View Full Version : Goals for IDPA

October 14, 2004, 06:43 AM
After a practice (shooting) the other night- my buddy and I are trying to get together weekly, we went to dinner and talked about the observations of watching the other shoot.
Somewhere in the middle of the conversation he asked me what my goals for shooting are.

I did not have an answer- outside of placing in the top third of my division in the upcoming IDPA GA state match. I have been progressing upwards from when I won my MM division in the GA state match last year- a divorce in between slowed and reversed some of that progression.

I have been practicing the draw and reloads and can do a draw to first shot in 1.55-1.70 with concealment and a tac load in 3.5 with concealment and RWR in about 3 and Slide lock in 2.5- slow but faster then some.

My splits among targets in a typical IDPA std are about 0.5 and splits between double taps (1.5 sight pictures for me) is about 2.5.

An 8 shot bill drill is about 3.25 on a single seven yard target.

I miss qualifying for Expert by about 3 seconds.

Now the problem.

While my shooting times are generally good, except the occaisional bobble, my points down get me everytime. I do not feel that I shoot too fast for my ability as in a standard I rarely get points down except for a bobble.

Shooting a stage though, its like reading a book page, getting to the end and not remembering what the hell I read. I will forget where I am in a course of fire or slice the pie backwards.

I would like to slow my shots down to 0.3 secs eash and quicken my transitions to targets to 0.3 (net gain) I want less bobbles in basic mechanics. I am trying to thouroughly think through the stage before shooting it. I am shooting more IPSC UPSA for longer stages to force focusing longer. Pasting helps with the for bidden walk thrus.

Any comments or help or drills=- outside of Ridilin?

Jim Watson
October 14, 2004, 08:23 AM
I see your problem frequently. If had THE answer, I would be a highly regarded shooting coach.
I think the best way to reduce points down is to practice at longer ranges than typical match distances.
Getting lost on the field, pieing backwards (there's a PE), getting so excited you don't shoot scenario targets as well as standards, and other such blunders are not acceptable. I put Execution the second priority after Safety, and ahead of Accuracy and Speed. But I don't know how to fix it.
I think you are ready for some paid professional lessons.

October 14, 2004, 08:24 AM
I know exactly where you're at. The USPSA shooting will help tremendously. And you have the right idea about slowing your splits to improve your transitions, absolutely. The El Prez is the place to practice that.

Have you read Brian Enos book? If not, you absolutely must. I'm not kidding.


Also get Steve Anderson's dryfire regimen:


I'm willing to bet I can get you to expert no problem by changing how you approach Stage 3:

- get yourself a barricade and setup the stage in your weekly practices. Shoot string 1 until you are no more than 1 or 2 pts down on each target at the end of that string.
- start on your weakside in string 1, finishing on your strongside
- have the target in sight before the buzzer - be leaning out and looking at the target at 'standby'. (this is legal, although some clubs may give you a hard time about it)
- close one eye and get a good sharp sight picture like you're trying to knock a golfball off a post - make getting the hits job #1. Aim for the center of the 0-zone, not just the target. This is important: aim for the exact center of the 0 zone.

As for planning stages, USPSA shooting is going to be a big help. Don't overplan. Keep it simple. Know how many targets there are and about where they are, know where you expect to be reloading, but don't plan every step down the last detail or you'll get confused fast when your plan goes off the rails - which it will. The more skeletonized the plan, the more resiliant it is to accepting changes and unforseen problems. This is where USPSA matches help out alot: an overly rigid plan is going to snowball into a disaster if there are issues at the top od the stage. A more flexible plan will absorb small issues (like a malf eating some of your ammo, extra shots to make-up bad hits, etc) and be back on track where a plan that has every round accounted for is going to be worthless.I want less bobbles in basic mechanics. Dryfire. End of story. You should be dryfiring alot more than you are shooting. Alot more. IMO, dryfire is waaaay more important than live fire. One case in point: Tatsuya Sakai, the Japanese guy who just won (won) the Steel Challenge practices with Airsoft guns all year, comes to the US, live-fires for 3 weeks and wins the freaking Steel Challenge. If that isn't an advertisement for the power and potential of dryfire, I don't know what is.

