Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Training & Preparing for the Florida Open

Yesterday XArmyguy77 left a comment on here asking about training:

I take what I like from what Im taught and apply it to my training regimen. Which brings me to a topic I would like to see discussed.

What do you recommend on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for training?

What is the best ratio of live fire to dryfire?
And how often should one shoot in matches to test this training?

Another one of my biggest issues is gaming vs true tactical training. Is an even balance possible or is my end result going to be reduced loads and other tricks?

I chimed in with:

"If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his life to, I would answer: training.
Train more than you sleep."

-Masutatsu Oyama

That said, I practice about 15-30 minutes of dryfire a day, 2 live fire practice sessions a week (~200 rds center fire on weeknight session, ~300 rds .22 on weekends), and think about shooting constantly. I get to a lot of matches, mainly because I dig it...

Now, that might not work for some people, but doing something, even if for 15 minutes a day, will have a huge impact on performance. You measure yourself against yourself... (One thing I really like about USPSA and PPC is that the growth is measurable!)

I feel like I've got to add a few sentiments to that...


Having goals, even little ones, is vitally important to your training. It is near impossible to "train" without having an idea of what one is preparing for. Make no mistake, training is synonymous with preparation. (Link)

Caleb, from Gun Nuts, talks about some of his 2011 and 2012 goals. He examines his accomplishments and adjusts as necessary for his whims.

My strategy is much simpler - I tend to focus on items serially. Right now, my biggest goal is shooting a "perfect" 480 in PPC "Combat" match. USPSA and IDPA are taking a bit of a backseat to this endeavor right now.

A much recommended book on goal setting is Lanny Bassham's "With Winning in Mind". I spoke about it here.

Plan the work, work the plan

Before I got interested in shooting, I was a chemist. One of my favorite quotes was from Glenn Seaborg, 1951 Nobel Prize winner:

"I would like to emphasize a particularly necessary element in the makeup of a good scientist: simple hard work. Many a person of only better-than-average ability has accomplished, just on the basis of work and perseverance, much greater things than some geniuses. Such a hardworking individual will succeed where a lazy genius may fail."

- Glenn Seaborg

Yup... Not technique, not raw ability, but planning is one of my recipes for success.

See, once you have a goal, it is much simpler to examine what you need to do in order to get there, but life is life and it is fraught with difficulties: weddings, illness, budget, funerals, weather, work... When contrasting a hobby with that important stuff, the hobby takes a backseat - which puts a persons goal, and more importantly, dream, at jeopardy of failure.

I don't want to let my chance at catching a dream pass me by but I can't have my life in shambles either.

Thus, planning becomes one of the most important things I can do to ensure my domestic and shooting-related success.

Get organized: I'm a big believer in David Allen's "Getting Things Done".

Part of the reason why I started the calendar was so that my wife wouldn't go nuts not knowing where I was going next!

Does shooting cut into other stuff? You bet. I'm missing the Street Dogs this Thursday to run the MISS match. I missed Puddle of Mud last week. I miss sleeping in on the weekends. I was in Utah for my anniversary. But I'm committed to my goal and with planning was even able to work through the difficulties of missing my anniversary.

Success doesn't happen overnight...

A Glimpse into the Maddness... Prepping for the Florida Open

Last year I felt like I underperformed at the Florida Open. It was a perfect storm of exhaustions, being overwhelmed and walking into a match with a reputation blind. I was so exhausted by the experience that I didn't even blog about it!

In spite of that, I did ok - finishing in the top 25%.

This year I refuse to be a chump! (though Krupa will argue that point...)

Kozy and I began preparations for FLOP12 in the beginning of November!

Here's a summary of what we're trying to do:

1.) Since FLOP uses IPSC "Classic" targets, we have to get used to them. From now until the match, we'll shoot nothing but "stop signs" in our Monday night matches.

2.) Since the FLOP is renown for confusing stages with wide open targets, set in odd configurations that favor Limited-division and since the FLOP doesn't publish stage diagrams, we're pulling video of FLOP9, FLOP10, and FLOP11 to reverse engineer some of the stage designs. What we're looking for is the "gotcha's" and trying to incorporate those into our training routine. This is a tough job since watching the open shooters is amazing...

3.) Just like we use Google Calendars to bring you matches, I use it to coordinate my business and plan our practice sessions.

4.) Last year, we drove. The night before. To Florida. I shot the match on 4 hours of sleep... Epic. Fail.
This year, my wife is taking our ammo and some equipment down early. Kozy and I fly out on Wednesday night, scope the match on Thursday, check gear, get settled, sleep, and shoot the match on Friday. Which sounds like a winning combination?

While nothing ensures victory or can guarantee success, this will make it more likely...