It’s been a long time since I’ve shot a club match, or any kind of USPSA match for that matter, but yesterday I got up early and went out to the Big Sioux Rifle & Pistol Club for their monthly club match. I haven’t shot a lot this year, but since Bianchi Cup I have been trying to get out to the range more. I didn’t expect any kind of improvement, but at the end of the day I was happy with how I did.
We didn’t shoot a classifier, so it’s very difficult for me to take a quantifiable look at how I shot compared to my classification. In 2013, I was a high D class shooter, winning the D Class production division at the Great Plains Sectional. Looking at the Production scores from Sunday’s match, my match percentage was around 48%. Going off of percentage alone that puts me in a mid-C class, which given my shooting I would like to think is accurate.
I was incredibly pleased with how I shot, not just from a speed or accuracy stand point (although I threw a lot fewer Mikes than normal) but because I didn’t make any large mental errors.
Forgetting what I’m supposed to be doing in the middle of a course of fire or completely forgetting targets was definitely my downfall at 2013 matches. Despite some stages that would normally trip me up in this fashion, it didn’t happen once yesterday. I remembered that going into this match, walked each course of fire before shooting began, went forward of the firing line to count targets, and, at each stage, developed a definitive plan based off of efficiency of movement and, of course, where I wanted to reload. I was also careful about visualizing the stages before shooting them, and making sure I knew exactly what to do and where to do it.
Visualization and planning are something that have been hammered over and over again into any USPSA shooter, but it’s something that falls into the “easier said than done” category. The feeling of finally figuring it out and being able to make it through a match without any major mistakes is worth the work and the practice. Finally having a system to avoid these mistakes means I can focus on developing my shooting skill in a way that will be honestly meaningful to my scores.