Road to Nationals – Part 1: Skillbuilding
This weekend is USPSA Multigun Nationals and it’s going to be a good one! Big matches like this are where I get to truly put to the test all of the Dryfire, range time, and equipment. It’s where each competitor is put on the spot and he or she either performs or falls short. There are no fancy edits, no Instagram perfection…
NO. SECOND. CHANCES. It’s the true game day….And I LOVE it.
So how does one prepare for a big match? For me, it comes down to three key areas: 1. Skill preparation 2. Gear preparation 3. Mental preparation.
Over the next 3 days, I’m going to touch on each of these, starting today with my Skill Preparation.
First of all, skill preparation doesn’t start a week or even a month before the match, it’s a daily process.
Every day you are either improving or degrading your skills. It’s your choice. Every day I ask myself, “Did I drive the needle forward, or did it slide backward?” There is no in-between.
That being said, I certainly ramp up my training as a big match approaches, and this is what it looks like:
1. Dryfire: Yes, it’s super important. I’m not doing a lot of fancy stuff, simply hammering the fundamentals. Draws, target transitions, reloads, gun transitions, positional work, and simply getting comfortable with each platform. If there’s a hole, I spend some extra time working it.
If you don’t know what to work on, join the exclusive #DryfireCrew here.
This phase of training involves honing your skills. Not necessarily growing or expanding, but taking what you have and refining them. Daily Dryfire is key to honing those skills just like sharpening a fine blade.
2. Movement: Footwork speed is one area that I’m working on heavily right now. Ladder drills, explosive energy, and leg strengthening to prevent another ACL injury. If you want a quick way to build movement skills, search soccer footwork drills on YouTube.
3. Live Fire: Just like I mentioned in the Dryfire section, this phase is all about executing your on-demand skills and honing them. For the last couple of weeks leading up to a big match like this, every range session is devoted to seeing what I need to see every time I pull the trigger and working the fundamentals effectively. I also run some longer drills mixed with movement (mini-stages) with challenging targets to hammer execution. If I miss something or screw up the execution I will restart and work it until that specific section is cleaned up to perfection.
With all that being said, stay tuned tomorrow for how I’m prepping my gear, and shoot me any questions you have!
Also, FYI, I will be posting the match footage as well as some of my prep on Instagram so if you don't already do so, be sure to follow me HERE! (@joe_Farewell)