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Seeking Advice on the Way to Master - Part 2

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SteveT
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Dan Webb
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CR10X
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Post by lanjo Sun May 09, 2021 12:40 am

Hi All,

I am curious what activity outside of actual bullseye pistol shooting (dry fire, live fire, matches, etc...) would you say helped to improve your scores the most.  I know these benefits are likely person specific but I am curious what people have found to really make a difference...

examples could be working on rifle shooting, air pistol, jogging, eating well, meditating, taking time off, finding religion, etc..... 

Best,

Joe

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Post by Jack H Sun May 09, 2021 1:31 am

Tennis
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Post by LenV Sun May 09, 2021 2:16 am

Playing the Trombone. Well, it sure builds up arm strength, breathing and stamina. Better than wax on wax off.  Wink
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Post by CR10X Sun May 09, 2021 10:23 am

This is a brief synopsis of some of the things I did to get to Master in a little over a year,  DP in 4 matches, HM a few years later and had a butt load of fun along the way.  I'm sure that others with thousands more posts will have specific comments and others will scour the internet for things to post.  And I'm not going to delve into many specifics since at this point (Expert) you've seen yourself shoot 10's and X's before.  The next step is to do that more consistently and get used to seeing what you need to see to help you doing it more consistently.    
 
But in the end, it's up to you determine how much you want it, how much you will put into it and how much you really want to change. 
 
I  will say this.  In order to succeed you need to keep your whole life in balance.  Family, friends, work, obligations, duties, and responsibilities need to be in balance in order for your mental outlook to be in the right place for you to engage on a quest like this one.
 
I'm rooting for you!  Good Luck!
 
CR
 
(1)  Make (write down) your goal(s).  Make them performance based, not score based.  Track your successful shot percentages, don't even think about the not so good ones.  Getting to Master, or any level for that matter, is not about score.  It's about increasing the number of successful shot processes.  Scores are secondary and can vary depending on the weather conditions, match, mental and physical state for that particular day.  And if you compete, then make it against yourself.  Choosing to compete "against" some other individual will only limit you to how good they are not how good you CAN BE. 
  
(2) Make your plan(s).  Create your daily, weekly, monthly and annual plan.  For example a daily plan of 20 minutes of dryfiring (with a specific purpose and focus) will do wonders.  20 minutes of walking, running or jogging and 20 minutes of reloading or working with weighs is only one hour in a day.  You probably waste more time than that watching TV or on the internet.  Have a weekly plan for range time and live firing (with a specific training focus and purpose each time).  Monthly plan for practice matches, reloading, cleaning, etc.. But remember ever minute spent on loading or cleaning or changing equipment is a minute you could be dryfiring.  Annual plan for competitions, down time, vacations, when you want to peak, when you need to rest, etc.  Work on seeing your shot, all the way through so completely you can replay it like a movie.  That's the essence of visualization and training to replicate "good performance" more consistently.
 
(3) Go to matches where there are people shooting like you want to shoot.  Watch them and see good shooting and wrap your brain around the fact it can be done.  In my opinion this is why military team shootes seem to progress faster.  They get to see good shooting all the time and come to grips with the fact it's the shooter not the gun.
 
(4) Talk to, and more importantly, listen to shooters that seem to know what they are doing or shooting like you want to shoot.  Don't let the comments of "excuse" shooters creep into your head or watch them point out bad shots. For example and personal experience here: If you come off the line and Phil Hemphill asks "How'd you do today?" and you say "Great, I had a new best."  He'll probably say "Why was that?"  If you say "I didn't do so well."  He might say "What went good?'.   This should help you think about how a great shooter approaches after the match evaluation.  I can't begin to list the comments I've heard and thought about and the things I've tried that I got from just listening to Zins, Henderson. Lenardson (last guy to win with irons I believe), Lange, Ed Hall, Zurek, Grayson Palmer, Steve Huff (both of these guys really rock on the short line) etc., etc., etc.  
 
(5) Read!  Of course you probably already have The Pistol Shooters Treasury, but you might want to dig deeper. And most of these are on the mental side of shooting, which is where the most effort really needs to happen. 
 
