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The Fall after a big match


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#26 AlamoShooter

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 04:10 PM

I remember my Father saying 40 years ago that "Most people are a slave to their possessions" many of us can be a slave to our wants.

I want to shoot a match without failings, = this is becomes a scale of measuring imperfections with a micrometer

Now I only hope that I am as kind to others as they have been to me. This makes me happy with the view of my 10 feet.

Edited by AlamoShooter, 06 November 2011 - 04:11 PM.

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#27 shred

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:45 PM

I want to shoot a match without failings, = this is becomes a scale of measuring imperfections with a micrometer

I had a chat with Sharyn long ago, the end point of which was if you [generic, not you in particular Jamie] ever shoot a match without seeing something to be improved upon, you [generic] probably weren't paying attention...

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#28 sargenv

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:44 AM

After this year's Nationals, I put away my 6 shooter and picked up my Para.. it had been a good long while since I'd picked it up for more than maybe a single magazine of ammo and I'm going to proceed to shoot it when I compete just for something "different to do".. this in addition to my 3.5 month hiatus from competition to do something a bit more practical than practical shooting, use some of these skills to put meat in the freezer... it's Duck season!! :) This is something I look forward to every fall as a means to stop from being burned out by constant practice.. a change of scenery is nice..
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#29 benos

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 02:43 PM

I reduce my foresight.


Your perception of a race is different if you only look 10 feet in front of you the whole time (as opposed to looking at the finish line).

Good one. Everything you need to see is at the end of your arms.
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#30 kv501

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:37 AM

I used to be terrible for this. I played a lot of sports, and any big event would do this to me whether it was a high school football or baseball game, or a shooting match as I got older. For some strange reason the worst time was driving home from an Area match last year. I was hot, shot middle of the pack, and had to drive 6 hours home right after shooting. I had spent 3 days of vacation, a lot of ammo, gas, hotel expenses, and so on, and started to doubt myself and what I was getting out of shooting. It didn't last thankfully, but at the time I really thought, "What am I doing?" It was definitely way too much time alone to think about things when you're tired.

I do find that I am getting better at things like that as I get older though. maybe some of the competitiveness os wearing off, or maybe I just see things differently (smarter) now.
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#31 AlamoShooter

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 05:21 PM

I used to be terrible for this. I played a lot of sports, and any big event would do this to me whether it was a high school football or baseball game, or a shooting match as I got older. For some strange reason the worst time was driving home from an Area match last year. I was hot, shot middle of the pack, and had to drive 6 hours home right after shooting. I had spent 3 days of vacation, a lot of ammo, gas, hotel expenses, and so on, and started to doubt myself and what I was getting out of shooting. It didn't last thankfully, but at the time I really thought, "What am I doing?" It was definitely way too much time alone to think about things when you're tired.

I do find that I am getting better at things like that as I get older though. maybe some of the competitiveness os wearing off, or maybe I just see things differently (smarter) now.


{Started to doubt myself and what I was getting out of shooting}

I think that is most likely the main "Cause and Effect" that most of us Feel.

What I get out of shooting has evolved into something much more than the sum of all the scores totaled. I know that in many ways my actual shooting is not as good as it used to be, But I am a much better Shooter than I ever thought I could be.

Edited by AlamoShooter, 17 November 2011 - 05:23 PM.

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#32 Phil Dunlop

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:27 AM

I just came home from loosing our Nationals.
These days I tell people that I shoot competetively, but I don't stress about it, but the truth is that I put all the spare time and resources I had into that match.
I was feeling 'flat' when I got home, a combination of fatigue, that back to normality depression and the end of another all to brief connection with my friends and peers. (I find friendships with team mates and rivals so much stronger and satisfying than friends outside the sporting arena, and that could be an issue of mine).
I'm not hugely analytial, but the first day home, I'd dusted off my diary and written a list of weaknesses that the match exposed.
I won't get to the range this weekend, but I'm hungry to get back and work on that list.

#33 -JQ-

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:45 AM

I'll never win any big matches (foreseeable future anyway) so focusing on the fun I had, the things I learned, and the new friends I made at the match helps cure the blues a bit.

ymmv

:cheers:

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#34 AlamoShooter

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 11:04 AM

I know that a Diary /journal and help with many of life's Challenges. Thats smart that you did it.
But
"Lousing the Nationals" ? thats a strong Statement or self slam


I have never been a fan of the label "First Loser"
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#35 Phil Dunlop

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:10 AM

I know that a Diary /journal and help with many of life's Challenges. Thats smart that you did it.
But
"Lousing the Nationals" ? thats a strong Statement or self slam


I have never been a fan of the label "First Loser"


Thanks Alamo, yes that post did read much more negatively than I intended.
What I was trying to convey was that I had every reason to crash after that match, but I didn't.
Looking for things to work on insulates me from that, time and again
P.D.

