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Thread: What it takes to win... outside gear

  1. #1
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    What it takes to win... outside gear

    Some time ago, replying to Tony Harper, I explored a little about the mental shooting side. Tony prompt me to continue that route, a route seldom in focus on these discussions. I have to confess that it frighten me, because english is not my mother language, I'm from Europe and not necessarily with the same point of view regarding rimfire benchrest. But, after some time, and because our goal is the same, winning, why not?

    So, here it is, a thread about the winning path regardless of gear, all about YOU!

    Here, we will talk about the "other side". The one that hurts... and I mean it.
    Let's learn together how to improve our stamina to get there. Understand why some days are not our days, and some, whatever we do, it goes where it counts.
    Know ourselves, establishing what to expect, draw action plans, training procedures, attitude, mental learning...

    This thread takes in account two key points:
    1. Bad gear won't get you anywhere
    2. Great gear, without a proper mental fit, will be a failure too

    There's no granted solution for all, remember, only one can win, all the others will lose.
    Loosing should be perceived differently according to respective goals and investment. A defeat for some, could be a victory for others...

    I'm just starting, and by no means consider my opinions/experience as final. I do expect some brilliant minds to come and share thoughts and experiences.

    That said, this thread will grow, or die, depending on your interest and participation.

  2. #2
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    Mind set

    There is a great deal to be said about mental stamina in all sports including rimfire benchrest. Set your bench up the same way every time you shoot. Repeating the same actions over and over until the match is finished is critical. You should always be thinking about what you are doing. After lining up your shot check your flags, keeping an eye on the others too. Don’t worry how the shooter next to you is doing. Don’t let that minus one way out there throw you, these shots will happen, it can put you off if you let it. All the shots you have taken, no longer matter, the one you are about to take is the most important one. Bob
    Last edited by Bob1949; 03-07-2022 at 12:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    Very good thread Pedro.
    Always great to have you share. First off, your English is better than 1/2 the guys that post anyway and for some that do not know, Pedro S is a multiple EU RFBR champion and one of few always willing to give “ qualified/experienced” opinions of high value for those willing to listen.
    That said, one thing I might offer that I rarely read about. You must have a short memory. A must.
    By that I mean….mistakes will be made shooting BR….nobody shoots consistently perfect.
    I have seen guys miss a shot, lose a point, X, whatever, and mentally their attitude goes right out the window, and things go down hill.
    I have been lucky enough to win a couple matches hear and there and sometimes you shoot the best but sometimes you simply make the fewest mistakes….often both.
    I only shoot outdoors and a good friend,CFBR, world record holder once told me, often you can only take what the range gives you. pays to remember that.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob1949 View Post
    There is a great deal to be said about mental stamina in all sports including rimfire benchrest.
    If you practice a lot of sports, what is common to all? YOU. So it is your mentality that's always present. Look, I said present, not working... That's a huge difference. Learning to focus on what you are doing, and most importantly, on what you are going to do (visualisation) is key. Your brain is leading you, either voluntary or involuntary. I'm not going further on physiology, but understand that we have an automatic pathway, and a conscious pathway. Both are different and perform differently. In shooting, you should do everything automatically, if have trained for that, except aiming. Aiming is the only conscious action you should do when shooting. Benchrest has a more complex aiming technique, a harder one, because, both eyes should perform different tasks. The lead eye aiming, the other taking care of wind. More on that later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob1949 View Post
    Set your bench up the same way every time you shoot. Repeating the same actions over and over until the match is finished is critical.
    Indeed, repetition is key too. But repetition of well establish technique, because repeating the same error won't lead you to a different outcome, than the same error... But how do I know the technique is correct? Then, and only you have made this question to your soul, you happen to realize you should go to another step. Realising what you need! Easier to say, harder to feel. Questioning ourselves. The best way to progress. Know where to look to learn. Execute what you have seen. Refrain, interpret, analyse and decide.
    We are just scratching this topic...
    What I do when on International meetings... I don't pay too much attention on gear. We all can have good gear. What I do see is, the ones I consider good ones, is their technique, what they are doing, how they do it. My 1st big lesson was on the 2016 Worlds, where I learn more in 4 days than on several years... on the 3rd day's shooting I thought to myself, I should do this, and ended the last day winning that day. It was, even if not winning the match, my very 1st win. I understood what some are doing that could lead you further. Remember what I said? A defeat for some could be a victory to others. Step by step...

    Great points Bob, keep them coming

  5. #5
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    Another good food for thought...

    Have you ever looked closely to a fork? It's a very dangerous weapon.
    How many times did you hurt your lips with it during meals? Not seldom, I hope...

    Now, full adults, eating with a fork is so easy, that we even don't think about it. Take a breath, and think about the full movement, all the necessary muscles to accomplish the task.