Competitive Shooting by A. A. Yur`Yev.  THE encyclopedia of Russian thought on shooting.  If you want to begin the understand the physiology and body functions of shooting and how the Russians were the masters of competition, this is it.
 
Pistol Shooting - The Olympic Disciplines by Heinz Reinkemeier and Gaby Buhlmann.  A more modern book on shooting and a great resource.  My copy is signed by Olena Kostevych and no you can't have it.  
 
With Winning in Mind by Lanny Bassham.  Read it and then read.
 
Sports Psychology and Competition by Heinz Reinkemeier and Gaby Buhlmann.  Again a newer book and applicable to shooting and golf.
 
Then read With Winning in Mind again and I'll bet you'll have a different perspective.
 
Shooting From Within by J. Michael Plaxco.  Excellent for training even if it is IPSC oriented.  Especially the part about "practicing on demand".
 
Practical Shooting - Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos.  The "zen" of shooting and the process of "seeing everything" crosses over all shooting disciplines, from IPSC to bullseye. And a little zen never hurt anyone.
 
Fearless Golf by Dr. Gio Valiante.  I like this better than The Inner Game of Tennis.
 
(6)  HAVE FUN!
Choose to have Fun
Fun creates Enjoyment
Enjoyment invites Participation
Participation focuses Attention
Attention expands Awareness
Awareness promotes Insight
Insight generates Knowledge
Knowledge facilitates Action
Action yields Results
 
Davis M. Love, Jr.


Last edited by CR10X on Sun May 09, 2021 4:46 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Post by dapduh2 Sun May 09, 2021 10:45 am

I made HM in two. I’d say there are a few “ah ha” things that stick out. 

1- is mental. Mental toughness, awareness, positivity, etc. Focus on the good and how you made that shot good. Focus on slowing things down in training to help your mind realize that 10 seconds is actually plenty of time. If you can only make four good shots in 10 seconds then do that. Eventually with repetition I started getting 5 solid shots and now I finish in about 8-9seconds and am amazed because I felt like I had all the time in the world. To me the only thing that truthfully changed was I didn’t have a little voice in my head telling me there’s not enough time. That voice wasn’t there because I slowed it down in training. I only just recently started reading Lanny Basshams book and it is also something I’d recommend. 

2- I realized the further along in string of shooting I got my form slowly changed. A lot had to do with my grip, forearm, and shoulder. I have a very firm grip and once that was compromised scores dropped. So I have a grip squeezer thing, a gyroball, and old school weight on a rope attached to a closet rod. I started to do each several times a weak and saw noticeable improvement. I’ll also add that I previously had an injury in that area, so maybe I was just strengthening what I lost. But it helped me to maintain my form. 

3- realizing how to properly dry fire. I rarely place the dot on a target, normally a blank wall. I’m not dry firing to ensure the hammer dropped when it was an X, I’m dry firing to ensure when the hammer drops that  I see no dot movement. Focus on the dot and what it does. I’ve picked up on some indicators of what bad looks like due to this, so in live fire if I start to do something improperly I’ll recognize it by how the dot is moving and abort immediately.
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Post by Dan Webb Sun May 09, 2021 11:03 am

@ CR10X- Thank you so much for taking the time to share your valuable insight with us. You not only have your shot process (obviously) figured out, but also your THOUGHT PROCESS as well. Taking the time  to write a reply to help other shooters achieve goals is a testament to you as a person, not just a High Master but high class. This post should be a sticky.

EDIT  @ David Paquette- Our posts crossed in sending. The above applies every bit as well to you. Thank you

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Post by radjag Sun May 09, 2021 1:03 pm

This is yet another very interesting thread. I always enjoy CR10X's writings. And dapduh2 has made tremendous progress in the last year or so - well done. I'm still striving to make it to HM, but was able to make Master in less than 2 years (although I admit that I did shoot a bit in my youth and must have had some of the fundamentals etched in my brain).

