Ever have one of those "OMG SRSLY?!?!?" moments right after seeing the results of a match or a stage you think you just rocked?
...happened to me just last night.
In a moment, I was reminded of two rather crucial things to keep in mind when you step into the high-adrenaline world of action pistol competition:
• 1 • Bring your best game to the range, especially to the first stage of the day. We usually don't get time to warm up our trigger fingers and run a "practice" stage with live fire before a match. Once you hear the RO ask "Is the shooter ready?" you should be in full-on "go mode."
• 2 • Fight for every match point; if you're starting out on a points-heavy stage, work hard to build a strong, simple plan you're not likely going to lose track of due to lack of sleep, caffeine, or focus at 9:15 in the morning. Focus on the fundamentals where possible - don't worry about an extra 0.15 seconds on your draw if you're burning 2 seconds stopping to set up for close targets you could move past an shoot at the same time.
Those are the two big things that caused me to lose literally 10 seconds on the first stage I shot last Sunday and drop me into 10th place for that stage. Unfortunately, that run was worth a large amount of the available match points, too. Despite finishing 3rd, 5th, and 6th (twice) on the other 4 stages I wasn't able to make up enough to keep from only placing 9/14 on the day.
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