There is an idea in shooting instruction that there is no such thing as advanced techniques, just the same fundamentals applied faster. There are two possible reasons that I can think of that someone would say this. The first, more charitable one, is the emphasis that fundamentals don’t change and there are no secret ninja tricks. If you want to get good, you have to have good fundamentals. And, as far as it goes, I think that’s true. But there are some “fundamental” techniques that just don’t come in to play if you’re trying to shoot fast in a USPSA … Read More
In my experience, the main problem with dry fire practice is that I try to do too much all at once. I want to work on five different deficiencies. I want to work on things on the move before I have made progress standing still. I tell myself I should dry fire for long stretches of time, and I end up putting it off until it’s too late in the evening to even put the belt on. The only solution that I’ve found to this is organization and planning. Write down (on paper, not your phone) a list of the … Read More
At a match last weekend, while our squad was shooting the classifier, a friend who practices a lot but only gets to shoot one match a month asked me: “How do you guys reload like that? I try and practice reloads, and mine are never that smooth.” and then he mimed fumbling a reload as I started to consider what he was asking. “What do you do?” he asked. “Just more reps?” Now, I don’t know what other guys do, just what’s worked for me. But here’s what I told him: More reps won’t fix doing the wrong thing. All … Read More
This summer, one of the changes I’m making to my practice is to live fire at least one evening a week. Last year, I would live fire every weekend I wasn’t shooting a match, which was two practice sessions most months. This new schedule gives me four a month, with as many as six if I go on the weekends. This is much more in line with the typical practice schedule for someone who wants to be competitive at the GM level. The First Practice Last Friday, June 22nd, was the second week of this new routine. It had been … Read More
Another example of why you have to look for patterns in your practice and not just score the targets, from my practice this past weekend: Technically this run on Ben Stoeger’s Practical Accuracy was all 6 hits, none even really cutting it close. And the time was fast. A few hundredths faster than the runs before it. But it was also sloppy and bad technique. I felt myself pulling the trigger with my whole hand, and so it’s no coincidence that 4 of the 6 shots clustered low left. So for the next rep, I focused on gripping the gun … Read More
During my practice session at the range on Saturday, I shot a lot of dots, all at 7 yards. I’m still working out these changes to my grip and trigger pull, but I can feel the progress, I just have to make it repeatable. But in the targets I shot, I saw an interesting example of the value of reading the pattern in the targets, not just scoring them. (Also a major theme of Ben Stoeger’s “Breakthrough Marksmanship” book.) Here are the first and last sheets I shot of the day: The first sheet is all over the place. You … Read More
This week on the podcast, I talk about having breakthroughs when you realize that something you took for granted turned out to be wrong, or at least only true in some contexts. I post videos from my matches at youtube.com/BenBerryUSPSA. If you’d like to support the podcast, consider buying a shirt at berryshooting.com/shop .
This week on the podcast, I start out by talking about cancelling the NC Section due to Hurricane Florence, which I maintain to be the right decision. I then mention that my wife and I will be on the September 24th episode of the Dave Ramsey show doing our Debt Free Scream. For the main topic, I discuss the idea of setting up your practice around your goals, not your current situation in order to make sure you don’t get stuck on the plateau you’re currently on and keep your focus on moving to the next level. After that, I … Read More
On this episode, I follow up on Episode 27 and continue my discussion of live fire and dry fire practice. I talk about having a plan for practice but being willing to improvise, why you should do fewer things in practice, and how expectations and complexity can make a practice session unproductive and frustrating.
This week on the podcast, I talk about the book Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. I talk through some of the lessons learned from decades studying the science of expertise, including the 10,000 Hour Rule, and how to apply some of the ideas to practical shooting. You can see this book and a list of other books that I’ve found helpful on my reading list.
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