Edited by Phil Dunlop, 13 December 2011 - 01:13 AM.


#36 mike cyrwus

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:54 AM

I would get very much the same way after my last final at the end of my college semesters.
thats because college wasnt fun.
I never get that way after a big match; win or lose.
thats because shooting is fun.
Keep it fun, make competing fun.
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#37 mwc

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:41 PM

Great thread!!!

I'm glad to see that I am/was not alone. Over the last 35 years or so I have tended to throw myself all into whatever hobby or sport I get into. I found that the more successful I became the more depressed I was when it(the success) didn't live up to my expectations. The successes never seemed to equal the time, effort, or money I put in. I have been in and out of shooting many times only to keep coming back.

I finally realized that its something I like to do whether I get successful results or not. Competitive shooting is something I do, not who I am. I am now more interested in my own performance rather than how I stack up against others. I am actually having fun rather than beating myself up over every little mistake.

Now if I could only get my wife on the same page when it comes to traveling out of town for several days, spending money on match fees, hotels, gas, ammo, ect., so I can have some fun!!! Not sure that will ever happen.

Edited by mwc, 13 December 2011 - 07:42 PM.

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#38 Aglifter

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:49 PM

Some of it depends on personality, of course - but, could you be content seeking the "Perfection of Shooting", rather than being concerned w. scores?

I let other sports, long ago, almost consume my life. Initially, and when it was much healthier, I was purely focused on my own technique, and I did not consider anything else relevant - it helped that I wasn't very good, at the time.

When I switched to strongman, a sport I was more suited to, and started to do OK, etc, it became about how others saw me, and how I rated compared to others. This was negative.

If you accept that it is unobtainable, then "Perfection" has a rather wonderful nature as a goal. Mistakes lose their sting, because they are all, more or less, degrees of the same failings - provided they weren't acts of arrogance, laziness, cowardice, or stupidity. No one else is ever defeated, nor are you ever defeated by anyone else - the only people involved is yourself, and the perfection you can obtain.

Perhaps "Flawlessness" is a better term. Not to be the greatest shooter who ever lived, but to be yourself, performing w.o. error. As you learn more, you will discern more errors.

One of the best quotes I heard is, "Sometimes the only way to win, is not to play."
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#39 Less

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:27 PM

Even though this thread has been quiet for ~6 months: I just want to thank you all...

I think I read this at just the right time...

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#40 38superman

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:01 PM

I just came across this thread and I can't say I really understand all this talk about goal depression.

I only have one goal: keep getting better.
As long as can do that, all other goals are just milemarkers on the side of the road.

I know the day will come that my gun skills will begin to decline.
Father time will steal my reflexes, sight, quickness and no matter what I do or how hard I work at it, it just wont get better.

I fear nothing more than the day I have to look in the mirror and say,
you are as good now as you are ever going to be,....
Your best match is not in front of you, its behind you.

Until that day I will not allow depression to enter my mind or my heart, for I still have the power to achieve.

Tls

Edited by 38superman, 05 June 2012 - 04:04 PM.

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#41 PKT1106

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:54 PM

38Superman - Its not the decline of skills, its the getting to the best, knowing & wanting to do better, but there is nothing else to achieve after being the best. Think of preparing for and winning nationals against every elite shooter in the world and being told the next match is a club match. There is nothing higher than the beating the best on a worldy stage, but you have trained yourself to go further. The depression afterward can bring you down hard.
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#42 Less

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

I just came across this thread and I can't say I really understand all this talk about goal depression.


And that is certainly awesome... Perhaps, consider yourself lucky that you're of a tough mental persuasion.

Personally, I never believed I could suffer this problem... See, this was a breakout year for me:

  • Earned an Advanced Rating from Rogers
  • Won both Most Accurate and HOA at the Wounded Warrior Benefit IDPA match
  • Got my USPSA M-Card in Production
  • Got my IDPA M-Card in ESP (my second M-rating)
  • Was league champion at my PPC league
  • Shot a perfect 100 in bullseye
  • Finished 19th (top 20) at the FL open in Production
  • etc...

These success came about through A TON of time, effort and frustration. Then I got tired and went to go hang with my wife, who was busy living her own life mainly because since she wasn't going to wait around for free time that was never going to come from me... Then it sunk in that my marriage had serious issue. There is a fine line between supportive and uninvolved.

Hell, just knowing this is an issue, and knowing that others have similar issues, is huge.

