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Match MoJo or what do you do before a match?
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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 01:33 PM
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Rapier
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This subject is one of the least covered aspects of competition but every winning competitor does something before a match that lends to their mental well being, shooting in competition with success is about 98% mental, what is your routine or lucky thing(s)?

I have been shooting in national and world class competition since 1965. I am one of those aggravating SOBs that can pick up your gun and beat you with it and can shoot anything I pick up. I am a former military armorer, a member of the 101st Abn rifle and pistol team and the sniper for the 2/319th, 101st for 3 years. I have shot Rifle and Handgun silhouette (big bore and small bore) I quit shooting paper after the military, Pins, Plates, IPSC, a little IDPA and in the last few years Sporting Clays. I retired some years ago and today only shoot in charity events.

On my match day I start with a big breakfast, you run out of fuel during a match and you start shaking. I eat breakfast with a group of jokers so I keep loose. I wear my old Chipawa smooth sole stalking boots, my old shooting jacket and a match hat with a lot of hardware on it, a scare hat, if you will. If I am shooting IPSC I have a large, one size too small, state championship T shirt I always wear, the tight shirt keeps cloth out of the way. I put on a pair of black leather gloves and before I go on the line I dip both hands into the ice chest so I always shoot with wet leather on both hands. I borrow a hand towel from the motel and put it underwater in the ice chest. Between strings the towel cools me down (face wash and back of neck) and can be used to cool a barrel if I am in the desert during the summer.

What do you do the day of the match?
Ed



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 06:11 PM
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swampshooter

 

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I limit my coffee, only eat a light breakfast. I don't want to feel full or bloated. If I need a lift during the match I drink a Gatorade, otherwise it's water only. I take extra water to dump on my head and wet my shirt when I get too hot. Down in the pits on the high power rifle range the heat is brutal. South Texas heat is brutal in the summer and on or close to the coast the humidity is always high.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 07:32 PM
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Reinz
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As I get older I find the heat more intolerable. I sweat profusely in the summer months and get chaffed from the wet clothes. And no, I am not obese.
Enter "Under Armor"!!!
Even though I'm adding an extra layer of clothing in 90-100 degree heat, I am much cooler and dryer. I am more comfortable and can continue to shoot these summer months.

I wear the top short sleeve and bottom shorts as underwear.

And for winter, I wear the winter gear as well.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 22nd, 2013 10:37 PM
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-6
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Am a feather weight(140#s-6'2") so I bundle up to be more comfortable. Like Swamp I eat very light but snack along the way. Am slightly allergic to caffeine so no coffee/hot chocolate/or candy. Like my heart rate as slow as possible. Have not fired competitively in years but it is like riding a bike--you never forget the basics. To be good you do have to stay in practice till that shooter is a natural part of you. I used to sleep with a sling on my arm(loose)before a match.



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 Posted: Fri Aug 23rd, 2013 12:35 AM
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trhodes
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Well, this'll be short since I've only been to three shoots (F class). Lighter breakfast because I have to get up at 5am to get there in time for squadding/safety meetings, etc.

Then I walk around with a deer in-the-headlights look taking in all the different gear/setups. Try like crazy to act like I belong there, somehow I get a sign pinned to my back that says, "I'm a NOOB - kick me."

Not really...guys are very helpful and patient with the NOOB. That's why I keep coming back.

I don't really get intimidated by my scores, because at this stage, I'm just shooting against myself. If I end up in the middle of pack, then it was agood day.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 25th, 2013 08:00 AM
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Katch1
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I'm not a very high end competition shooter so I just try to treat it like any other day
I always try to just compete with myself because I feel like I can be my own worst enemy
Once the fun factor goes away I'll quit.
It is a nice feeling when you get to the point that when you feel the trigger go you know its a hit



 Posted: Fri Sep 6th, 2013 02:21 AM
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Mike333h
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I hope to answer this one of these days. I am really wanting to get into competition shooting. The range here in eastern Carolina said that they are looking to get something going soon. So I am keeping my fingers crossed.



 Posted: Fri Sep 6th, 2013 02:25 AM
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bstark
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I prepare myself by trying to remember what I forgot. Last time it was the bi-pod. Thankfully I was in the second relay, not the first.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 8th, 2013 05:04 PM
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Aussie Mick



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I like to be behind my target about 2 details prior to shooting, observe the wind flags. Look for a "pattern" if there is one. Try and see if its gusting regularly if you will.
I use my spotting scope to try and get a handle on the mirage.
I rarely eat breakfast, but will have a banana or two in my bag. I also only drink water as caffeine will play with your pulse.

