In this Shaving Seconds post we’ll be building upon the last Shaving Seconds post, Perception Is Not Reality where I discussed taking the necessary time required to get an A zone hit and it’s imperceivable effect on the timer. Once you’ve mastered that concept and have disciplined yourself to only get A zone hits you’ll probably notice that you can only shoot as fast as you can shoot. Like the old adage suggests, you can only shoot as fast as you can see. You have to see faster to shoot faster, but that’s an entirely different post that I’ll address later.
So if you can only shoot at a certain speed, but you want to lower your time in the stage, how do you do it? Simple, you move faster. Sounds like an over simplification, right? Well it really is that simple. It’s all about building in efficiencies into everything you do. The faster you can get into and out of a position the lower your times will be. How fast can you draw? How fast can you reload? What about your footwork when moving from one shooting box to the next? How fast can you go prone and then get back out of prone? It’s really all about moving fast and shooting slow.
To master moving fast I think taking and reviewing video of yourself while shooting will be the best tool in your arsenal to identify your inefficiencies and knowing where you need to spend your time. If your reloads and draws are slow, you can make significant strides by spending 15 minutes a night dry firing to build the speed into those movements which you will perform on every stage.
Are you dropping your gun and then raising it between targets? Are you moving too far when coming into new shooting positions when it’s not required? Are you reloading after you arrive at the next position instead of while moving to the next postions? All of these little things add up fast and can make the difference between first and second plance.
Also look for mental inefficiencies. A great example of a mental inefficiency is when you draw to shoot a distant target the requires a very slow well aimed shot. Does drawing your pistol take any more time then when you’re drawing to a target 3 yards away? Not at all! But I’ve seen it dozens of times where a shooter will draw very slow to take the slow shot. Again you should move fast to get into the positions to shoot slow. This is something you should be watching out for on the video. You should also get some other shooters to review the video as well since they will certainly notice things you didn’t.
Once you’ve identified your slow points and address them you’ll really start to see much improved times as well as better scores overall.