I'm out shooting today...Not, not just yet, it's really early in the morning right now, but I'm just about to take off for the range...After stopping off at a cafe for some breakfast with a couple other shooters first.
Today will be the first competition I've shot since the flu-situation shut most things down. My range was no different in that it was closed altogether and when it reopened about a month ago the restrictions were still so tight it was impossible to run a competition. So, today is the first one back.
I'd like to report that I've been consistently training throughout those months however I have not. I've done some sporadic training of course, but I'm heading to the range, and into competition today, feeling decidedly unprepared. It's my fault, I lost the motivation.
Before the new normal was thrust upon us I would train almost every day and shoot a couple times a week. I think the shooting helped to drive the training. Each day I'd strap my holster-rig on, load it with empty magazines and my Shadow 2 9mm handgun and practice drawing, acquiring targets, trigger pulling and magazine changing for 20-25 minutes. The idea is to create some muscle-memory to help shave time off those processes.
Placing one's hand on the gun grip into the wrong position when the gun is holstered means it will need adjusting either prior to drawing or after drawing...Either will cost time, sometimes up to a second or two, and that will destroy a competition stage when speed is one of the most important things. The same goes for magazine changes; Fumbling and bumbling changes costs time, causes frustration and breaks concentration which in turn costs more time.
So, I train these things at home, train not practice because I am training the muscles to react in the same way each time and to do it faster and and faster. When I get to the range and into competition I simply go through the motions with the only difference being that the gun is full of live ammunition. Training pays dividends on competition days.
I think it's going to be interesting today as none of us have shot much in the flu-restriction period, most not at all, so I think there'll be a lot of slow shooters out there today...And the range officers will be very strict on safety as most shooters will be a little rusty. Safety is always paramount.
I don't know anything about the competition stages I'll face, they are always unknown until minutes prior to commencing and are always different but I've been told to expect to shoot around two hundred rounds so that means there will be some big stages, maybe 30-40 rounds each. It should be a lot of fun.
I've been shooting for a long time and being rusty should never be confused with being slow, unsafe or inaccurate. It means that I won't perform at my peak though. I guess it's the same as a pro golfer who wins every tournament...They're still out there practising every day. It takes effort to maintain skill, to hone it and improve it. So, I'll shoot ok, hit every target and be fast enough, but not as fast as I could be, or will be when I get back into training mode.
Has the flu-restrictions affected you in a similar way? Have you lost skills or ability through being unable to train or practice properly? Comment below.
I hope y'all have a great weekend when it arrives...That's one of the perks of living in Australia...Our weekend starts before almost everyone else's!
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.