OK, so in a previous post, I wrote about my first DQ from an IDPA match. That didn’t feel good. But, after the requisite 24 hours of mourning, I went back to work to learn how to be better. I worked really hard for two weeks to get ready for that match. And now you’ll learn how it went.
It’s Good To Have Goals
I find setting some goals helps me prepare for something. For this match, I had three goals in mind. First, I wanted to receive no fault line errors. I got hit with several last time, and it cost me a lot of time. So no stepping over the line. Period.
Second, I really wanted to shoot at least one stage clean—that is, with no points down. When I started competing, I tried to go as fast as I saw other top competitors going. And I can shoot that fast. I’m just not as accurate. Yet. That’s another goal. So, I’ve been working hard on accuracy and slowing down. I told myself at the beginning of each stage, “front sight, press.” Every shot, every time.
Finally, I wanted to avoid being DQ’d again. It should be obvious, but hey, goals.
How did I do on my goals? Hit them all. Not a single PE the entire match. Boom. And while it took me until the last stage to shoot it clean, it was a long stage with 18 shots required and I landed them all. And no DQ.
I have to say, that felt really good. I went into the match with no expectation of doing well in the rankings. All I wanted to do was execute my plan cleanly. After two weeks of running up to tape lines on the floor of my office, working on reloads while moving and practicing my accuracy, I just wanted to shoot well. And I did! Remarkably, I scored well, too.
When I checked in on the match results a few days later—seriously, I told you I had no expectations—I was shocked to find I finished 15th of 48 overall and 8th of 26 in my division! Turns out, slowing down and shooting accurately really pays off!
Now, when I look at the raw scores of the top shooters, I see I have a lot of work to do. Currently, I’m in the top third of the group. But there is a top 10 percent that’s going to be hard to crack. Those guys are fast. But I think I can sneak my way into the top 15-20 percent with some additional work and practice.
Moreover, when I look at where I lost the bulk of my points, it’s all in single-handed shooting, particularly weak hand. So you know what I’ll be working on the next two weeks. My plan is to hit the range at least twice a week and shoot 50-100 rounds each strong hand and weak hand only. Speed will be less of a concern for now than accuracy. I need to figure out how to get those hits. Later on, I’ll figure out how to get them faster. But for now, I need hits.
So there’s that. My 5th match went better than I expected. I look forward to seeing how this develops with some more work, practice and rounds downrange.