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Old October 14, 2005, 04:47 PM   #1
gradshooter
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Marksmanship Survey

Hello,
My name is Jason and I'm doing a research project to help get me to grad school. The basics of the survey is how shooters are trained and if mental practice or mental imagery plays a part. I've included the link to the survey site, it only takes a few minutes to complete, and we don't ask for any personal information. We hope to be able to provide another training method to military and police agencies as well as shooting clubs. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. The professor I'm working with and I appreciate your time and we look forward to your responses.
http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB224CN9ZB2JJ
Thanks for your time,
Jason
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Old October 15, 2005, 01:16 AM   #2
Eghad
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I guess you could do mental imagery.... shooting to me is a combination of mind and body (fine motor skills). mental imagery could probaly help with sight alignment and sight picture.... I dont think there is any substitute for dry firing nor actual time spent on the range to develop muscle memory. The purpose would be so that in a situation of self defense is that the practice would give you a memory of the proper procedure even though your conscious mind is probaly in a what the heck mode, so that on the subconsious level your muscle memory and reflexes take over....and counteract the degradation of fine motor skills.

The majority of my training occured in the military.... where you were drilled over and over till you pretty much functioned without having to think about it. On a military popup range you dont have time to think about it....fire, look over top of rifle and scan for target, aquire target, utilize proper sight alignment and sight picture, squeeze trigger, fire and start all over again. It was all done without any conscious thought.
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Old October 15, 2005, 01:46 AM   #3
Guy B. Meredith
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Marksmanship shooters commonly visualize the sight picture, grip and trigger pull. They will practice this in dry firing.

Competitors in action shooting (ISPC, IDPA, ICORE, etc.) will sit down before each stage of a match and visualize their movements, positions, sight pictures and reload scheduling through the course of fire. I know one very competent shooter who goes almost trance like with the intensity of this visualization.
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Old October 15, 2005, 07:17 AM   #4
Ozzieman
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Training will get you killed

You say "training method to military and police agencies as well as shooting clubs"
They are not the same and if you think they are is shows how little you know about training and guns and the different conditions that each are under.

For me it’s not speed, its sight picture, training and more training.
A friend of mine that just returned from desert land told me a story that said to me that training can save your life but also training can kill you.
He would go to the range a lot to keep his skills up over there and he often shot with other Army personal. There was one group of gate guards or MP’s that would be there a lot and shoot and train a lot, they were a group by them selves and prided them selves on training and keeping alert.
He watched them train again and again and the way they trained was to stand facing targets that popped up and pull there gun and shoot the targets as they popped up. No problem here, but they had there spare magazines setting on a small platform several feet in front and at about knee level. So each time they reloaded they had to reach down and pickup a mag and reload and continue, as fast as they could.
One of the guards that he personally knew was standing guard some week later when a terrorist drove up and hoped out with an AK 47 and started blasting away. A fire fight started with lots of people shooting and several dieing before some one ended it/
Several witnesses said they watched this poor guard empty his gun at the terrorist and spent the next couple of seconds reaching for the magazine on the bench in front of him instead of the mag pouch on his hip. He died trying to find the the bench that wasnt there.
This poor man is no longer with us I am sorry to say, another Army solder walked around the gate and kill the terrorist so I am happy to say he is dead to.
I think that what this says is that you have to have training that copies the conditions you spend most of your time in. Doing fast reactions times in a firing range with mags setting in front of you on a table does nothing to help you in a real time situation. And neather is being able to put a bullet in a center of a target with your friends standing aound patting your back telling you how good a shot you are.
When your life is in danger you don’t have time to think you only have time to react, and in most cases you will react the way you train.
And your training may get you killed if it’s wrong.
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Old October 15, 2005, 02:07 PM   #5
Mike40-11
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Ozzie, your absolutely correct on the good an bad of training. The old Army saying, which isn't always followed, is "Train as you fight". I will say the Army is getting much better about this these days. Used to be you would go to the range once or twice a year and fire 40 rounds for qualification and that was it. Obviously the QRF type forces, SF, Rangers etc would (and still do) shoot more, but now everybody deploying is getting some sort of training and range time with point shooting, live fire from a vehicle, and the like. You practice shooting from likely situations and specifically, like you mentioned, reloading from your ammo pouch where youre really gonna keep em.

