A reflective post written more for me than thee. Read on if you choose.
The results from last Sunday's USPSA match were posted. I finished about where I expected. There were no surprises, and I find myself mostly pleased with what I see.
That I saw no surprises in the scores is revealing. When I first started this sport, I barely remembered shooting the targets once the stage was over. Heck, I rarely even watched the RO score the stage. Now that I'm more focused, and am building confidence, I have a good feeling of how I did when I finish shooting, and I am no longer embarrassed to hear the hits being called out by the RO.
In Sunday's match I finished 30th out of 56 Production shooters. So, about in the middle of the pack, and that meshes with my current 49.03% "C" classification. My best finish was 26th on Stage 7. I was very happy with that. I was the first shooter on the stage and that lead off position often gets my jitters going. At the time I felt like I shot the course at a good pace, and tried to keep moving (though slowly) and not stop when shooting the close targets along the sides. I had no "D" hits or misses on that stage. I saw my lowest finish on Stage 2, at 37th. I expected that; it was the last stage of the long day, and I also hit a no-shoot.
The one "disappointment" I mention, though mild, is related to Stage 5, the Classifier stage. I knew it at the time when I saw two "D" hits. Once the classification scores are run, that will come in at a lower average than where I currently sit. Still within the "C" but it's one more score making it harder to get the average up. I was thrilled when I made "C" less than a year after starting USPSA, but I've not moved up much since then. I'd love to get my "B" card someday, but I need to do better on these standard tests. (I'm not a test taker, what can I say?)
Both Stage 5 and Stage 2 had me shooting while leaning around a barricade. Even if the lean is not extreme, I am aware that I need to practice that skill more. Those two stages reaffirmed that.
My takeaway from the match is that having confidence and relaxing helps. I walked into the match thinking about the fun of seeing friends I hadn't seen in awhile, and simply looking forward to shooting. I tried to not shoot too fast (not always successful). I also decided to try start shooting on the move when I could. I plan to work on shooting around barricades and also practice getting the gun on target faster when moving into a new position.
As mentioned previously, match day was a long one. The match lasted over 6 hours. By adding my times for all 7 stages I see that I spent a total of 3.32 minutes actually shooting. And to think, my goal is to spend even less time at a match doing that!
That's enough naval gazing for now. I have my list of things to work on. Time for some dry fire practice. See you on the range!