    Now let's come back many years, until we were small kids. Until we learn to use the fork, until our muscles strength allowed us to pick correctly the fork.
    It took years of practice to perform that task perfectly.

    Shooting is no different, it take time to perform correctly, and without thinking about it, all the steps before pulling that trigger.

    Take some time thinking about this... and see where you should pay more attention.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Very good thread Pedro.
    Always great to have you share. First off, your English is better than 1/2 the guys that post anyway and for some that do not know, Pedro S is a multiple EU RFBR champion and one of few always willing to give “ qualified/experienced” opinions of high value for those willing to listen.
    That said, one thing I might offer that I rarely read about. You must have a short memory. A must.
    By that I mean….mistakes will be made shooting BR….nobody shoots consistently perfect.
    I have seen guys miss a shot, lose a point, X, whatever, and mentally their attitude goes right out the window, and things go down hill.
    I have been lucky enough to win a couple matches hear and there and sometimes you shoot the best but sometimes you simply make the fewest mistakes….often both.
    I only shoot outdoors and a good friend,CFBR, world record holder once told me, often you can only take what the range gives you. pays to remember that.
    Tim, you've hit the nail on the head in regards to me. I can't tell you how many times I've shot a dozen sighters before going to a record bull, including the sighter next to it, ALL 10's or X's, & shoot a 9. I might as well pack my gear up cause I'm screwed for the rest of the target! It pisses me off! lol
    The other thing I'd noticed is I may do exceptionally well on the morning match & shoot mediocre or even tank in the afternoon. Same with a 2 day match. All I can attribute the above 2 things are is I get too nonchalant about things & loose my concentration.
    Mindset is huge in all of this for sure.
    Keith

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Very good thread Pedro.
    Always great to have you share. First off, your English is better than 1/2 the guys that post anyway and for some that do not know, Pedro S is a multiple EU RFBR champion and one of few always willing to give “ qualified/experienced” opinions of high value for those willing to listen.
    Thanks Tim.


    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    That said, one thing I might offer that I rarely read about. You must have a short memory. A must.
    By that I mean….mistakes will be made shooting BR….nobody shoots consistently perfect.
    I have seen guys miss a shot, lose a point, X, whatever, and mentally their attitude goes right out the window, and things go down hill.
    I have been lucky enough to win a couple matches hear and there and sometimes you shoot the best but sometimes you simply make the fewest mistakes….often both.
    Fantastic point. Forgetting...
    If I might explain with different words, the next shot it's the only that matters. You can do nothing after you pulled the trigger (this should also be approached, because, in fact, there's a lot of discussion if we should pull consciously the trigger...), so it's done. Forget that shot, and went to the next.
    Several times I saw shooters complaining... *+*+*+ I made a nine, sh***. Please never do that, or think about it. What you are doing is a negative feedback to your brain. And the brain doesn't understand why, he just realize the owner is not happy. And the more negative feedback you give, the more negative spiral your brain will work. And in a sudden you are out, or, as Tim said, down hill. It's much more common than you think. This also happens a lot after a card... the wind, bla-bla-bla... that bullet, bla-bla-bla... the wind changed just when I shot, bla-bla-bla... Does it matters? Is this important for your next card? It wouldn't be better to analyse and correct to the conditions, saying to yourself, I can do it?
    It leads us to a talk about positive vs negative feedback. And last words on this for today, is easier to go down, than to go up, so act accordingly.
    To win, you have to be lucky, but practicing gives a lot of luck. That I know!

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    I only shoot outdoors and a good friend,CFBR, world record holder once told me, often you can only take what the range gives you. pays to remember that.
    Very wise words, accept what the day gives you. Expect lower scores when the wind blasts. Don't blame the gear. It's your gear, so if it's not well, it's your fault.
    Once a great Champion told me, you are just as good as your lower score. Wow, that hurts. But if your mentality is that one, you will find the way to work through it, and raise your average score. This is positive feedback, kind of... but if you don't care about your lowest score, you'll never understand why it happened, and it will again, to ruin that match.
    This has to do with comforts zones... later topic.

  8. #8
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    Lanny Bassham . This sounds a lot like what he teaches.

    Todd

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    Quote Originally Posted by linekin View Post
    Tim, you've hit the nail on the head in regards to me. I can't tell you how many times I've shot a dozen sighters before going to a record bull, including the sighter next to it, ALL 10's or X's, & shoot a 9. I might as well pack my gear up cause I'm screwed for the rest of the target! It pisses me off! lol
    The other thing I'd noticed is I may do exceptionally well on the morning match & shoot mediocre or even tank in the afternoon. Same with a 2 day match. All I can attribute the above 2 things are is I get too nonchalant about things & loose my concentration.
    Mindset is huge in all of this for sure.
    Keith
    I would also say, to follow on, waaaay too many guys forget a big, big, factor we all deal with.
    Keith mentions one element that we all have, and no doubt experienced.What lots of guys do not factor in nearly enough( again mostly outdoors) is the fact that most matches as the day progresses……the conditions usually get more challenging. You have to often concentrate hardest on the latter targets.
    How many times have we messed up at the 11th hour because, probably, got a little lazy?