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#43 Bshooter

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:56 PM

I also just came across this thread and it really hit home. I have been shooting USPSA since 1989. Unfortunately I was 41 when I started, that means it is tougher to stay at the top of your game. I would shake like a leaf when I competed in any big match, until about the last stage. I had butterflies in my stomach at monthly matches, fearing I would do lousy or screw up that other competitors would make comments about my shooting. It really bothered me for a long time. As the years went by and the major matches mounted, I calmed down and realized it was the challange of getting to the match, competing to the best of my ability and enjoying who I was shooting with. Sure I wanted to win, but sometimes it isn't in the cards. I shot the Single Stack Nationals this year and was happy to be in the top 1/3. I shot with a wonderful bunch of guys and have good memories of a great match. Sometimes I have the attitude of a Cub's fan(am not really a Cub's fan), "Wait til next year"

#44 AlamoShooter

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 03:26 PM

I am trying to out running this dark cloud again after the STC nationals this weekend. My team had a bad break with a shooters "Non Vortex scope" in one event and knocked us out of the hunt. This is nagging at me and will be a shadow in my thought for several nationals to come. But on the Bright side won First place as a two man team shooting the entire event again.

I know equipment breaks, But it still digs under my skin even from years past when as a team we had great possibilities only to have the score crash.
The problem is some of the games have a high preparation cost to be ready for the nationals, its still shooting but a different kind of combination. The hardest to prepare for and the hardest to come down off of.
Its the times that I doubt the overall cost that eats the worst at me, even with a first place prize.

luck good and bad is not the way I want to win or louse
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#45 falconpilot

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:05 PM

Great thread..

Wanted to share my depression story..sometimes this not just about shooting... I worked hard my whole life to reach my career goal..to be in charge and run a large corporate flight department. I flew every piece of crap with wings for years, lived below poverty level wages for years, did without when I couldn't afford to do with, and finally at 39 yrs young, found myself at the top of the ladder...least I not forget to mention all the great men that taught me, shaped me, and helped me along the way..it is their success in teaching a bull headed person, not mine that finds me where I am..this being said, once I reached this point in my life, I found myself becoming more and more depressed, more restless, more unhappy. We are taught our whole lives to always archive greater things, push forward, don't set idle, reach for more. When is more enough? Hell, I found myself thinking of quitting probably the best corporate job in America! I wish I could say it was some life changing event, but it has more than likely been an ulcer the size of a dinner plate, a wonderful family, and finally turning my life over to God again, that led me to realize how fortunate I am. I have a job most pilots would kill for, few will every have the fortune to achieve. It's hard to learn to be happy with what you have, and quite worrying about what you don't. This is not to say that I don't still find my head in a dark, smelly place from time to time(my own ass!), but instead of allowing this depression of achieving something and then not knowing what to do, I try very hard to realize how very blessed I am, and not forget those that aren't as fortunate as myself, especially in days world.

All this said, I've spent the last 6years shooting competitive long range rifle. I actually made the US F-Class team. The team spent the last four years preparing for the world shoot that just happened this past August out in Raton, NM. I wasn't apart of it...along the way, between life, family, work, I'd quit enjoying it..I actual dreaded going to a team shoot or tryout, as it had become work..hard work..and I shoot because it relaxed me, I had fun...so, I stepped aside this past year, put down my rifle, and picked up a pistol again this past spring. I enjoy shooting pistol..I look forward to going to matches, get excited on the drive to the range. In May, I shot the Arkansas Sectional championships. I'd been shooting well, pushing hard to make master this year...the match was a disaster. Everything that could go wrong, I did wrong..I spent days afterward replaying all me screw ups in my head. ..Then, in July, after more than a year since touching my long range rifle, I picked up it up again, drove up to Camp Perry on the banks of Lake Erie, and spent a wonderful week shooting the US Mid-range national championships...caught up with old friends, never once thought about having to shoot a perfect vertical target..just had fun....now, above my desk, hanging on my wall is the 2013 US F-Class Mid-Range National Championship trophy. We can't always win nor will we, but I'm convinced that as long as we are enjoying what we do, winning will come more often..and easier..as if proof of my theory, my shooting buddy, who quit shooting long range several years ago when he wasn't interested in chasing the US Team thing like I was, just won the Tennessee Mid-Range Championships...his love is now USPSA and has been for a good while. He eats, sleeps, breathes pistols now...he hadn't handled a rifle in over two years..we just went, and had fun..

Edited by falconpilot, 18 November 2013 - 11:40 PM.

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#46 benos

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 04:57 PM

Thanks for the nice lesson, falconpilot.

be


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#47 kcobean

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:30 PM

Great thread..

