Do you feel like your skills as a shooter haven’t been improving with your usual range outings? Maybe you want to take your marksmanship to the next level, but you need some motivation or new ideas on how to improve. Getting involved in competitive shooting can solve those issues.
Competing against other shooters can sharpen your skills in multiple areas - here are four of them from Team Armscor's own Athena Lee.
Improving Your Accuracy
Competition shooting offers multiple challenges when it comes to accuracy, by way of various target presentations. It is usual to see a distance challenge in a competition, like 50-yard targets at a pistol match or a target with a no-shoot (you get penalties if you hit them) or hard cover that will make the scoring area significantly smaller so you have to focus on your sights. All this is done under the clock.
Improving Your Speed
Whoever shoots the fastest and most accurately usually wins the match. Speed is relative. I have always defined it as how fast you can shoot your Alphas (highest-scoring zone on a target in a USPSA/IPSC-type match). Over time and with practice, your speed will improve. Having a timer during practice is your best gauge to track your improvement.
Improving Your Safety
Competition shooting is very strict when it comes to safety. The more you do it, the more it is ingrained in your subconscious to move and shoot safely. Examples would include keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. This applies heavily when you are moving from one position to another. Safe gun-handling skills improve tremendously the more you compete, as repetition tends to stick, making these skills second nature to you.
Improving Your Focus
As I mentioned before, whoever wins the match had the best balance between accuracy and speed. You are always trying to beat the clock, and nothing trains you better to shoot under pressure than that timer and everyone else around you competing toward the same goal. Theoretically, as long as you stick to your game plan and shoot within your ability, you have already achieved your goal.