  10. #10
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    Great thread, hopefully it keeps rolling.
    I will make one last point and then shut my trap. It is another big factor to performance and relates to match shooting and practice.
    If you’re ever going to get better you need to be honest with yourself. What does that nean?
    I cannot recount the times over the years I hear guys bitch about a lost shot because….” It’s my ignition”…..” it was a bad round”, etc., etc, and often…..quite often BULLS..T, you missed a condition plain and simple.
    Now sure, folks have gun issues, and there are some rounds out there, but lots of guys refuse to acknowledge they messed up.
    Any time I drop a shot, the first thing I ask is “ what did I miss? What did I do wrong?” Amazing what goes on down range that is very hard to quantify, easily missed, and I only began to understand when I acquired a high end wind measurement system.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by linekin View Post
    I can't tell you how many times I've shot a dozen sighters before going to a record bull, including the sighter next to it, ALL 10's or X's, & shoot a 9. I might as well pack my gear up cause I'm screwed for the rest of the target! It pisses me off! lol
    The other thing I'd noticed is I may do exceptionally well on the morning match & shoot mediocre or even tank in the afternoon. Same with a 2 day match. All I can attribute the above 2 things are is I get too nonchalant about things & loose my concentration.
    Mindset is huge in all of this for sure.
    Keith
    Two different aspects you refer, and yes, we all have (and still are) been there.

    Pum, pum, pum, all Xs, ok, let's start counting... pum... nine! Argh...
    Have you understood the bias you introduced? On the sighter you are training, experimenting, and rejoicing of what you're doing. Then, let's start... it will begin counting... brain strain... consciously shooting... error! It also happens to, let's named them, the nine starters, and, the nine finishers. It's the same wrong brain interpretation and conditioning.
    It requires a special practice to eliminate that transition. Once, Stuart Elliot told me, you are wasting too many 10s on sighters. It's a very strong statement, and a very valid one. Remember, sighters don't count. When you are in a condition (we are talking outdoors), and shooting at sighters, the condition time is rolling, and normally it will end just before you're going to the counting target, loosing the condition. Worst still, you give a negative feedback to your brain. Learn to shoot in two conditions, and an emergency third. Use the former two and be confident. Practice is the strongest tool to develop confidence.

    Loosing pace towards the end of the match.
    Normally we don't practice like on a match. We shoot 2~3 cards in a row and done. Wrong! No match is like that. So, how can you practice like that and expect to perform differently? It's not only loosing focus, is fatigue, dehydration, hungry... your body is not used to.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    If you’re ever going to get better you need to be honest with yourself. What does that nean?
    Key success factor, being honest with yourself.
    I'm not going any further, at least for now, but do ask yourself... when was the last time?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedroS View Post
    Key success factor, being honest with yourself.
    I'm not going any further, at least for now, but do ask yourself... when was the last time?
    Well Pedro, I try, but we are all imperfect beings( just ask my wife ). The road to solutions is to first acknowledge the problem.
    Many thanks.Great discussion.

  14. #14
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    Manage fatigue

    Keith and Tim brought up some good points, as well as others, above. To my point, long days, and back to back weekend matches.

    There is a darn good reason an ARA double point club tournament has to be 6 cards. As mentioned, especially outdoors. Fatigue, both eye strain and attentiveness, as well as changing conditions. Both contribute to 6 cards being more difficult than 4 cards. Learning to mange that is important.

    Another issue is back to back matches/tournaments over the two days of a weekend, especially at two different venues. I shot a lot of those in 2020 and 2021. Not always, but mostly, second day results were more difficult to obtain than first day results. Keeping hydrated, limiting after match 'social' activities, and frequent small meals/snacks during the course of the weekend did improve my stamina and concentration. Throw in appropriate caffeine doses during the matches as well. Another reason the ARA A-line formula rewards those that shoot a lot of tournaments and different venues. It's more difficult to score well shooting more cards in a day and different venues.

    For those that do not travel, these may be moot points, but by following the above suggestions did help me stay in focus better than years past.

    Scott
    Last edited by doclu60; 03-08-2022 at 08:40 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by todde View Post
    Lanny Bassham . This sounds a lot like what he teaches.

    Todd
    Exactly. I have his book, With Winning In Mind. A good read.

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