"To be a successful practical shooter, you work on what you can't do until there's nothing that you can't do."
Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals
With this wisdom in mind, the training theme for 2018 is No Limitations.
2018 will be about eliminating weak points in my game and preparing to push my way into the next tier.
There are several areas of emphasis that I've identified after review and reflection.
- Trigger control has always been (personally) fairly intuitive, fortunately. I've not had to spend a great deal of time or effort isolating trigger control in training, but I need to bring it up to a level closer to elite. So I will do more isolation work.
- The Dots
- Long distance Bill Drills
- Ben Stoeger "Pairs" drill
Hosing + Extreme close distance (with all alphas)
- I can hose alright but sometimes lack the discipline to print alphas when I'm trying to burn it down. At short range, whether or not you shoot alphas is entirely a function of discipline.
- Blake Drill (vary target distances and widths!)
- Bill Drill
- 4 Aces
Surrender draws + Oddball starts + non-shooting tasks
- I want to shoot more steel challenge in 2018 so the surrender draw dovetails nicely into training for both disciplines. Need to work more hands-on-marks, barricade starts, draws into leans, draws into SOTM, unloaded starts, etc. Basically be prepared for starts other than the traditional loaded hands at sides. Also want to work situations where there are tasks to be performed before shooting and while shooting, such as carrying objects, etc.
- Pretty self-explanatory, need to transition more rapidly and more precisely. Eliminate over- and under-swinging.
Nailing tough reloads
- Work on processing visually and breaking down steps and sequences discretely. I want to break the steps down and put them back together efficiently.
- Work mag grabs in isolation
- Get eyes to correct points and not leave too early or too late, hit the sequences fluidly.
Less conscious mind
- Work on more disciplined and detailed programming of stage plans and visualization pre-stage so there is no need to "think through" a stage while shooting.
- Blank mind between "Are you ready" and the beep.
- Execute plan without conscious thought
- Especially on whole arrays, treat each steel as one unit. The tendency is to nail the first 4, 5, or 6 shots in a steel array rhythmically and then lose focus and just start pulling trigger without regard for careful aiming.
Splits at distance
- The top guys split fast at distance. Sal shoots 25+ yard targets like I shoot 12-15y targets.
- This is a function of grip/tracking proficiency and not sitting on acceptable sight pictures.
Balance + 360* Readiness
- The top guys are always one step ahead in the context of movement and flow through a stage. Meaning, they prepare for the next directional step when they set up in a position. They are always prepared in their body balance, foot position, etc. The guys who are most pleasing to watch run a stage are these types who are exceptionally prepared at any given point for the next action. Sometimes this will mean "breaking the rules", such as setting up narrow on an array if setting up wide is going to be slower to get out of. This point requires experience and experimentation more than any rigid guideline.
- A strong core and lower body is going to help as well in changing direction and avoided getting all twisted up in your own body mass due to imbalance.
- I'm going to do a lot of experimenting this season. I don't work out of the Stoeger books as much any more, but I will from time to time. I'm going to vary my timer use in dryfire and livefire, including setting it down entirely to focus on the feel and the steps in isolation.
- Have a focus on everything you do. Don't go through the motions. Be mindful of what is happening in the moment.
- If I train all year like I did the second half of 2017, progress will be unstoppable.
- You're only as good as your worst run.
- Re-read the your entire range diary. Parse it for especially valuable insights and write them down separately and put them in prominent places so you will see it daily.
- Have a running training "to-do list". Add items as you observe a need and remove them as you have completed the objective. Whiteboard!
- Maintain list of drill PRs and work them down over time. Add a benchmark drill to sessions as practicable so there is motivation and progress trackable over time.
I wrote down a whole list of goals for 2018 but I ended up crossing them all out except one.
The only goal I'm going to establish for 2018 is to finish top-10 at Production Nationals.