Somebody around here had a comment or sig line that I thought was pretty insightful. Don't remember it exactly but more or less "When a situation occurs you will not rise to the equation, you will default to your level of training."
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Old October 15, 2005, 02:24 PM   #6
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They are not the same and if you think they are is shows how little you know about tr

Ozzieman,

I don't think he claimed to be an expert at anything, he is doing research. I don't think we need to try and insult his inteligence for this. Who know's, maybe the guy is damn smart and may find some small detail that may even better your own shooting. I thought this was a place to share ideas and not insults.
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Old October 15, 2005, 02:32 PM   #7
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beyond that I do agree with your thoughts on the method of training. but i dont htink we all have the available resources to train for practical situations. civilian ranges are often limited to just straight lanes for pistol or 100yrd rifle. there we can practice accuracy but at liesure, some do have tactical courses and if you are lucky to be near one then all the more benefit.
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Old October 15, 2005, 04:22 PM   #8
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odd first post. I think he is either trolling, or using folks. Now really, does that sound paranoid?
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Old October 15, 2005, 07:04 PM   #9
Eghad
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Quote:
Marksmanship shooters commonly visualize the sight picture, grip and trigger pull. They will practice this in dry firing.
If I am dry firing In not doing any visualizing as I am looking at the sights when I squeeze the trigger...... to ensure proper alignment and follow through.

Quote:
Competitors in action shooting (ISPC, IDPA, ICORE, etc.) will sit down before each stage of a match and visualize their movements, positions, sight pictures and reload scheduling through the course of fire. I know one very competent shooter who goes almost trance like with the intensity of this visualization.
Now visualizing a course of fire and actions throught it I will buy for a $1.00.
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Old October 16, 2005, 08:06 PM   #10
gradshooter
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I would like to reply to Ozzieman's post that training for the military and police is radically different from that of a shooting club. The basics are the same, from the Primary Marksmanship Instructors at Camp Pendelton's WFTB to the local clubs. The basics which include proper sight alignment, sight picture, acquiring proper sight alignment and picture, breath control, timing of breathing, squeezing a trigger as opposed to pulling it, shooting from various stances, light levels as a factor, and judging elevation and windage. Marksmanship manuals for each branch of the military and public ranges are almost identical in their content of the basics, which is to be expected. In any training, the foundation of the basics must be learned and mastered before additional training can be added. One of the main objectives of the research is whether or not mental imagery or mental practice can be added as a basic element of marksmanship training. If it is shown that a correlation exists between mental practice or mental imagery and increased precision and accuracy, it could very well apply to military, police, and civilian training programs alike. It is good to hear personal stories as they may contain useful information. Again, if anyone has any questions or concerns about the validity of the research project, or would like to ask questions or share personal experiences, feel free to contact me or the professor overseeing the project. We do appreciate all of the interest that has been generated and the replies we have received. We look for this project to be completed in a month or two and will then make the final article available to everyone.
Jason
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Old October 16, 2005, 09:02 PM   #11
Ozzieman
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First off it was never ment as an insult, and if you think is was YOU are mistaken

I was only trying to make a point, and a simple point.
You cant put millitary and civilian traning in the same group, that was the only point that I was trying to make.
And storm trooper if you think I was trying to trade insults then you diddnt read what I wrote and you diddnt understand my meaning.
gradshooter if you think that I was trying to insult you I am sorry that was not my point, but you placed all three in the same catagory and that is somthing you must NOT do and that was my point.
Civilians train to kill paper in most casses.
Millitary must train to kill people that are trying to kill them.
That is the big difference, that has always been the main difference.
How many are in this forum that have ever had to defend there lives that werent at one time in there life millitary?
And how many have that have been or are in the millitary?
Again I am sorry if any one here thinks that I was insulting the person that started this forum.
I would like to add one thing here, Jason you said:
One of the main objectives of the research is whether or not mental imagery or mental practice can be added as a basic element of marksmanship training

