Road to Nationals – Part 4: The Aftermath + Video
What a weekend! Just like with any competition, there were highs and lows, and after 3 days of shooting it came down to the very last stage of the match to determine who the winner would be.
I'm pleased with my performance, but unfortunately, I did not pull off the win this year. I do wish a huge congratulations to Jon Wiedel who is the 2022 3-Gun National Champion. Jon is 18, has been hammering the training for years, and is the newest member of the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU).
Now, let's dive into the match details and what worked and didn't work in my preparation! (If you missed the other parts of this series, catch up here)
With as much as I've been on the road I haven't been able to train as much as I would have liked to. I relied heavily on my baseline performance rather than really working at my peak performance. That being said, I felt really comfortable coming into the match with where my baseline is and in review I performed as expected. Was I as fast on my feet as I would like? No. But I was efficient and smooth. Were my gun transitions as fast as they've ever been? No. But I did them effectively each time without hiccups. That solid baseline comes from the hours and hours of focused dryfire and livefire training I've done over the years to make all of the tasks in 3-gun subconscious.
All of my guns were zeroed and I hit what I was aiming at every time. I was able to quickly call hits and misses on the long-range as well as working faster transitions between targets. Plus, I had extras of everything with me and was able to lend another competitor my Atlas Hyperion **(hyperlink that to Atlas's site)** so he could shoot the whole match! The only gear issue I ran into was with my shotgun. I was running a brand new shotgun which I didn't have time to thoroughly test before the match and that led to some frustrations on almost every stage. I'm pretty sure I just need to break it in a bit to get it to 100% but time will tell.
Just like we talked about in last week's email, mindset is crucial. There were times in the match that I was super frustrated and had to give myself the 5 minute timer to deal with it and let it go. I did have a genuinely great time shooting with my friends and pushing myself.
The only mindset issue I had was on day 2 in the morning. For some reason I hadn't slept well the night before and my brain was all over the place. That morning I struggled with getting a stage plan for the first stage locked in mentally and it showed when it was my turn to run it. During that run I turned the wrong direction and reversed the order I shot the targets which resulted in a miss. That being said, I pulled it together and went on to have a solid rest of the day.
Overall my mind was right and I kept myself from getting too frustrated with mistakes or pushing beyond my skillset. Looking back at the match as a whole, I'm pleased with my mental performance and truly had a great time which is a vital part of this sport for me.
I always review my match footage and the scores to find holes in my game. With this sport, it's a matter of keeping as many aspects working at a high level rather than performing perfectly with just one platform.
I noticed 3 things I will be focusing on in my training...
- Rifle targets with penalty or no-shoot targets by them. Two of my three penalties in the match came from rifle targets with a penalty target in front. I'm definitely going to be hammering those in practice.
- Aggression in movement. As I mentioned before, my foot speed and aggression in movement has fallen behind since my ACL/MCL surgery so I will be working on that a lot.
- Shotgun timing. I admittedly haven't been working shotgun at all for months so it didn't come as a great surprise to me that it was my weakest platform. Now it's time to get back after it hard and make it a strength again!
I have about a month until my next big match (Tarheel 3-gun) and I'm super excited to get out there and push myself again!
Thanks for joining me in this adventure! Be sure to check out the match video and subscribe to the YouTube channel for more epic stuff coming soon!
P.S. Did you see we opened up the Winter Paradise Summit for early registration on the 1st?? There are only a couple of slots left, so go HERE and sign up now!