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Getting my Sh#t Together

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#481 Will


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Posted 13 January 2019 - 01:05 PM

Week ending 1/13


Yesterday I made it to the indoor range to focus on my grip, recoil control, and trigger control. The main drill I used to work on these items was the doubles drill at 7 yards. Since I've never used this drill before I didn't have a based line; so, I set a goal for 95% Alphas and a target for my splits to be .19 or less. After about 250 rounds, I scored:

  • Roughly 89% Alpha hits
  • About 50% of all runs had splits of .19 or less with my fastest being .13
  • The distribution of my shots was in a vertical pattern with only 3% being wide Charlie or Delta

The first 40 shots my gun was flopping around more than I liked so I focused on getting the solid crush grip with the weak hand. Or so I thought... Seems like my hands said "screw that" and both hands started crushing hard resulting in some low shots due to excessive strong hand pressure. The next 40 shots things started to come together more, my mind bitch slapped my hands and they got with the program a bit more, but I was getting some lower shots in the Alpha box as I was pushing for .19 splits, which I was subconsciously pushing down. After a while I was seeing the dot dip so I could correct this condition for the next pair. I was also starting to see my trigger press is a bit sloppy as I was pushing a bit to the left and right but not enough for loads of Charlies and Deltas at this distance. I experimented with different finger placement on the trigger and it seems like the best results came when I had the middle of the second digit of the trigger finger doing the work. That seemed pretty screwed-up, but I have some long ass fingers so it sorta makes sense. Regardless, I'll keep testing this theory. Finally I pushed the target back to 20 yards to go for some group shooting with the head box. After about 50 shots, my accuracy is roughly about 40% due to some issues with my grip and trigger finger. The whole session was about 1.5 hours and my hands felt pretty tired at the close.


With all that said, I'll hone my dry fire routine to focus on these skills. So this week I'll hit trigger control at speed with both DA and SA presses, draws to a paster target at 4 yards in .7 seconds or less (no trigger pull), and 90 degree transitions.

#482 Will


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Posted 27 January 2019 - 07:55 PM

1/27/19 - Match and Training Summary


62 degrees, sunny, in January - even if my match performance sucks balls the weather was awesome!


All that said, today's match performance was an improvement over the past three matches:

  • Overall placement = 53 of 96
  • CO division = 10 of 17
  • A 2019 goal for me is to finish in the top 25 at my local match, number of stages where I was faster than the 25th person = 2 (it's always been zero)
  • How far was I off the pace of the 25th person = 6 seconds

My live fire practice has focused heavily on doubles at 7 yards hitting a 3" round steel plate. I also have been working transitions hard. The reason why I choose these drills is because I want to build a habit of engaging the targets as fast as I can see them; as well as, place two shots on target as quickly as possible, which I tried at this match causing my "charlie" hits to be double of the average over the past 3 matches. Compared to last match, I feel like I was at least 5% more efficient than last match which is roughly my improvement over the last three matches in overall standing and within my division.


Where I screwed the pooch was in accuracy as I pegged two no shoots over the course of the match, which I usually never do. One of the stages where I hit a no shoot was on the classifier 13 04 where I recorded a 8.65 overall time, but the grease mark just was over the outer no shoot perf by a hair so I recorded a "C" classifier. The other one was on the last stage of the day where my legs were pretty sore and I sunk one right into the a zone in the head box (if you're gonna fuck up, fuck up big I say...).


Going forward for next month I'll continue to work the doubles drill but I'm gonna crank the target to 15 yards and aim for splits that are .19 or less. For movement practice, I might try "hit the spot" with 3" steel plates at 10 and 20 yards. In dryfire I'll continue to work trigger control at speed so I can get a better trigger pull. 

#483 Will


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Posted 24 February 2019 - 06:30 PM

2/24 Collin County Level 1 Match


Overall place = 45 out of 99

CO place = 10 out of 18


Coming into this match my dry fire and live fire were geared towards understanding how fast and accurate I can shoot at different distances. For live fire, I mostly shot the doubles drill at distances ranging from 5 yards out to 25 yards. I'd start the drills by going for jail bait splits from 5 yards out to 15; then, I would see if I could get 90% plus alphas with .25 splits - which I was able to to.


For dry fire, I worked trigger control at speed, bar hop, transitions, and draws with a .7 par. I also tested to see how fast I can cover 5 yards when I was pushing hard. 


