Moving/Shooting like a Woman

As I mentioned recently, movement in a stage is my nemesis.  I have also mentioned some of the things I am doing to try to improve it.  I have changed my diet and increased my exercise to lose over 10 lbs to reduce the mass I need to get moving.  I have modified my exercise to focus on fast twitch muscles and generating power over endurance.  I have begun focusing on getting lower to keep from pole vaulting over my outside leg and I have discussed the reason’s this makes sense… but I missed something huge, that was pointed out to me by Gary Byerly after the 2012 NC State IDPA Championship.

Stop with your back foot, of course!

For readers that don’t care why, skip down to <Start reading here!>

When I discussed the Newtonian Physics I explained the formula Force = Mass * Acceleration and it makes sense that in a stage when you are moving you always want to be accelerating (decelerating is negative acceleration, turning is lateral acceleration).

In the short run, Mass is fixed so we ignore it and Force is limited so we all try just to go 100% and figure that is the best we can do.  Acceleration however can be expressed in its component parts too!

Acceleration = Change in Velocity / Time

If I can double the amount of time I am decelerating I can half the force required.

It is a stroke of the obvious right!

<Start reading here!>

After the match I was talking with Gary and I mentioned that I was trying to keep from “Pole Vaulting over my outside leg when stopping” he suggested watching some of the top female shooters and looking at how they stop.

They actually “plant” with the back leg as they are entering a position with a pivot.  This allows them to start decelerating over 2 steps as opposed to 1 and it turns their body to be in position to shoot.

Let’s look at it in practice…

I played high school volleyball and this looks amazingly like the approach a volleyball player uses for both an attack and a block.  Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

The other thing this points out to me is that maybe… I look to the wrong shooters for inspiration!

While Randy Rogers, Julie Golob or Jessie Duff  will out shoot me every day of the week.  Physically I have much more in common them with, regards to power, than I do with Bob Vogel.

Bob is the man and he is a great aspirational target, but maybe when I am looking for tips that will help me right now, I should watch the women of the shooting sports!

If you watch the video closely you may notice I got some trick new “gamer shoes” I almost fell on a wet grass stage so I decided to get some trail running shoes.  I’ll talk about them early next week and I’ll even review a pair of high-end socks I was given at last week’s match!

You may also notice that I have dropped the nom de plume of BalloonGoesUp in favor of my actual name.  There are some changes coming that no longer necessitate the anonymity and I’ll do a full introduction post to let you know me a bit better.

In the meanwhile, you can follow blog on Twitter at @BalloonGoesUp and me personally at @RonLarimer.





  1. says

    Everything that you mentioned is intuitive to me, so I was wondering why I would think about this any differently than most folks. In doing so it dawned on my that spending all that time (30 yrs) playing hockey stopping on my back foot is all I know how to do. On the ice that hockey stop is driven by both feet but you wind up shifting your balance through the skid based on the resistance offered by the ice and your blades. Ultimately you are going to launch yourself off that back leg so as the stop comes to an end you have already shifted all of your weight to the back foot to drive your body the other direction.

    It’s interesting to see you break it down though.

  2. says

    Similar to Thor… as I thought about your video… I think that years of playing hockey and soccer long ago… I’m used to stopping on the back leg… especially when you run up and stop, posting your back leg to kick the soccer ball with your other leg…

    But in IDPA… you can’t shave any ice onto your opponent while stopping…

    Now I’m old enough that I don’t move fast enough to have too much problem stopping…

    But ya got me thinkin’…

    Dann in Ohio

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