Thursday, December 27, 2007

More variations on The Partials

Following my original post on Versatile Target Arrays, I received a PM from Eric Stanley on the Benoverse with some up to date notes on the practice array he's currently using.

Eric's full thoughts are over on the DR Performance Shooting main site!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dead what???

Why in the world would you want to start doing power lifting exercises? I mean, what in the shooting sports even begins to look like doing a deadlift? A dead what??? A dead back, maybe???

Well, not if you do it with proper form, and an appropriate amount of weight. The picture at the right is me, deadlifting 295#. That's not an extreme amount of weight - the current world record is over three times that (1003#).

But, still, why power lifting, if what you want out of your fitness routine is a lean frame, and a high power to weight ratio? Hmmmm.... hit the DR Performance Shooting main site for the rest of the article!

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No Easy Shots

When do you see the hardest shots? When you arrive at a match, do you feel like the targets suddenly got smaller, or farther away? Does the A-zone look like its about 2" across. What about those tight shots with no-shoots all around? If you've had those sensations, its quite likely that the target arrays you practice are simply too easy...

Hit the DR Performance Shooting site for an introduction to the concept of No Easy Shots....

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Goals: Pathways to your Dreams

Goals. Dreams. Desires. Wants. Needs. Ambitions. What do these words mean to you? In just about anything we do, we all have some ideas about what we want out of it. I'm going to talk about this in the context of shooting, of course - it is a blog about shooting, after all - but these concepts can apply to anything in our lives. I mean anything, from the serious and important (say, career, or parenting), to the trivial and mundane (maybe brushing your teeth...).

So, think about this for a moment - what do you really want out of your shooting? What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want?

Ok, have you thought about it - I mean, really and honestly thought about it? Then hit the DR Performance Shooting main site, and read on...

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Recommended Reading: Practical Shooting Manual

One of those FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that seems to pop up on the Benoverse every so often is something to the effect of "I'm a new shooter, what should I read?". Many of us have our favorites, of course - Brian Enos' Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals, for instance, or Saul Kirsch's Thinking Practical Shooting perhaps.

Those books are awesome resources, without any doubt. But both really require some background in the game to use them to the fullest extent. So, if a new shooter isn't going to get the best out of those books until they have a little bit of experience (and their gear squared away, etc), where do you point them? The answer has been with us since 1995 in the form of Matt Burkett's Practical Shooting Manual.

Hit the DR Performance Shooting main site for the full review!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

The trick is not to care...

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen Fight Club and plan to - the article linked here contains some spoilers....

My good friend, and sometimes student, "Calamity Jane" Ball posted a link to an article on earlier today in her Range Diary on the Benoverse. She actually got the link from Derrick "Catfish" Birdsall - another bud of mine.

Not only is it a good, short read that references one of my favorite flicks, but it called to mind a conversation I had with another shooter about the drive to become a GM...

...which you can read on the DR Performance Shooting main site!

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Standards Drills for Practice

What does the word "Standards" make you think of? Torture? Inhuman cruelty? Sadistic match direction? Or, does it inspire thoughts of confidence? Smug satisfaction at free match points? I'll bet its one of the first ones, isn't it?

Why do standards exercises invoke such fear and concern in most people? Hmmmm... Can it be that we've forgotten how to actually SHOOT in the midst of all of our running around and whatnot? I suggest that you lose your fear of standards by facing them in practice. In fact, I have several standards drills that I track progress with that I'll share with you in the full article on the DR Performance Shooting main site!

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Recommended Reading: Thinking Practical Shooting

TPS Cover
For most complex activities, the learning curve is steep and riddled with plenty of chances to strike off in the wrong direction. "Back in the day" (which, for our purposes here, means pre-2005), most of us picked our way up the curve through trial and error, question and answer, and lots of fits and starts as we discovered that we were on a dead-end path. Things like match preparation, understanding the implications of the scoring system, maintenance schedule for our equipment, stage and match tactics - all of these things were passed down through word of mouth, and many times learned through hard experience.

