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Pistol Match Preparation: It Takes More Than Just Practice

In this issue, I would like

to discuss the subject of match preparation for pistol shooters. I am not writing about what you do during the preparation period or your specifi c warm-up rou- tine, but what you do in the last few days prior to your departure

for the match.

This is a subject that often gets overlooked because of everyone’s busy schedule but it has the potential to make or break the success of a shooter at the competi- tion they are attending. For a shooter to perform

at their peak during a com- petition, they must be able to maintain their mental fo- cus on the delivery of each shot or string of shots. The shooter who, through good preparation techniques and proper planning, minimizes the interruptions and dis- tractions from this mental focus, will fi nd it much eas- ier to achieve their peak per- formance. All of this begins with a

careful analysis of what it is that you, the competi- tor, need to perform well at a competition. First of all, don’t be afraid to make a list or better yet an outline of your trip to the competition. Go through this outline as you prepare and pack your equipment and the items you will need at your destina- tion. Each block in the out-


well together. Use only ammunition that you have tested in your gun at the match. Keep track of what has worked well in the past, especially if you expect ex- treme heat or cold. Will everything I use

line can be checked off as that task is accomplished or item packed. This will allow you to leave home confi dent that you have everything you need. Travel planning is more

than just buying plane tick- ets and making the hotel and rental car reserva- tions. Look closely at your travel itinerary. Do you have enough time to get where you need to be, even with traffi c and bad weather? Travel can be very stressful when you are working on a tight schedule.

This stress

can be physically and men- tally tiring and carry over as a distraction in the competi- tion.

On the Pistol Team we

like to think of the day prior to travel as a match prep day.

This is not the time to

be doing rigorous training or trying out new equipment, it is the time to make sure that everything you will be

taking with you is working at its peak. This will eliminate doubts about your equip- ment’s ability to perform at the competition.

at some of the most impor- tant things that will be in your gun box at the match.

Ask yourself the follow-

ing questions: Are my pistols cleaned, functioning properly and ze- roed? Properly maintained pistols will reduce the num- ber of malfunctions, shoot better and help you main- tain your focus.

Don’t wait

until the pre-event training to check your sights or fi x broken parts and waste time that should be spent building you confi dence and adjusting to the local condi- tions.

Do my pistols function

properly with the ammu- nition I’ll be using at the match? Some pistols and ammunition just don’t go

Let’s look

pass equipment control and comply with the rules of the event? You don’t want to have to make a ma- jor change or adjustment to your pistols or other equip- ment just before a match. Ensure everything is correct and tested before leaving. If you are in doubt, have a plan for what to do if the item fails. Do I have all of the mag-

azines, spare parts, tools, batteries, etc., that I will need to get through the competition? Hopefully all of your equipment will work well through the competi- tion, but having the appro- priate spares, just in case, will keep you from having to worry during the event and focused on your goals. Thank you for taking the time to read this page.


hope you fi nd this informa- tion helpful in achieving your goals as a competitive shooter. Please look forward to future articles from the Soldiers of the USAMU Pistol Team discussing the techni- cal aspects pistol shooting.

May 2014 | USA Shooting News


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