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What's your approach to not getting in position?

This is a discussion on What's your approach to not getting in position? within the Rifle Competition forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; there are some days at the range, or in competition, where you just can't get comfortable over the rifle. The result is poor shooting. I'd ...


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Old August 19th, 2016, 07:05 AM   #1
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What's your approach to not getting in position?

there are some days at the range, or in competition, where you just can't get comfortable over the rifle. The result is poor shooting.
I'd be interested in any tips you have to overcome poor fundamentals in getting settled in properly.

In golf, I'd walk away and do a full reset. I don't find I get the same result in shooting though. Some days I never feel I get comfortable and end up leaving early. Maybe it's too much coffee. Maybe it's not enough coffee.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 07:24 AM   #2
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Best approach I would suggest is practice w/ shooting jacket, sweat shirt, mat, spotting scope, etc., everything you normally use for a match until you have found the right combination of all these components and be comfortable while doing so. Most of my match shooting was/is done in prone for long range type shooting and even went so far to mark on mat where my scope stand should be positions, elbows, ammo location(I use a range box w/ammo in line from 1-22 rounds so as to not lose count of rounds fired/left to fire) and bottom line is that I have done it so many times that when everything is where it should be I am comfortable. Yes, avoid the coffee and tobacco on match day for it is not to your advantage. Again, as you say, I have done the "reset" so many times it now becomes natural to me, kind of like muscle memory if you will. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would do it, but it can be done.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 07:49 AM   #3
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Most of my shooting is iron sights off the bench or off hand plinking at red clays on the berm. While a long way from match shooting, I still remain conscious of being in a balanced position and not muscling the weapon to get on target. Occasionally I use the closed eyes test. Sight, close eyes for a few seconds, open and see if you are still on target, then slightly adjust position, repeat.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 09:36 AM   #4
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About the coffee. If you drink several cups a day normally, not drinking the day of shooting would be a bad idea. Even a few days or maybe even weeks of not having coffee would probably not help. Your body is used to however much caffeine is normal for you.

Like you said, maybe too much or not enough. If you were serious about shooting your absolute best, giving up on coffee is probably a good thing. If you just want to shoot better, stick to one or two cups even on match day.

I would suggest to practice getting everything set up and getting in position and shooting only a few shots. Then get out of position and move your gear. Repeat as often as you can or until you feel yourself getting sloppy.

Practice this at home too, minus the live fire. After a few months, things should get better.

Checking your natural point of aim by closing your eyes (and really relaxing in the sling) and opening them to see where you are aiming is an excellent idea. Sometimes you will see that not only your natural point of aim is off, you may have lost sight alignment.

If you ask around at a match, I'm sure you could find a few experienced shooters willing to
coach you. A few proper tweaks to your position would probably help a bunch. In the Army (shooting team), we were coached in position(s) and dry fired for weeks before firing a round.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 11:05 AM   #5
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Vodka

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Old August 19th, 2016, 12:29 PM   #6
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I knew I should be doing vodka

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Old August 19th, 2016, 12:36 PM   #7
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I knew I should be doing vodka
Day drink responsibly.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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...
I'd be interested in any tips you have to overcome poor fundamentals in getting settled in properly.
...
------------------------------
If the trouble is mental lack of focus or motivation, then try to ignore all the talk and 'jabber' going on around you, Try to relax and concentrate on the things you need to do to be ready for the match and KNOW that you can shoot well.

For physical issues, do the easy things ... wear comfortable shoes/boots, loose pants and suspenders (no nasty belt buckles), take all the stuff out of your pants pockets, etc.
I suggest doing a quick and easy stretching routine every morning. I do mine while waiting for water to boil for coffee.
Arms, shoulders, legs, hips, knees, neck, hands and fingers, etc. My goal isn't to get things fully warmed-up and loose - just to get them moving a little.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

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Old August 19th, 2016, 06:59 PM   #9
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No wonder I get bad scores. I thought Knob Creek was the way to go. I'd rather have Knob creek and bad scores than vodka though.

On the serious note. I think regular exercise does me good. Shooting a basketball is my choice exercise. You use the whole body, anybody can do it, and you push yourself just as hard as you want.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 08:37 PM   #10
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Pee and Poop before you suit up in the jacket. That is one less worry. Don't let your surroundings dictate your shots. Shots going off all around you, ie don't fire unless you went thru your whole routine: Sight acquisition, breathe in/half out - squeeze the trigger, with one easy motion. easy peasey
With that being said try to distract the uncomfortable conditions with some thing else.
I have had some of my best scores with a jolly rancher in my mouth.
I have had fly's buzzing my head and in my nose before and that was some of my worse shots.

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Old August 20th, 2016, 05:27 AM   #11
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I got some good tips to try out.

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Old August 24th, 2016, 11:23 PM   #12
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Sound like it is all good advice. I have found if you are relaxed, like shooting at your own club and shooting with friends my scores improve. Whereas if you are shooting like at Perry the stress is increased and the scores decrease. Bottom line just have fun when you are shooting and you will be surprized that your scores will improve. Have fun!

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Old August 25th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #13
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Don't shoot firearms competively, but page from archery...

Focus on process. Have a shot sequence. Execute, analyze, modify, repeat, learn. I've won archery tournaments after deciding all was lost and I would simply use the rest of the tournament as a good learning experience.

Larry Yien, a former world longbow champion, had a similar much more accomplished example. In world championships, he had high expectations, came down with the flu, and everything started falling apart. He told me that it was like really looking at the color of your parachute. I don't know exactly what that means, but he decided that he was going to simply make every shot the best he could, and then give the arrow to God. And when he gave up on winning, living only for the shot right then, he won. Really cool guy.

I know shooting technique isn't exactly the same, but I haven't noticed a lot of general similarities.

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Old August 25th, 2016, 05:32 PM   #14
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Stretch beforehand.

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Old August 26th, 2016, 02:48 AM   #15
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Stretch beforehand.
For sure and 3 asprin an hour before crawling down into prone works for me. Makes it easier to get back up without a crane too.

ArtB

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