Wanted to share my depression story..sometimes this not just about shooting... I worked hard my whole life to reach my career goal..to be in charge and run a large corporate flight department. I flew every piece of crap with wings for years, lived below poverty level wages for years, did without when I couldn't afford to do with, and finally at 39 yrs young, found myself at the top of the ladder...least I not forget to mention all the great men that taught me, shaped me, and helped me along the way..it is their success in teaching a bull headed person, not mine that finds me where I am..this being said, once I reached this point in my life, I found myself becoming more and more depressed, more restless, more unhappy. We are taught our whole lives to always archive greater things, push forward, don't set idle, reach for more. When is more enough? Hell, I found myself thinking of quitting probably the best corporate job in America! I wish I could say it was some life changing event, but it has more than likely been an ulcer the size of a dinner plate, a wonderful family, and finally turning my life over to God again, that led me to realize how fortunate I am. I have a job most pilots would kill for, few will every have the fortune to achieve. It's hard to learn to be happy with what you have, and quite worrying about what you don't. This is not to say that I don't still find my head in a dark, smelly place from time to time(my own ass!), but instead of allowing this depression of achieving something and then not knowing what to do, I try very hard to realize how very blessed I am, and not forget those that aren't as fortunate as myself, especially in days world.

All this said, I've spent the last 6years shooting competitive long range rifle. I actually made the US F-Class team. The team spent the last four years preparing for the world shoot that just happened this past August out in Raton, NM. I wasn't apart of it...along the way, between life, family, work, I'd quit enjoying it..I actual dreaded going to a team shoot or tryout, as it had become work..hard work..and I shoot because it relaxed me, I had fun...so, I stepped aside this past year, put down my rifle, and picked up a pistol again this past spring. I enjoy shooting pistol..I look forward to going to matches, get excited on the drive to the range. In May, I shot the Arkansas Sectional championships. I'd been shooting well, pushing hard to make master this year...the match was a disaster. Everything that could go wrong, I did wrong..I spent days afterward replaying all me screw ups in my head. ..Then, in July, after more than a year since touching my long range rifle, I picked up it up again, drove up to Camp Perry on the banks of Lake Erie, and spent a wonderful week shooting the US Mid-range national championships...caught up with old friends, never once thought about having to shoot a perfect vertical target..just had fun....now, above my desk, hanging on my wall is the 2013 US F-Class Mid-Range National Championship trophy. We can't always win nor will we, but I'm convinced that as long as we are enjoying what we do, winning will come more often..and easier..as if proof of my theory, my shooting buddy, who quit shooting long range several years ago when he wasn't interested in chasing the US Team thing like I was, just won the Tennessee Mid-Range Championships...his love is now USPSA and has been for a good while. He eats, sleeps, breathes pistols now...he hadn't handled a rifle in over two years..we just went, and had fun..

 

This is good stuff.  A few rambling thoughts I'd like to add:

 

The saying that kept running through my head as I was reading this thread is "Joy is in the journey, not the destination". 

 

Anybody who shoots competitively has the drive to accomplish.  And here is what's significant about that when considering the phrase above.

 

The word "accomplish" is a verb.  It implies something we do, not something we have.  The shooting, the pursuit of the goal, IS the journey.  The achievement of the goal whether it's a match score or a classification bump is just a possession that you own. 

 

Like people who collect shot glasses or other trinkets from their worldly travels, the shot glass itself has very little value.  It's the journey commemorated by it that has value.  When they show the shot glass to their friends, they don't talk about the glass, they talk about the journey to obtain it.  The rest of the time the glass is just a thing on a shelf.  In shooting, the outcome itself is such a brief reward, and then you're left with the void of "what now?"  The mental mastery is to avoid that question.

 

So...when I finish a match, even if I smoked it, I don't give myself time to ask the empty question "so what now?"  It's a ridiculous question.  I make a mental list of all the things I'm going to work on before the next match.  I also think about when I'm going to clean my gun, load more ammo, reset my range bag.  These are all part of the journey and I love these things. They are the taxi rides to the airport on the journey of shooting, but they all matter.  I end every single match day barely able to wait for the next match and ready to put in the work ahead.


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#48 SonOfSpartans

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

Thanks to all that contributed to this thread. We all need reminders from time to time. Since it is between the holidays right now, one of the thoughts that was in my head while reading this is worth sharing.

 

Black Friday- The day we spend scrambling for things we think we need or want right after the day we gave thanks for what we had...........


I am looking for advice on finding the allusive "alot" that I see mentioned a lot. Are they so rare that they are allotted?





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