In 2005, author and international top shooter Saul Kirsch changed all of that with the release of his book Thinking Practical Shooting (well, changed it for those who bothered to read it and digest it, anyway). If I'd had this book in 1992, when I started shooting IPSC, it would have saved me a lot of time and energy. Saul's giving away all the "secrets", and for that reason, I highly recommend Thinking Practical Shooting as a "must read".

To read the whole review, hit the DR Performance Shooting main site!

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What do I need to practice?

Making a decision about what skills you need to practice is crucial to seeing your best performance improvements. Most of us go to the range and practice the things we like to do - after all, the whole point is to have fun, right? Usually, though, what we like to do is what we're already good at, leaving the neglected skills we don't enjoy (cause usually we're not already good at them, or they're not as "fun" as the other skills) languishing in the dust. Those skills show up on match day, too - and many times they can make a difference between winning or not.

So, how do you figure out what to practice?

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The end of Winter Break

With the season opener - the 2008 Florida Open - coming up fast in two months, its time to start dusting off the gear, running drills, and generally getting things back in order after a well deserved Winter Break. With a sport that seems to have no well defined "off season" (as opposed to, say, baseball, or football), it might be curious to some folks why you'd really want to take a break. I mean, the next big match is always right around the corner, right? And what do you do with that time off anyway? Doesn't that mean a lot more work to get ready when you're done slacking off??

Let's take a look at why taking a little vacation from our favorite obsession can actually mean an improvement in performance level, and help avoid everyone's favorite condition: burn out.

Read the rest of the article on the DR Performance Shooting site!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Versatile target arrays for practice

Efficient drills that you can use to track progress from practice session to practice session are important. The vast majority of us don't have days to spend on the range moving targets and other range props around - efficient use of time is really important. With just three target stands and a few targets, you can run a wide variety of drills, with varying degrees of difficulty, and basically never have to move the stands.

It all starts with this:

Read the full article on the DR Performance Shooting main site!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Role of Fitness in Practical Shooting

For a lot of folks, the terms "shooting" and "fitness" don't usually seem to go together. Mention shooting to your average Joe, and he gets this image of Larry the Cable Guy running around in the woods, decked out in camo, beer in hand, blasting away at anything that moves (and some stuff that doesn't move, too). Not the pinnacle of fitness, obviously. Mention fitness to most shooters (the vast majority of whom thankfully don't resemble the drunk redneck type the general public has in mind - no offense to drunk rednecks), and they just stare at you like your either nuts, or from another planet. What has fitness got to do with anything? This is SHOOTING, man!!!

To read this article, hit the DR Performance main site!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Why a shooting blog?

With all the various shooting related resources out there, why would I want to fire up yet another one - one that I have to maintain, and put effort into? There's no simple, short answer. But, if you'll read along, I'll try to highlight what I'm doing here, and what I hope to get across to you, faithful reader, on this little blog journey...

2007 saw a lot of progress in my shooting, without a doubt. While my results at the Nationals don't appear to show it, 2007 was really something of a landmark year for me. I knocked out several big goals, and opened the doors for several others. As I'm moving into preparations for the 2008 season, it seems like a good time to go Web 2.0 with the shooting thing, too.

As much as I enjoy sharing my knowledge and skills over in the Benoverse, I wanted a place where I could make notes, share ideas, show my progress, and, of course, shamelessly promote myself - without the (necessary) clutter that a forum brings with it.

My objective and intentions for this blog are to share with you some of the things that work for me with my shooting - drills, exercise, nutrition, mental management, etc - and also serve as a sort of electronic notepad for me on ideas and innovations, random thoughts, and the all important results. Comments are welcome, via the blog or via email, take your pick.

I'm planning on using the principle of "public nakedness as a form of motivation" along the way - don't expect some lightweight, cheap, flimsy content (though, undoubtedly, there'll be some of that). You may not like the answers, or the questions, I touch upon along the way - but maybe it'll get you thinking and moving, and if so, then maybe I've done my job....

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