Pistol Competitions Arch Rival

competitive shootingWhat would be the opposite of an Arch Rival? A role model? A mentor?

In the world of pistol competition, ultimately, we compete against our own selves; therefore, our unfocused or uncertain attitude stands as the Arch Rival, not another shooter. Our last performance’s scores sets today’s goals, not the score or firing speed of the guy shooting next to us. The mind, though, plays games we don’t always count on. Consider, for example, the time we take to practice and drill ourselves for timing, cadence, and choreography of the match. Come match day, we step up to the line for our assigned relay and we don’t always know who stands next to us. The target turns and we draw, fire, and execute the proscribed course of fire. And that unknown guy next to us finishes well ahead of time. When we are still new, we freak out, imaging there is some race to win and we just got behind. The next time the target turns, we try and go as fast as that competitor next to us thinking we need to catch up. I learned about this the hard way my first big regional match in Raton, NM back in 1999. As it turned out, the Quick Draw/ Even Quicker Shooter was newer than me. I ruined my own concentration and myown scores getting caught up in what someone else did. I lost my focus and I allowed uncertainty to rule. Fortunately, I found role models, mentors and instructors who taught me not just the basic fundamentals of marksmanship, but how to employ them. And, ultimately, focusing on that, alone, brought me into the necessary mindset, focus and confidence which moved me forward as a competitor. We compete solo, but we don’t get to competitive levels alone. Find role models and mentors and then, turn around and become one yourself.

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"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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