Then i lay down to shoot and forget every thing that i thought i had covered and snatch the trigger hahaha



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 Posted: Thu Oct 3rd, 2013 04:10 AM
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swampshooter

 

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I believe that the main thing is to not do anything drastically different from your normal schedule. Yes, drinking coffee will elevate your blood pressure a little bit, but if you normally drink coffee in the mornings then abstaining will give you a headache. As in all hobbies there are some who are extremely serious competitors and don't drink coffee or cokes and refrain from eating chocolate or taking antihistamines year round. Some stop all coffee, cokes, chocolate and antihistamines 30 days before a big match. Others like myself take a little lighter approach, but then I'm not a National Champion either although I do take my shooting seriously. I shoot because I enjoy it, although I'll never be a top contender or a record setter. I still strive to shoot the best scores that I can shoot.



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Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
BC is like diamonds, maintaining value forever


 Posted: Sat Oct 19th, 2013 10:50 PM
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DarkShooter
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After reading a few posts, I realize you guys are doing some great shooting and most have more experience than me, but im surprised something hasn't been mentioned yet. What I consider the single most important detail-

Have your affairs in order.

Regardless if its work/home life/bills, etc etc. Try to have everything squared away, or at least at peace in your mind so you're not distracted or worried so nothing negative is in the back of your head. Also, have all gear accounted for, packed in advance, and gas up the car the night before.

I really think these things go a long way.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 20th, 2013 01:56 AM
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-6
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Good points DS. Distractions such as family problems will weigh on you and hurt your concentration. Like what "Katch" said--feels good when your round goes off and you know it is a hit. When you can "call" your shots before the marker goes up you have achieved a big step.
Aussie Mick said: "Then i lay down to shoot and forget every thing that i thought i had covered and snatch the trigger hahaha---Yep, done that also mate.



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Lk 22:35-38-if you don't have a sword then sell your cloak and buy one.
Peace is that glorious moment in history
when everyone stands around -- reloading.
Crisis is the absence of preparation


 Posted: Sat Nov 2nd, 2013 07:10 AM
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stickbow
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Eat foods that will keep you going. You know what works for you. Hydrate this is a must. Get to the range early sign in pay your money and find your squad. Get your tool belt on,dont wait until the last minute load all of your mags before you leave the house, Remember relax. Find your RSO introduce yourself and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Introduce yourself to the rest of the squad. As far as food Subway is perfect. PLEASE NOTE: Carry nitrile gloves wear them when you eat. Relax have fun watch and learn. I go to school every time I shoot a match. There is a lot more but being Mentally squared away when you get there is paramount.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2013 01:42 AM
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runfiverun
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I usually eat light.
but I do like to find a spot in view of the "pit" and take a nap.
then I wander around for a while drinking my Dr.Pepper and smoking a few smokes.
i'll usually eat a little something before shooting while i'm putting my gear on.
when it's time to come to the line is when I block things out and start the focus, it's not a good time to try and get my attention.
i'll double check where each piece of my gear is located one more time then go shoot.



 Posted: Sun Nov 10th, 2013 12:11 AM
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drinks
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A friend who was on the Border Patrol regional team said they all had 1oz. of Wild Turkey each hour, really helped the scores.



 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2014 01:55 PM
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snaketail
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Wet leather? That's a new one for me.

I make sure I have everything ready the night before. If not, I'll get hurried the next morning and that sets my day off wrong.

Gotta have one cup of coffee - would be worse without it.

Dress in layers - we have cold/cool morning and it warms up throughout the day.

I like to stay "in the game" for the whole match - I'm mentally alert and watching what is going on around me.

I went to the silhouette nationals a few years ago and one "cool" character got so engrossed in a book, he missed shooting his relay...got in his car and left! And I need both hands to count the times I've seen guys come to a match with an empty gun case.

Get prepared early (allows for 20-20 hindsight) and stay alert during the match.

I eat light, take a small can of V8 for a snack (your taste may vary) and try not to get stressed or hang around those who do.

M



 Posted: Sun May 25th, 2014 06:50 AM
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president100
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I try to be prepared and keep my normal routine.

Doesn't always work out but stay calm, match day still beats the hell out of work by a long shot(or a short one)!



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 Posted: Sat Mar 4th, 2017 01:12 PM
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ede
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I've won a few matches and don't do anything different or special on match day. I do like to do the same thing every time as far as how I lay stuff out or have stuff arranged on my belt.



 Posted: Mon Apr 24th, 2017 10:10 PM
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jackson1
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Clear the mechanism, as in the old Kevin Cosner's baseball movie. Just you and the target. Much easier to do once master the fundamentals. Just returned to trap shooting after a 40 year absence, once the game slowed down for me, getting my head in the proper place is paying dividends.



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