After I had all this info, I went to the match a few hours early so I could try to piece it all together and build a plan for each stage. Here's what I projected and what I actually scored including my place in my division:


  • Stage 2 projection = 20 seconds or less with 68 points would net a 3.4 HF; actual result = 20.55 time and 4.3 HF - 6th place (this was my second best stage and I cracked the top 20 in the overall placing for this stage). It was a smaller IPSC style stage
  • Stage 3 projection = 20 seconds or less with 86 points would net a 4.3 HF; actual result = 31.03 time and 3.38 HF - 10th place. This was a larger USPSA style stage with lots of running
  • Stage 4 projection = 25 seconds or less with 127 points would net a 5.08 HF; actual result = 19.75 and 7.34 HF - 5th place - (this was my best stage and I cracked the top 20 again in the overall placing for this stage. Smaller IPSC style but with 155 points available
  • Stage 5 projection = 24 seconds or less with 84 points would net a 3.5 HF; actual results = 19.57 and .35 HF - 17th place. I shit the bed on this one and it cost me in the standings. It was a smaller IPSC style stage which is my strength, I had a solid plan, I just didn't execute it as I had a 3 mikes and missed 2 targets.
  • Stage 6 projection = 30 seconds or less with 122 points would net a 4.06 HF; actual result = 41.98 and 3.2 HF - 9th place. This was a larger USPSA style stage and I was trying to shoot on the move, which added about 10 seconds to my time. Going forward I need to practice more SOTM.
  • Classifier 18-01 - of corse it did - no projected time as I ran out of prep time; however, my time was 31.66 and HF was 2.49 - 7th place.

Aside from the one stage, I feel I built and executed a decent plan. I'll keep this same training regimen for next month and the March match.

#484 Sweet T

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 10:19 PM

Do you think you're getting value out of creating projections? Are you doing this in walk-through? How are you getting your numbers, and how does your projection change the way you choose to execute a stage? In other words, what role are your projections playing prior to shooting the stages?

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#485 Will


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Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:08 AM

Thanks for the question Sir!


The reason why I'm developing projections is so that I have a better understanding of how I perform across different types of stages; at this moment in time, I don't feel like I have a solid understanding of what's going on across different types of stages. If I can correctly project my performance let's say 80% of the time, I can then restructure elements of my training to break through plateaus. As for when I'm doing it, it's before the match starts as I'm not fast enough to do all this within the allotted 5 min walk through. Let me dive in a bit deeper..

  • Projections - why the hell would you do that?

I was puzzled as to why I could bang out fast times and good hits in practice and not carry it over in a match. Once I started really breaking down what's happening in a stage, I started to see my training is not complete. Here's one example, I was on a quest to have the magical 1 second draw because people say you gotta have a 1 sec or less draw; but is it really that important? I'd argue your splits, transitions speed, and accuracy are far more important as you're performing these skills more than that "1 draw" per stage; so shouldn't you allocate a higher percentage of your training time on those things than just a draw or blasting six shots into one target as fast and accurate as possible? Since I keep pretty detailed records of my training, I started to see I was not consistently training other important elements used in a stage such as: entering and exiting a position, shooting on the move, reloads, transitions, stage planning.


So I've adjusted, I'm training these skills more, and I'm paying close attention to how fast I can execute certain skills. The end goal for me would be similar to someone saying "that quarter back can really read the defense", or "that fighter is always 5 moves ahead of his competitor". If you do something enough you should be able to back into a projection of how you'll perform on a stage. So when I'm looking at a stage I'm estimating:

  • how fast and accurately can I place two alphas in that bank of 10 yard targets - can I afford a charlie there to get more speed, nope not there
  • how much time will it take me to lean around that barricade to get alphas here, nope, too much time, I can afford alpha charlie on those two targets - yeah 
  • do I really need to engage that one target way over there with nothing around it when it is less than 5% of the total stage score - nope, shitty stage design - pretend to engage it to avoid the penalty but really we'll skip it as the time saved running over there and setting up  will improve my overall HF
  • how much time will it take to move hard across 7 yards, get into position, and engage the hard cover and steel targets

That's what I'm thinking when I'm looking at a stage these days and I'm actively estimating a time, hits, and projecting what my HF will be. Although the last match was one data point, I'd say using this technique helped execute some difficult stages, showed me where I should double down on training, and gave me a consistent enough performance to insulate me from a really bad performance on one stage.