- Gabe

October 14, 2004, 08:33 AM
PS: Re: brain farts - calm down. :) Change your focus. If you're standing at the starting box waiting for the buzzer, what is in your head? If you're thinking about how you want to get really fast transitions on this stage, you are going to get bad hits. Clear your head. Prepare yourself to make good hits in a deliberate fashion and that is what you'll do. Change your focus to what you are having trouble with and let the speed work itself out.

If you ask your body for speed, you'll get speed and poor hits. If you ask your body for solid hits, you'll get them and the speed will not be appreciably off your normal pace. I think poor hits are a sign of poor mental discipline less than technique problems. If you can make the hits standing there on practice day, you can make them on game day, you're just not focusing on the proper agenda.

- Gabe

October 14, 2004, 12:00 PM
Gabe, thanks for that link.

I have become very interested in good dry practice drills lately. Work keeps me away from the range for too long a time. Anderson Shooting seems like a good place to start.

October 14, 2004, 01:20 PM
Gabe, thanks for that link.You're very welcome. Make sure to hit the forums on the Enos site, as well. You can learn more about what makes a good shooter there by reading the archives that you would in 10 years on the range.Work keeps me away from the range for too long a time. That need not be a problem or hold you back in any way. Dryfire is the key. I'm completely convinced. It is the key to improving your shooting. If Brian Enos is the guru on the mountaintop, Steve "Tough Love" Anderson is his evil henchman with the whip and the bullhorn. :)

I am of the opinion that you could do nothing but dryfire for months and months, go to the range for 3 or 4 sessions and be up to speed as if you'd been on the range the whole time - actually even better off than if you had only been live-firing. If I could choose between only live-fire or only dry-fire practice, I'd choose dryfire for pure speed of skill development.

- Gabe

October 14, 2004, 02:45 PM
Visualization is what you need.

Before I shoot a stage, I run through a "movie" of myself shooting the stage exactly as it's designed. I watch myself as many times as necessary to get it right, then a few more.

When it's my turn to shoot, I just replay it in first person, and it's a perfect stage.

I may seem odd when I'm getting ready for a stage, but I'm focused and "in the zone." I'm off to the side, not talking, ears on...concentrating. I don't want to be distracted.

Some other tidbits of information that I like to use. During practice (live or dry) sessions, I like to really push myself...110% of speed. No, I don't get good hits all the time, but come match time, I tell myself to shoot at 90% of my practice speed. The hits come and I'm appreciably faster each month.

What a lot of people don't understand, is that on difficult stages, everyone else has to slow down also. Don't shoot full-speed, slow it down and make the hits count. If your opponents don't slow down, they'll be missing, and a miss is much worse than taking an extra 2/10ths of a second for a perfect sight picture and putting the rounds where you want them.

I'll second GRD when he says to pick a point on the target rather than the entire target. I shoot a lot of steel, and I usually pick a divot or dent in the steel as an aiming point rather than the entire shape of the target.


October 14, 2004, 04:14 PM
Gabe, I tend to agree with you.

Some of the more progressive instructors in the combatives area have said the same thing. I remember one quote that going to the range was only for validating your dry practice.

In the interest of sharing, here is a thread I stumbled across while doing searches at another forum. Most of the advice in here is from trainer James Yeager. It is about dry practice and trigger control.

Trigger control (http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5876)

October 19, 2004, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the replies. I was hoping that mopre beer and pizza would be in the suggestion box.

My friend- trying to get to master as I am trying to get to expert and I have been doing more drills together and track our progress. The shooting more stages and changing the focus of the firing drills seems to be helping, but lets see where this plateau leads to. Thanks for the advice all and keep it coming

December 2, 2004, 12:37 PM
My situation seems to be almost the opposite of yours, in some ways. I've been a Sharpshooter for three years, and even as my IPSC classification has gone from B to A, I can't get closer than 11 seconds to Expert. I occasionally win our local club matches, often have the fewest points down, but just can't get to Expert on the Classifier. I think I'd have to practice bullseye to do it, as I'm obviously killing myself on stage three; but stage three has very little to do with match performance. Shooting IPSC will definitely improve your IDPA match skills. Even if your walkthroughs are only mental in IDPA, if you can go into the stage with a sound plan, and a feeling of confidence about it, you will perform better.