I read a lot of the advice on this forum, but somehow I could not make dry firing work for me and I have not enjoyed training with an air pistol either. My preference is to just go and shoot 2,700's. I am retired and have a fair amount of time available - at one point during the C19 semi-lockdown last year I was shooting about four training 2,700's per week plus some drills or other guns. When I encountered a specific problem (or had something pointed out to me by my mentor) I would then concentrate on just Slow Fire or just the 45 or whatever. Currently it is "chicken finger" drills with a cheap Ruger 22/45 (I have proven that it is possible to shoot HM scores with a ~$250 gun and CCI Minimag ammo!).

So, my recipe for improvement is just to train, train, train at what you enjoy doing.

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Post by SteveT Sun May 09, 2021 1:37 pm

In approximate order of importance:

Visualization. Lots of Visualization.

Grip Strength.

Holding and balance exercises with 3 lb dumbbells standing on a balance board or a BOSU. 1. Hold in shooting position, 30 seconds Right arm, 30 seconds Left arm. 2. Raise both arms at 45 degrees, bring slowly together and touch, open out to the sides then back to 45 and lower, all controlled and slow. 3. Tricep curls
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Post by lanjo Mon May 10, 2021 12:18 am

Thanks for all of the responses.  I have been a disciple of Lanny Basham for some time and really like his message.  Started a training log based on his suggestions. Also set up a training plan based on what he says.  Also staying positive, which I think is key, and it seems to be working.  I shot master level scores with the 22 in the first match this year. Long way to go towards getting the master designation, but I am seeing progress. I am starting to branch out from him into others.  Thanks for the bibliography.  I will look up some of the texts. 

Everything else from all of you is very helpful.  I need to think about what I will want to try.

One thing I am trying is reloading to get more accurate ammo and reasonable costs.  That might help in the long run.

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Post by CO1Mtn Mon May 10, 2021 7:34 pm

Lifting a 5 lb weight as if it were slow fire. Put a brass shell on top and don't let it tip over. Hold it there as long as you can, repeat 3x. Or do raises with it as if raising a pistol. Strengthening that arm with a weight that is 2x a .45 pistol's weight. I try to do it every day. And tons of dry fire also. I also got an air pistol that is heavier than my real pistol.

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Post by SteveT Mon May 10, 2021 7:36 pm

You are better off using 3 lb weight and doing more reps. When you get to 5lbs + you are engaging the big muscles in the arm. We want to develop the smaller control muscles and we want to build endurance, not peak strength.
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Post by DA/SA Mon May 10, 2021 8:07 pm

I went the endurance route and just hold my arm out in the shooting position. (but I have a long arm) I do this on my morning commute and am up to fifteen minutes with it held out there. It has made a positive difference in my hold and wobble. I started out using weight and didn't like the way it felt initially, but may add some now.

I also stand on one leg as a balance exercise and started riding a bicycle more.

YMMV
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Post by CO1Mtn Tue May 11, 2021 9:49 pm

Thanks for the feedback on the weight.

And good idea, I can do that on my commute too.

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Post by mhayford45 Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:35 pm

A funny thing happened to me on the way to master. I got caught up in all the books, personal training, multiple coaches with multiple methods etc. etc .etc. The funny part is now on my way to HM, I have let it all go. Not that it all was unimportant but It all seems like too much baggage to carry around. Meaning to much and not simple. I have been working on cleaning out my mind and getting to the "oneness" of shooting. This means to me not separating the sub conscience, being in the zone, no mind, if your thinking put the gun down concepts, but rather having the sub conscience and thinking mind working together on the task of holding the sight picture through the shot release.

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Post by Sa-tevp Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:46 pm

CR10X wrote:---
 
Pistol Shooting - The Olympic Disciplines by Heinz Reinkemeier and Gaby Buhlmann.  A more modern book on shooting and a great resource.  My copy is signed by Olena Kostevych and no you can't have it.  
 

Do like Olena, take a year off to give birth to a child, then come back and whoop everyone.

Three shoot-offs win Kostevych the Sport Pistol title in Changwon

Wins shoot off after an alibi string.

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