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  1. #1

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    How long did it take you be "good"?

    I've been shooting IDPA and USPSA for a while now and I'm leaps and bounds better than I was five months ago. I still look at my competition locally and feel like I'm not "good". I say "good" because I don't know how you define it. How do you personally define good? What happened in your shooting that made you feel like you were "good"?

  2. #2

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    That’s a tough question.

    Never shoot your best target.
    President's Hundred
    A2 Service Rifle High Master XC
    Distinguished Rifleman
    1,000 yd A2 Service Rifle Expert
    Incessant Tinkerer

  3. #3

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    You've only shot one season and are expecting to run with the big dogs?

    How many instructive shooting sports classes have you taken?

    In shooting sports the score sheet determines "good." Where you fall on the sheet let's you determine where good is for you.
    Last edited by bwframe; 08-25-2019 at 22:21.
    Done, done, and I’m on to the next one...

  4. #4
    Plinker Good on paper's Avatar

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    Maybe you need to define a goal and that will help you measure your progress?
    Mine used to be make A in uspsa and be a local match contender in my division. I dropped the A class goal figuring it will come as I improve.
    Where you place is so dependent on who else shows up. In the last 2 matches I shot I took 1st in one and 4th in the other in my division. The local hotness was at the 4 place finish match and I was more proud of that one than the 1st in division, I also knew I shot better.
    If you want a hard numbers metric the classifiers are probably the best bet as they’re the same and it’s a safe bet you’ll shoot them more than once in 2 seasons or so.
    The real eye opener was comparing last years ‘good stage’ videos to this years. I’m more confident and move more efficiently.
    I'm still not ‘good’ but I’m getting better
    Last edited by Good on paper; 08-25-2019 at 22:25. Reason: Clarity

  5. #5

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    Not to sound all high and mighty but i did get high over all at the last uspsa at acc ( no one needs to know that only 24 of the usual 100 showed up).

    I’m not expecting to win. I still see the huge skill gap that is going to take lots of dedication before I ever get close. It’s more a personal question about when you started to feel like a good shooter. I was always the best handgun shooter among my friends and thought I was “good”. Now looking at the skill gap just locally I realize I’m not.

    I’m training often to get to the point where I’m “good” but I don’t know how to define it. My initial classification is c class. Which isn’t “ good” but if you put me up against 100 people who walk into a gun shop on a given day I like my odds of being well within top half.

    I would say I have “ good” splits and gun handling for an average shooter but only average accuracy, does that mean I’m “good”?

    I just like to get to get in the heads of the other crazy people who spend too much time and money putting holes in cardboard.

  6. #6
    Marksman marvin02's Avatar

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    Hopefully you'll never be satisfied, your personal definition of "good" will constantly adjust and you will keep challenging yourself.

    I remind myself that learning safe gun handling comes first, having fun is second and to compete first with myself and look for improvement.

    I'm a newb at this shooting stuff, for me there is much to learn and experience, hopefully the opportunities learn and improve never run out.

  7. #7
    Expert Cowboy1629's Avatar

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    The older you get the more the definition of “good” will change. As your eyesight and reaction time deteriorate so does your score. You may be wiser but not necessarily faster or as accurate as you once were.

    So “good” might mean you completed the match, shot the best you physically could, and enjoyed your time on the range with good people.

  8. #8
    Master Twangbanger's Avatar

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    It sounds like you're comparing yourself to others. It's good to look how you're doing in relation to others, but if you make it your sole focus, it will crush you. My observation has been that anybody who has been doing it long enough, will eventually get passed by someone who has only been doing it a couple years, but who works really hard, has limited family responsibilities, and gets hot. In fact, if you stick around long enough, this cycle will probably get repeated every five years or so. Further observation is that the hot ones also often burn out, sell their guns and move on in a few years. Very few can be competitive outside their home state, and pretty much everyone finds out the hill tips upward very steeply, once you're outside the "small pond" of your local club.

    At some level, everybody sucks. The suckage gets better over time. Enjoy the journey and make progress. Keep your shooting brain fresh by switching it up and shooting other guns and other matches now and then; don't get enslaved to one type of sport. Try to be the person who's still there in five years, learning and improving, because you didn't get demoralized at the competition your first few years. That is success in my book.

    In shooting sports and other activities like music, I'm constantly encountering people who are not only better, but on a whole, completely different level. What I have learned over time, after seeing what they've had to do in their lives to get to that level of shooting or playing, is that I would not trade places with them for anything.
    Last edited by Twangbanger; 08-26-2019 at 01:42.

  9. #9
    Master happygunner's Avatar

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    When you go to level 2 matches or 3 like Area matches, that's how you can tell how good you are. Local matches are not a good barometer for skills IMO.

  10. #10
    Master NHT3's Avatar

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    What is your end game, competing at a national level in USPSA or improving your self defense skills? I sometimes shoot USPSA for practice but use the carry gun match to gauge myself since my focus is improving my potential to defend myself. The phrase "What level of imperfection are you willing to settle for in your pistol shooting" applies here. When I shoot a Carry gun match I look at my number of A zone hits compared to others and if I don't have any D zone hits or Mikes and finish in the top half that's what I consider a good match. I'll always want to improve my "level of imperfection" and with great instruction (from Coach) and practice I've become more capable that I ever dreamed I would be a few years ago.

    NRA Life Member / Basic Pistol instructor / RSO

    "Under pressure, you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That's why we train so hard"
    Unnamed Navy Seal

    “Ego is the reason many men do not shoot competition. They don't want to suck in public”

    Aron Bright

    Last edited by NHT3; 08-26-2019 at 04:40.
    Any man can make mistakes but only and idiot persists in his error.. Cicero 200 BC

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