Whether you're just starting to think about getting into competition shooting or you've been an old pro for years, at one point or another, you caught the bug. You saw the guys and gals out on the range running around, climbing up towers, jumping off platforms, loading and shooting their guns and pushing their gear, as well as their skills, to the very limits.
When it comes to competing, there are many tips, tricks and mentalities to consider - here are four of them.
Embrace the stress
Particularly if you're brand-new to the competition world, stress will be a factor. You will likely feel confused at times or out of your element. You are going to make mistakes that may cost you competitions. Understand that these things are going to happen and that, with more and more experience, these feelings will begin to go away, replaced with the confidence that is necessary for you to execute competitions to the very best of your ability.
Just remember that, whenever you feel scared, most of the time it means you're about to learn something from it. Embrace it, and know that when all is said and done, you're going to walk away from the match knowing that you learned something about yourself.
Don't disregard gear
Training is clearly a top priority when it comes to competition shooting - but don't neglect the gear. While, once you get to a certain level as a shooter, the gear may become less and less "vital" in the grand scheme of things, the simple fact will always remain that, if the gun doesn't work, then you're not going to have a good time!
Whether you're a multi-gun competitor or a practical shooter, keeping gear top of mind in your pre-match prep is key to success no matter your experience level. From ammo to magazines to bipods to what you put on your body, follow the Boy Scouts motto and always be prepared.
Preparation is so key to competition success that it can make or break any shooter's day at the range. Most paramount, probably, is a firearm that's functioning the way you expect it to. That's why packing a backup firearm is pivotal to your rank in the contest. This means cross-checking your firearms before you head into battle, as well as packing the spare parts you might need in a bind.
(Just don't forget the tools you'll need, such as wrenches or screwdrivers, to replace said parts when the time comes.)
There's more to shooting competitions than just the thrill of victory. The skills you pick up on the field of competition translate pretty smoothly into real-life applications. Competitions are a way for you to really practice and train with all the tools that are at your disposal when it comes to the matter of personal protection. Everything that you will experience during a multi-gun match can transfer and translate over into the real world.
From knowing the inner workings of your equipment to knowing how to clear malfunctions in a quick and efficient manner, these are things that can possibly save your life or the life of a loved one. Competition is one of the best ways to put yourself into a high-stress situation, without having bad guys shooting back at you.