I'll soon be competing in an intense and fiercely competitive event against a few hundred other people who all have an equally strong desire to perform at their peak and place as well as possible over the event.
Here's one of my bro-ettes shooting a stage today. Seven falling steep targets of which she has alread shot 4. There's also a swinging target behind those barrels that swings up and down and has to be hit on the move. (Note muzzle flash from the handgun). The fastest time on this stage today was under 4 seconds from holstered.
My lead-in to the event started several weeks ago and over that time I've put in many hours of work and effort to put myself in the best position to have a successful weekend and to exceed my personal best. I say personal best as it motivates me more than the shoot to win ethos. I cannot affect how well a competitor shoots on the day and so even performing at my absolute maximum may not see me place well and so performing at my peak/Achieving a personal-best over the course of the two-day event is a better motivator, and goal to have for me.
I've been studying the course-of-fire layouts which I have mentioned, and shown here in the last week or so; They don't reveal much at all to be honest, more just the round-count as distances and perspective are not shown.
I've been drawing from holstered working on speed and correct grip, working on target acquisition, movement, positional shooting and stage planning (strategy) and of course sending rounds down range. Most of this has been done in my workshop, on the range, at work, over breakfast and even in my dreams as I had a vivid dream about the State Titles a couple nights ago. Basically I've been consistently working towards a great result at the State Titles.
One aspect of the event that I have neglected to date has been my equipment, but this close to the event my attention focuses there.
The gun...Well, I shoot it all the time and I know it's incredibly reliable but there's other equipment that needs to perform and work in support of me over the weekend and preparing and checking it is just as important as the actual shooting aspect.
The gun I'll be shooting is my Shadow 2 9mm semi-auto. These guns are renowned for their reliability and repeatability. It will fire as quickly as I can pull the trigger, ejects spent cases effectively and is robust enough to send the hundreds of rounds I will shoot each day down range exactly where I place them. It still requires preparation though.
The night before the event I will break it down and clean it methodically and carefully. At that stage I'll oil and reassemble it then work the action 50 to 100 times to ensure it's all working well. This will get done after the first day of competition also. I will also break down each magazine, clean it thoroughly, reassemble, then test each one. (I have special "rounds" I use to test the magazines called snap-caps which are the exact size and shape as live rounds, but are made of aluminium, so not live.)
The ammunition also needs checking. I'll break my gun down until all I have is the barrel in my hands and will drop each and every competition round into the chamber to ensure they go in, and come out, smoothly with no snags. Sometimes the reloading process can cause the case to bulge slightly, or burr, which can prevent it from ejecting cleanly causing a jam. Getting a malfunction like this in a shooting stage will blow the time out and effectively render the stage useless from a points-scoring perspective. All of the rounds also get marked as mine for identification, I use blue marker, and then packed away. This is a very important stage of preparation. I'll check my holster rig ensuring that the magazine pouches are angled exactly as I require for fast retrieval of magazines as I compete each stage. I also make sure they are fastened tightly.
Here's my bro-ette again, shooting a weak hand stage; The hand that is not the natural or strongest hand. Usually we shoot two handed but they sometimes make us shoot strong or weak handed only which simulates taking a shot in the arm and having to defend using the other - This is a military discipline that simulates real-world scenarios. (Note muzzle flash again. This is two frames taken on the same shot she made so the flame is dissipating in the send picture.)
I will also check that my tool kit contains everything I may need, that I have pens, a clip board (for score sheets), a hand towel, baby wipes for hands, sun block and my snipers-fly-repelant. A special mixture, used sparingly, that snipers use to keep those little bastards at bay. Nope, not telling you where I get that from.
Here's me holstered today. No, I didn't intentionally colour-coordinate my shirt with my handgun grips - Just a happy coincidence.
My shoes will get the once over, I use Salomon trail-running shoes when I compete, as they are super-light but have great traction for running, stopping and pushing off. I will also gather my clothing, all light-weight UV rated as I'll be out in the sun.
Closer to the event I start to think about food and hydration and I have specific requirements there being diabetic. Usually my wife Faith attends big events with me and helps keep me organised, hydrated and fed however she is not coming to this event. I'll have to look after myself, and so some effort needs to go into it. Food and drinks must be easy, non-perishable and accessible...I don't get points for eating and drinking so there's no point spending too much effort doing it on the day. Ease of use is the key.
Just on the food and hydration thing...I've seen people hit the wall at events as they didn't drink enough, or eat the right foods. Not only does it affect the end result, it is dangerous considering guns are involved.
There's a few other things that require attention like the paperwork, understanding the location (directions) of the range and some associated stuff on the day like the official gun check and ammunition check (yes they test both) however generally as you see above is the extent of it.
Today I was shooting at the club, the same style of event as the IPSC State Titles but at club level. It was the last live-fire hit-out prior to the State's and I gained some useful information that I'll hone over the coming time prior to the Titles. I actually had a gun jam today, due to a faulty round...That's why all my competition rounds are meticulously checked ahead of time.
Attention to detail is important in any aspect of life I think, and in the small details is the ability to perform better and achieve greater results.
Dropping hundreds of rounds into my chamber as above could save precious seconds on the course of fire. Having the right tools to rectify a fault could save the entire weekend and hydrating effectively can bring clarity of thought and greater physical ability...All small details if seen individually, but as part of the whole...Critical.
Tomorrow isn't promised - Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default
An original post written by a human
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