract from the attention to the specific training or your shot process.  Any little thought of quality of gun / ammo / etc. is a pry bar that will crack open the mental picture we are trying to create for successful shooting (this exercise).  

If a shooter is curious about the gun and grouping then they should do some quality testing (bench or ransom) and make a note of the results and react accordingly.  Then the shooter can remove one more mental distraction, forget about it and get back to quality training.  (And IMO, that's one of the reasons why people that change loads all the time seem to struggle with consistency.)  

One exercise I do is set up on the line with the .22 or .45 just like a match. No practice fire, just 3 minute prep and start for score.  Start shooting and see how many shots I can go before getting outside of my (goal) scoring ring.  Do this every once in a while and one can see how this creates that "perform on demand" feeling and help get used to dealing with it. (Set your own goal and keep track of this stat.  It's one stat that I think I'm most proud of with my training.) 

So don't worry about scoring shots or grouping or ammo, etc., when training or shooting or even when discussing the issue of mentally addressing match performance.  That's done and recorded another time (when the shooting is over, testing, etc.).  

Visualize and then count competed and successful shot processes. Find ways to train to reinforce the shot process and seeing each shot completely (slow and sustained).  

As you can see, distractions abound.   To rephrase what you said (and where I think you are at shooting wise):  

Review each successful shot process and train to do them more consistently.  Study the 10's, forget the others.  If you shot 1 ten and saw it, you know what you want to do.  It's not what one doesn't do correctly that needs to be studied, but what one has done correctly in order to do it more often.    

There are thousands of ways to do something incorrectly and it will take forever to figure them all out.
There are only a limited number of ways to something correctly.  That's a much smaller data set to analyze.

Yes, a lot of this is semantics, but the brain works with pictures, words and emotions.  Feed it good ones with the right seasoning. 

CR


Last edited by CR10X on Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:26 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : still can't tpye for carp)

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Post by kjanracing Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:14 pm

I really want to thank everyone so much for all the time and input on my question. I’ll be rereading this often. There is a lot to learn here. Thank you!
Kurt
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Post by mikemyers Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:10 pm

CR10X wrote:kjanracing:

You had a great question and I tried to provide information related to that question.  Just like the advice for that specific worksheet section, do not let discussions on ammo, grouping or whatever distract you from the successful completion of your shot process (for each and every shot).  Any of this entering your mind during training or match shooting will detract from the attention to the specific training or your shot process.  Any little thought of quality of gun / ammo / etc. is a pry bar that will crack open the mental picture we are trying to create for successful shooting (this exercise).  

If a shooter is curious about the gun and grouping then they should do some quality testing (bench or ransom) and make a note of the results and react accordingly.  Then the shooter can remove one more mental distraction, forget about it and get back to quality training.  (And IMO, that's one of the reasons why people that change loads all the time seem to struggle with consistency.)  

One exercise I do is set up on the line with the .22 or .45 just like a match. No practice fire, just 3 minute prep and start for score.  Start shooting and see how many shots I can go before getting outside of my (goal) scoring ring.  Do this every once in a while and one can see how this creates that "perform on demand" feeling and help get used to dealing with it. (Set your own goal and keep track of this stat.  It's one stat that I think I'm most proud of with my training.) 

So don't worry about scoring shots or grouping or ammo, etc., when training or shooting or even when discussing the issue of mentally addressing match performance.  That's done and recorded another time (when the shooting is over, testing, etc.).  

Visualize and then count competed and successful shot processes. Find ways to train to reinforce the shot process and seeing each shot completely (slow and sustained).  

As you can see, distractions abound.   To rephrase what you said (and where I think you are at shooting wise):  

Review each successful shot process and train to do them more consistently.  Study the 10's, forget the others.  If you shot 1 ten and saw it, you know what you want to do.  It's not what one doesn't do correctly that needs to be studied, but what one has done correctly in order to do it more often.    

There are thousands of ways to do something incorrectly and it will take forever to figure them all out.
There are only a limited number of ways to something correctly.  That's a much smaller data set to analyze.

Yes, a lot of this is semantics, but the brain works with pictures, words and emotions.  Feed it good ones with the right seasoning. 

CR
For me, reading your post reminds me of a "polarizing filter" in photography.  Important things are captured, and unimportant/undesired things get filtered out.

I know there is a goldmine of good information there.  I also see that I have been wasting my time on "unimportant" things (that I once considered so important), and if I "filter" them out, I'll be more connected to the really important things, as gradually all the "static" will continue to go away.

I used to want to know why my bad shots were bad, and what I was told sounded silly to me, but I have accepted the idea of only paying attention to the good shots, and ignore the others.  Instead of thinking how difficult things are, I'm starting to think now that if I think in a positive way, these good things will become a part of me.

Instead of trying to get rid of bad "habits", I should only be involved mentally with what I do well.  
Understanding the words is easy.  Thinking that way is much more difficult. 
Ain't nothing easy.

(What I just wrote is just how I'm thinking about all this.  I'm not trying to "change" what Cecil has written, just to describe how I am trying to assimilate it.)
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Post by Wlw145s Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:14 pm

I found that taking the time to write down in the USMC book what I did that was successful after each try at the target made me focus more on what I did right and would help me remember it the next time. It created focus on the fine tuning of my process.

Keep working at it!

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Post by jeb405 Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:35 pm

As possibly the least experienced bullseye shooter on the forum I'll add an opinion that goes back to my continuous improvement background.  3 gun, 3 events per. I did not see any info regarding if certain ones are better or worse than others in results.   As stated here tons of things have to happen right to get good scores but do you think they all need fixed?  Have you looked at scores of shooters who are getting the results you desire and seen if you are losing points on specific gun/event combinations?  Are you confident your equipment and ammo are up to the task?  Of all I read here I thought the point about not thinking too much is one of the best.  For me personally one key is don't take too long to break the shot.  Is your hold good?  Do bullets go where you think they should have based on how the shot broke?  You need to be able to self diagnose issues a little to focus training on areas in most need of improvement.  This goes for any sport.  IMHO YMMV.

I look forward to reading of your surpassing your goals!

JB

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