I ran my first USPSA match on Sunday. I showed up, I signed up and I didn’t get disqualified. Not only do I consider this a good day for my first match but this accomplishment managed to land me the title “high lady” for the day because all the other girls there were just watching their boyfriends or husbands, a fact that makes me a little sad inside.
There is one thing to note about practical pistol matches: you’re not standing in a bay trying to hit the target. At your first match you should not be focused on going quickly, you should not be focused on getting hits. Your entire focus should be on playing it safe, not getting disqualified and not doing anything stupid.
I know enough good, safe shooters that have been disqualified for small (and large) mistakes at their first USPSA match to realize I am as susceptible to dumb mistakes as any. And you know what, I did make a dumb mistake: I managed to forget a reload that cost me 5 procedurals. That being said, I didn’t break the 180, I didn’t have a negligent discharge, I didn’t even get a talking to; I kept my head low, my finger off the trigger, my muzzle downrange and I am pleased with the outcome.
My score may not have been the best but there will be other matches for that, this one was about getting my feet wet. It was a learning experience as well it should have been. Too many people are victims of their own pride during their first USPSA match when all they had to do was focus on what’s important: safety. If you can make it through the match without shooting yourself in the foot you can show everyone how fast you are later. Besides, you can’t win if the range officers don’t let you finish.