If this is somthing to improve accuracy I would agree with you totaly, and I said in my first reply that sight picture is the most important I still do.
I have 3 rifles that I shoot the most, and I know the sight picture and also what my body does to the guns as there held in different possitions. What I mean by that is the way the gun reacts to the beat of my heart and I know at what point the gun moves that it stops moving for the longest time.
That is where I pull the trigger. I pull the trigger several times in my mind before I actualy do. And some times the gun surprisses me by going off, I dont want to sound like I am not being safe, its not that, its just that my concentration is so complete that time slows, I hear very little around me.
And its one reasion that I pulled a 5 shot group at 300 yards under 4inches just last weekend.
Good luck with your research project, I look forward to reading it and thank you for shairing it with us when your done.
I will be sending you my E mail address and hope you will send it to me when you done.
Ozzieman
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Old October 16, 2005, 09:22 PM   #12
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"One of the main objectives of the research is whether or not mental imagery or mental practice can be added as a basic element of marksmanship training."

Good thing to ask about and research, if you want to know my opinion of it.

I answered the questionaire.

And I'll summarize my own feelings on it. Personally, I think that, with "marksmanship 101" in mind, I don't think that beginners need to be burdened with the mental aspects. I feel that paying attention to the physical mechanics is more profitable in the beginning, no point overloading the novice with things he/she is not ready for yet. I feel that merely knowing and practicing those mechanics will make for a competent shooter, but it will never make for a mature masterful shooter. What seperates the master from the merely competent is mainly mental in nature. With that in mind, I'd save the mental part for a "marksmanship 201 or 301" level of training -- let's get them competent first.

An analogy would be that it is better to learn to crawl, then walk, and then run all before you start training to be an Olympic marathon runner.

--------------

"And some times the gun surprisses me by going off, I dont want to sound like I am not being safe, its not that, its just that my concentration is so complete that time slows, I hear very little around me."

Sounds familiar. Yes, when I'm doing slow fire, it not only happens to me, I WANT it to happen that way. That means that I had a good trigger pull, no anticipation at all. And that slowing of time and tuning out of surroundings is also something that I experience. I trained that into myself -- it is all part of the mental aspect.
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Old October 16, 2005, 10:42 PM   #13
chrisandclauida2
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take the damned survay. your opinions outside of the information asked in the survay are useless to him. his research is limited to a couple ideas and his survey is designed to draw out these ideas or information and as such can one be used to present the findings he is looking for. he may or m,ay not have any preconceaved ideas about the subject but his information can only be deliverd with the information from the survey to back it up.
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Old October 17, 2005, 12:28 AM   #14
gb_in_ga
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"take the damned survay. your opinions outside of the information asked in the survay are useless to him."

Are you referring to me? If so, please read my post, the one immediately preceeding yours -- I already have answered the questionaire. I said essentially the same thing in the free text questions.
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Old October 17, 2005, 02:31 PM   #15
Scott Evans
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Mental imagery is more appropriate to tactical scenario training and not to the technical manipulation involved in shooting. The focus with the mechanics of shooting should be drilled repeatability so as to develop a proper set of conditioned reflex responses. Accuracy first and then speed will come.
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Old October 17, 2005, 05:26 PM   #16
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If you are unfamilar with Lanny Basham's work, I would encourage serious shooters to review some of his work.

Jason, if possible, I would like to see the results of your research efforts.
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Old October 17, 2005, 07:34 PM   #17
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Took the survey. Imagery is typically 400 level marksmanship stuff, but I have no doubt that students (most of whom never get to that level) would be better off if they brought it into play on day one.

FWIW, I use imagery for every shot I take offhand (or dryfire offhand). The sight picture is wobbling quite a bit and it's nice to have a trigger finger that works on it's own once the sight picture you see matches the picture you are visualizing. The only time I'm at risk of shooting a 9 is when that mental image slips or isn't right.

I don't use it for rapidfire or prone. Sight picture is stable enough and/or there's not as much time allowed (due to timer or possibility of shifting wind conditions). I do give it a quick thinking through the course of fire, but it's not the same as the pure sight picture image that I use for offhand.
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Old October 17, 2005, 07:59 PM   #18
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Good survey! Interesting ideas.
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Old October 19, 2005, 12:41 PM   #19
gradshooter
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One Week Left

We've had a great response from everyone and we're looking at ending the survey responses in a week. After that it'll be about a month to complete the paper, if everything goes well. We're also looking at the best way to post the results so they can be viewed easily. Thanks for everyone's help.
Jason
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