#7: Flying to Nationals & Purpose of Big Matches

Ben BerryPodcast

This week on Short Course, I talk about my experience flying to the USPSA Nationals in 2017, particularly my mistake of trying to fly with my ammo. I also discuss what I look to get out of a big match like a Level 2, and what isn’t all that important to me.

#6: Visualizing Stages in More Detail

Ben BerryPodcast

This week on Short Course, I talk about learning to visualize in more detail after a few bad exerpeinces at recent matches. I also discuss using the right range commands, and an example of a higher round count stage being less complex than a shorter stage.

#5: Lessons Learned in Practice

Ben BerryPodcast

Short Course Podcast-005-Lessons Learned in Practice

This week on Short Course, I talk about a new USPSA podcast that just started called the Shoot Fast Podcast. I cover some ideas that the hosts gave me about improving my own practice and a few things I discovered on my own during my recent practice session. If you want to get future episodes automatically, subscribe to the podcast feed.

#4: Planning Your Major Match Schedule

Ben BerryPodcast

Short Course Podcast-004-Planning Your Major Match Schedule

This week on Short Course, I talk about how I look at the different types of matches, based on the level of competition they offer and the resources required to shoot them. I outline a plan to decide which matches to shoot in a give year based on where you are as a shooter and where you can make the most useful progress. As an illustration, I apply this idea to my own 2018 match schedule. If you want to get future episodes automatically, subscribe to the podcast feed.

#3: Gear Changes in 2017

Ben BerryPodcast

Short Course Podcast-003-Gear Changes in 2017

On this episode of Short Course, I talk about a few gear changes I made in 2017, what I liked and disliked about the old gear, and what pushed me over the edge to change to something else. The items covered include my magazine pouches, Tanfoglio grip panels, bullet weight and profile, hat camera, and the biggest change of the year: switching guns. If you want to get future episodes automatically, subscribe to the podcast feed.

#2: IPSC Nationals

Ben BerryPodcast

Short Course Podcast-002-IPSC Nationals

On this episode of Short Course, I talk about shooting IPSC Nationals in 2017: why I wanted to go, some of the changes I had to make to prepare for it, and the experience of shooting. I talk about an interesting experience at the equipment check, and a shooter using video evidence to get a controversial call overturned, which IPSC allows. If you want to get future episodes automatically, subscribe to the podcast feed.

#1: Intro & Setting Goals

Ben BerryPodcast

Short Course Podcast-001-Intro & Setting Goals

On the first episode of Short Course, I briefly introduce myself as a shooter, and kick things off with a discussion of goals. I talk about setting a goal to make GM in 2017, failing to meet the goal, what I learned from it, and how I think about goals today. If you want to get future episodes automatically, subscribe to the podcast feed.

Flying To A Match With Guns

Ben BerryBlog

2017 Iron Sights Nationals - USPSA Nationals - Southern Utah Practical Shooters - St. George, UT - Berry Shooting

I flew to Iron Sights Nationals  in St. George, Utah this year, and it was the second time I’d ever flow with guns. Nobody ever talks about the hassles of flying with competition guns and enough ammo to shoot a 417-round match (it’s a lot more than 417 rounds), so I wanted to talk about my experience while it was fresh. First off, ship your ammo. It is somewhat expensive, but well, well worth it. Compared to the $25 for another checked bag or $100 for an overweight bag, not to mention match fees, plane ticket, and so on, shipping … Read More

Thoughts on IPSC Nationals 2017

Ben BerryBlog

2017 US IPSC Nationals - Universal Shooting Academy - Frostproof, FL - Berry Shooting

Two weeks ago, I shot the 2017 US IPSC Nationals the biggest (and only) match in the US under IPSC rules, the international version of USPSA. The rules of the two are mostly the same, but the small variations can make key differences. For example, the IPSC rules about walking the stages the day before you actually shoot the match are the same, but are enforced differently. Where the US defaults to allowing competitors to walk stages any time the range is open and there’s not a squad on the stage, IPSC goes the other way: competitors are not allowed … Read More

Pre-match Jitters

Ben BerryBlog

It’s Friday night. You’re shooting a match tomorrow. And you’re scared of something. Whatever it is, you can’t fix it before tomorrow. But, if you really dig deep and figure out what’s got you scared, you can fix it before it happens the next time. Maybe you’re just generally nervous about the match. You’ve shot matches before so it’s not the first timer’s jitters, but you just can’t shake the feeling that you’re anxious. You’ve packed your bag, you’ve chamber checked all the ammo, the guns are spotless, the magazines are already loaded. The car is packed, the coffee is … Read More

Changing Direction

Ben BerryBlog

Ben Stoeger Practical Shooting Fundamentals Class - Oxford, NC

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about since making GM is the past, or particularly, my past. I shot my first match 8 years ago, an indoor IDPA match with a borrowed 1911. I originally classified as SSP Novice. I joined USPSA four years ago, and initially classified as Production C. What’s interesting is that none of those really matter. How bad I was to start doesn’t really matter. That I started in IDPA doesn’t really matter. My past only matters insofar as it gives me knowledge and experience to help me make decisions today. But I don’t … Read More

The Initiative

Ben BerryBlog

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the concept of the initiative. The initiative is the idea that, in a two-sided conflict, it is better to be the one acting first and forcing your opponent to react. You set the tone, you drive the tempo, you set the priorities. This lets you choose things advantageous to you while your opponent has to react to limit the damage to them of your choices. In chess, each player makes one move at a time. You move, he moves, you move, he moves. If you are spending every one of your turns reacting … Read More

The Importance of Reproducibility

Ben BerryBlog

When I look back at 2016 and try to distill the actual lessons I learned specific to shooting, the one that most stands out to me is the value of repeatability. In matches, consistency is key. Stage wins are largely irrelevant to match wins. You can take second or third on every stage and win the match because the guy who wins half the stages drops out of the top ten on the others because of his risky plans. I know this. But somehow I never made the connection to practice. My practice was very unstructured. I never consciously planned … Read More