  • Man, that sounds like a lot of work. Don't you think you're limiting yourself by doing that?

Maybe? But I don't think so. Here's why: regardless of if you pull out your slide ruler and go full nerd and build a projection or walk up to a stage and just think about stop positions and reloads, both methods have a common factor - you are building a stage plan. In our sport you gotta build a plan so the question becomes how detailed does your plan need to be? Based on where I'm at now and where I want to go, it needs to be pretty detailed.

  • Dude, you're a dumbass - I knew that shit like five years ago...

For sure I am a slow learning adult...

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#486 Will


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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:07 PM

Goals check-in time...


Reminder of 2019 goals:


My main goal for the end of 2019 will be to finish in the top quartile at my local level 1 match at least two times. To get there, I'll need to have crisp goals that will change from quarter to quarter. So my focus for Q1 2019 will be to fix these issues:

  1. I need to build a consistent index with my new CO pistol
  2. Improve my ability to work the DA / SA trigger
  3. My transitions need to be cleaned up
  4. Build a sense of urgency in my movement through stages


  • OVERALL GOAL PROGRESS - On 6/2 I finished 17 out of 49 shooter at my local match (4th out of 14 CO shooters)
    • It was a classifier match and it still counts toward goals
      • Pretty damn close, but I still need to finish in the top 25 two times before the end of the year

Sub task progress:

  1. At 7 yards, I'm clicking off the first shot between .95 and 1.05 about 80% of the time
  2. Off the draw, I can hit a 10 inch steel round at 28 yards about 70% of the time within 1.5 to 1.8 seconds
  3. As of 6/10, my progress on the Blake Drill at 7 yards is: best run 1.95 all alpha which is about a 15 HF, average is 2.05 with 4 alpha & 2 charlie which is about a 12 HF, and my worst that happens about 3% of the time is 2.15 with 4 alpha, 1 charlie, 1 mike is a 10 HF.  Transitions are my weakest skill - more on that later
  4. Sense of urgency moving through stages - no progress to report at this time

 Key factors that contributed to my performance:

  • I purchased a gold membership over at PSTG and I've been submitting weekly feedback videos for about 1 month; prior to that I had a silver membership and submitted videos once a month and did that for 2 months
    • The video review has been amazing - they've caught stupid shit I've been doing for years and i'm fixing it
    • My training plan is changed every 90 days
    • The cost is making me even more accountable for my performance - if they don't hear from me in 10 days they are reaching out to say "how's your progress going". If you're serious about getting better, and willing to put in the time, it is totally worth the cost
  • I've been training to improve my skills where I suck
    • I've always struggled with transitions, so I did other stuff that made me feel good like Bill Drills in under 2 seconds on demand with trash HF in the 5 ranges. So I've been working the speed I move my head to the next target and move the dot onto the aim point on my target just like I would manipulate a mouse 
    • Recoil management was trash due to a jacked up grip and incorrect locking of my joints
    • Improving movement has been slow, but I've been getting better. The biggest change is I'm consistently in a low and wide stance. I'll improve moving into and out of positions next
  • I dry fire 5 times a week at least 30 mins a day and some times twice a day
    • The only reason why its 5 days a week is because I live fire the other two days
  • At this point in the year, I live fire twice a week 90% of the time
    • I'm sitting at 6,000 rounds down range at this point in the year
  • Here's a video where I'm working on wide transitions and some movement (transitions are decent but movement is work in progress): https://www.youtube....h?v=Y1ZLdT43FbU

Parting thoughts: the transition from B Class Limited shooter to CO shooter has been much harder than I anticipated. For me, major scoring hid lots of sloppy fundamentals that could not hide in CO or another minor scoring class like Production. Yes I had time off and an unplanned health scare (fuck getting older by the way), but that is a bull shit excuse. All that said, I love to fight through tough times and the challenges just increased my fortitude to get better. I feel I'm on track to have a good year for my current skill level and every day I get a little better and more confident in what I can do now and I train harder on what I suck at.


Although I'm currently classified in C class, I'm just 3 points from B class, I don't plan on being in either one of these too long; either way, I can give to shits about classification as I'm more focused on 1. if I did better than the last match and 2. am I moving up in the overall placement.

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