The IDPA Indoor Nationals “Officially” Starts in 2 weeks (I shoot it in 2 weeks from yesterday) and it is about time I started to seriously prepare.
If you are like me February is near the end of the winter layoff where you focus on spending time with family and friends and trying not to be cold.
Each year I promise that I am going to be diligent with my dry-fire, because I can do that warm, but after a short period of time, that falls off too and by mid-February you have a good layer of rust on your shooting skills.
Over the past week I have made it to the range twice, I have scored a 48/50 on the dot torture twice, I have run a pretty good diagnostic on my current skill level and I know what I need to work on between now and the match.
Draw: Currently my draw to 1st shot on an 8” circle at seven yards, from cover is a pretty consistent 1.6sec.
Reloads: They are high like I want them, but my grab isn’t constant and I am having some trouble getting the magazine to drop cleanly. Times range from a 1.5 to a 3.5 with the average just north of 2 seconds.
Accuracy: When I watch my sights, accuracy freestyle, strong-hand only, and weak-hand only are all good (for me)
Follow-up Shots: When I push my follow-up shots are coming low right, consistently. The circle charts suggest that I am milking the grip when I press the trigger. I don’t know? Accurate splits are all on the long side though.
With only 2 weeks to go, I can’t change too much so I need to focus on the skills that will be tested in the match and while it is a different year, and a different match director, yada yada yada… the range is the same as in past years. Since that is likely the biggest limiting factor on what can be set up, the best guide I have to know what to expect is video of last year’s match.
Here are a few good examples…
There are a few trends I noticed though that will influence my practice
- 1/2 of the stages required little to no movement. If I can plant, I can shoot. This is good for me.
- 1/3 of the stages involved kneeling and there were a large number of kneeling reloads
- 1/3 of the stages had shooting on the move, 40% right to left, 30% forward and 30% retreating
- 1/3 of the stages had a start and reloads from a box or bag
- 1/3 of the stages would benefit from the use of a light
- Nearly 100% of the movement was left to right and the only left side cover was in a flashlight stage
- Lastly, Caleb is as bad with a flashlight as I am and shining a light on the back of your hand hurts
What does this mean?
Over the next 2 weeks my dry-fire is going to focus on…
- Starts from a table/box
- Reloads standing, kneeling and from a table
- Right to left movement
- Moving into right side cover both standing and kneeling
- Use of a flashlight.
My live fire drills will focus on
- Right side cover both standing and kneeling
- Shooting on the move
- Strong hand with a flashlight
- Weak-hand only
Two weeks isn’t enough time to learn to shoot or even completely knock the rust off, but it is enough time to focus on the few skills that will have the most impact on the match.
Giving myself some practice time on the likely skills I will face, will reduce the chance of a major melt-down that could ruin my match placement. However, I need to focus more on accuracy than speed. I don’t have enough time to improve my speed to a point that will make up for a missed shot!
You know “You can’t miss fast enough” and all that.
What do you do to prep for a big match or even knock the rust off after a long break? Let me know in the comments below.