Shooting Sports USA | 5 Tips To Improve Your Match Scores In Any Shooting Discipline
A competition is about measuring your skills, enjoying an organized shoot, spending time with range buddies, and most importantly, improving. Sure, these events are tremendous fun, but if you don’t see changes for the better, the novelty of shooting a match wears off and you’re stuck in stagnation. This is never a good place to be in any area of life and the competition is no different. We have to decide early on whether we want to continue with a certain style of shooting or give it up and maybe try something different.
Regardless of the discipline or league you are shooting in, there are some pointers that will come in handy in getting the leaderboard up.
1. Listen to the better shooters.
The competitor who smoked you on this last leg is likely not a bad person – just a better shot. Most top marksmen have an open personality. Heck, half the reason they got where they are is because they weren’t shy about hanging out with better shooters. The same open nature usually works the other way around, and many like to talk about a particular hurdle and how they overcome it.
I often sit down with my friends and share what I’ve learned over the years with those who seek advice. Conversely, I’ve spent numerous nights around the campfire listening to a group of far better long-range shooters explain to me what I’m doing wrong. When the topic of forums comes up, I always like to say: “My squad is my forum.” These are the people who not only survived their sufferings but overcame them. Most of them are dying to tell you how they did it. All it takes is the courage to ask.
2. Read as much as you can.
The dreaded four-letter word. You may not fall into this category after clicking on this article. While a top competitive shooter may not have time to talk, some have made their stories public – especially online. Regardless of your discipline, it is almost certain that at least one world champion has a few volumes on what you want to improve. If they haven’t written a book, they have written at least a few articles. Search bars are your friends, including the one at the top of this website. (Click the magnifying glass icon.)
In addition to the help of the professionals, do not be afraid to carefully review the rule book. You may find something completely legal that you haven’t taken advantage of. It could be a better starting position, or even equipment to help you go faster or shoot closer groups. In this case, USPSA now allows flashlights in its manufacturing department – that might as well be a compensator. Updates like these can have a huge impact on your score, but only if you know about them.
3. Research all available equipment.
Read gun reviews because current firearms could potentially give you – the competitive shooter – an advantage. Is there a crosshair for your PRS area that you wish you had? How about a “left” version of a popular AR-15 that could make your reloading a bit faster? Search bars are great for this, but don’t forget the wonder of walking around at a gun show or convention for a bit of tact. This is another great topic to address when grilling the pro marksmen in your club. Also, you might find a lot on something that is being used while you’re at it.
4. Practice what you hate.
Over time, we can find ourselves in a vicious circle with things we are not good at. Some will shy away from what causes them problems during a game because it is frustrating. But if you skip it in practice, you will never get any better at it. A dash of self-discipline is all it takes to break the redundant loop while diving headfirst into what you lack. The preceding statement describes my general relationship with pistol shooting.
About 10 years ago I shot a ridiculously simple pistol in season 4 of TOP SHOT. It took almost all of my bravery, not to mention $ 100,000. I didn’t touch a shotgun or rifle for the next two years when I reached range. Instead, I learned and practiced the various forms of pistol shooting and competition. Today my gun skills have increased and it has made me a better instructor. So spend a lot of time shooting from your weak side or in a position that hurts a little. You will see your greatest gains from these areas.
5. Shoot more matches.
The biggest competitive concern I hear is, “I’m not good enough to shoot a match.” To which I answer affectionately: “That’s not true, you are just not good enough to win. If you want to improve enough to win, you have to shoot a few first. “The vast majority of first-time entrants don’t win their first game. So you might as well get it out of the way. Over time, you will have more mistakes and more opportunities to learn and improve.
The only way to experience the rigors of match competition is to actually compete against each other. Sure, outside practice is a big piece of the puzzle too, but unless you’re spending time on the watch with someone else to earn points, it’s just not the same. The easiest way to improve your match performance is to just show more.
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