Competitive Shooting

Preparing for IDPA Part 3: What Not to Do

In the past two posts, we’ve talked a lot about how to prepare for IDPA matches in terms of checking your gear and how to set up a practice session.  Today is probably the most important post of the three, because it covers the crash landings of IDPA preparation.  The first big crash landing is one of mine, which is the tendency to obsess.  So, here’s the first tip:

  • Don’t over think it

IDPA is a game.  And it’s actually a very simple game.  There are a ton of variables in IDPA, and the only ones you can control are you shooting and your gear.  Once those are set, worrying about anything else won’t really benefit you, so just let it go and focus on practicing for the match.  Speaking of practice, here’s tip number 2:

  • Don’t over practice

It is entirely possible to push yourself too hard in practice and not have anything left in the tank for the actual match!  Don’t do that.  If your practice sessions reach a point where you’re frustrated and tired, stop.  Find something fun to do like watch Top Shot reruns on Netflix or make the cat chase a laser pointer around the room.  Practicing until you’re frustrated enough to throw the gun across the room won’t help.  And with practice in mind, here’s tip 3:

  • Don’t try to learn something new in a week

I fire my first shot at the IDPA World Championship on Friday of next week.  That’s just a week away, and I’m certainly not going to learn any new skills in that time.  But that’s a trap that a lot of shooters fall in of trying to learn some new super-seekrit ninja trick just before the match.  Especially if that new skill involves changing something that you’re already pretty good at.  And finally, the last crash landing:

  • Don’t take it so seriously you don’t have fun

Shooting matches is part of my job.  Whether it’s a club match or a major match, it’s something that I’m responsible for doing and obligated to multiple parties to do well.  But even with that, it’s still fun.  The day that I stop having fun at matches is the day I hang it all up and take up hang-gliding or shark baiting or some other dangerous hobby.  Yes, competing is serious and a challenge, but it’s also supposed to be fun.  If you’re not having fun when you’re shooting, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.

If you liked our IDPA Prep posts, head over to Cheaper than Dirt to pick up your IDPA essentials!

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