Well, Nationals is over and it's safe to say that it went poorly. I wrapped up at 89th overall and 69% of Ben. Aside from a few glimmers of hope, my performance was shit across the board. I summarized the negatives of my match performance elsewhere as:
Everything? I was crippled with stress on Day 1 and dug myself into a hole. The stress left by Day 2, but I ended up digging myself deeper as I tried to fight my way back into the running. I racked up countless Deltas and Mikes. Tons of makeup shots. Chose the wrong stage plan on the double NS swinger stage. WHO/SHO sucked. Zeroed a standards stage. Sucked at getting real hits on moving targets. Serious mental errors like calling a Delta or a questionable hit on a tuxedo, and then just leaving it rather than taking the makeup. I’m not sure I’ve ever shot worse.
I think my biggest mistake was at square 1. Last year, I attribute some of my “success” to coming in with no expectations and just shooting. I was cold and calm. This year, I came in with expectations and focused on results rather than the process of shooting things.
To be honest, it made me consider quitting USPSA. Not in the sense of a rage quit, or a poor-poor-pitiful-me quit, but rather in the logical sense of comparing how much more time, money, and effort I put into this year's match and how much worse I did. That said, I won't be.
I need to take some time off to decompress and get caught up on the other aspects of my life. I'll then spend a week or two working out some logistics stuff for going forward: minor equipment changes, developing a general plan for next year, etc. Then, heading back to hiatus as I wrap up the fall semester here.
Funnily enough, I was doing a search on BEnos for some winter training stuff and stumbled upon Ben's old range diary. I've been reading a couple pages at a time, and it's both inspiring and relevant to me right now. It's giving me a lot to think about for going forward, especially with regards to the quality, intensity, and variety of one's training. The decade old thoughts are giving me a bunch of new things to focus on.
To end on a positive note...
I had some amazing squad-mates at the match. Jon Anderson is one of my favorite human beings, and it's always a pleasure to squad with him. He shot, to no surprise, a fantastic match. I look forward to seeing him smash people at next year's Nationals. My buddy Matt is a very relaxed dude and certainly helped keep the atmosphere relaxed, especially when I was in a panic. Ryan Goold was a lot of fun to have on the squad, and definitely interesting to watch an Open shooter run through a Production match still mostly like an Open shooter. Plus it's always good to have another young thundercat to bullshit with.
I also got to meet and/or briefly catch up with Tyler Turner, Joel Park, and Hwansik. All great dudes who shot great matches.