Sunday, February 27, 2011

Practise, Practise, Practise

So now I have acquired my equipment, and I have completed my Black Badge. Basically I am on my own; it is now up to me to establish a training schedule and move forward with the sport. For me it means training with like-minded individuals, having fun, and establishing a routine. I try to at least get to the range once a week, and instead of simply sending lead down range, I try to establish a few regular drills.

Besides the drills, an important part of my training includes perfecting my draw, and reloading efficiently. I'm very far from achieving these, but I do realise the importance of having a timer, to record my draw speed to the first shot, and also to record the speed of a reload.

So what do I do if I train alone?

No problem, get a timer, holster my firearm and perform a drill. Check my draw speed, and reload speed, as well as my target hits, and adjust. Either I am working too fast, and need to slow down to improve accuracy, or vice versa.

I like to warm up by drawing and firing two shots at a target at 5m, then 7m, then 10m, and repeating until I am comfortable. I then move out to 20-25m and practise accuracy. My objective is to get all my shots within the Alpha and Charlie zones, and to eliminate all Mikes. This is difficult with a production gun, but it helps me to control my breathing, trigger squeeze and my tendency to flinch. I repeat the longer distance drills until I have tightened up my groupings. Then I set up a few targets, using two lanes and incorporating No Shoots, and I draw, fire, reload, fire, using a timer. I try to work on my balance between time and accuracy.

As for practising with like-minded individuals is concerned, there is a members league night every Monday evening from 6-9 pm at the TSE. Unfortunately, and I haven't been going for long, but this event seems to get spasmodic support. There are less than a handful of regulars, half of which are newbies. I don't know, perhaps people are busy, or perhaps it is irritating for the veterans to practise with newbies, which would be unfortunate, but this event should be supported more vigorously and is invaluable for advice. Thanks Frank and Joe.

Below is a tiny glimpse of what we do on Monday nights, during TSE IPSC league. Here you can see some of the equipment in action.

Next I will discuss the cost of practising, and what I have decided to do about it.
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