Personal Trainer – #NationalsPrep

Quick update about me – moved out of Texas to Louisiana.  It was for family reasons.  My wife got a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity, so we had to take it.  Overall very happy with the move.  From a shooting perspective, though, this means moving away from my outdoor training range, USPSA matches every night except Friday, and 4 local Level 2 matches.

So, I was able to find a range that allows me to draw from holster and rapid fire.  Check.  I found a private outdoor range that will let me practice (for a daily fee).  Not the best but it will work, and it’s relatively close.  Check.

To take my training (and personal health) to the next level, I found a personal trainer named Eugene to help me work on agility, mobility, speed, etc.  I am fortunate in that he has agreed to help me train for nationals, and incorporate field-course-esque training with gear (save barrel – I can still get sight picture with my grip since I shoot open).  I’m excited about this!  It begins today.  Will update as the year progresses.

Ben Stoeger Training – Learnings and Focus Areas

It has officially been one week since my 4-day, ~3.5K round training marathon with Ben Stoeger.  The soreness has passed, but the blisters haven’t healed all the way yet.

If you’ve found this article and want to know if the training is worth it – sign up for a class with confidence!  Shooters of all levels – beginner to GM – will learn something from Ben.  Don’t hesitate… just take the class.   Classes are typically two days long.  My club decided to plan two classes back to back (Fundamentals and Skills & Drills), hence the 4-day reference.

Key Learnings

My grip needs work

Wow – yes, grip.  When going slow, I can shoot groups well.  When I go fast, though, I add too much tension into the equation from the wrong places, i.e., shooting hand, shoulders, etc.

This will take A LOT of dry fire to fix.

I have two speeds – Slow and Out-of-control

The class consisted of drills and stages.  Shooting open, my splits between shots were faster than those shooting iron sights.  However, Ben pushed me to run the gun as faster… since it was an open gun.  “Max speed” was the term he kept using.

When going truly max speed, as in, the fastest I could pull the trigger, I would sometimes lose the dot.  If I focused to try to see the dot, I’d go slow.   Towards the end of day 2, I saw the dot on target 90% of the time, but the speed was 80%.

I’m hoping that fixing the grip will help with this also.  Otherwise, there will be a lot of live fire happening for me to try to get used to the “max speed.”

Next Steps

Before I get into the next steps, I think it is worth mentioning that there were LOTS of other places where I can improve.  I only listed two that have been swimming in my head since the class.

So, my improvement plan consists of the following:

  • Dry fire
  • Live fire
  • Personal health training
    • Workouts
      • Agility
      • Strength (sprinting)
    • Food

For me to keep consistent, I need a goal.  So, my 2018 goal is to score 75% or better in Open at Nationals.

Boom.  It’s out there now.  Time to go get it.

Skills transfer between divisions, but not immediately

So tonight at a local USPSA match, I decided to shoot Production. I’ve been shooting almost exclusively Open for the past 2 years. I know that I have only exclusively dry-fired Open for the past several years. However, I’ve won handily at this club several times by a decent margin. When I don’t win, I’m usually close 2nd or 3rd, depending on how badly I screw up a stage. My thought was that I should be able to pick up my old Prod rig and still be competitive.


Lots of things that I’ve been working on – movement, transitions, reloads, etc – seemed to transfer 90% from Open to Production. 90% isn’t good though. Everything was just “off” enough to make me horrible. My timing was off, Mikes on occluded head boxes – terrible.

This does provide a good learning for me next year. I had originally planned to try to shoot all 3 nationals since they will be back to back to back. No go, Ghost Rider. If the goal is to be GM in Open, focus on the goal. Don’t get distracted by other divisions.

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