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© Hot Shots 1995-1999
VIII
Practice
and
Training
© Hot Shots 1995-1999
VIII. Practice And Training
A. Tr a i n ing Bas i c s
Hot Versus Cold Shooting
There has been quite a bit written on hot versus cold shooting. There really is no “cold”
Practical Shooting; you almost always get to look at the course, plan it out, and do some
dry draws with sight pictures. Cold shooting is real life— like grabbing your gun out of
a dresser drawer in the middle of the night when you hear a strange noise. That will really
get your adrenaline moving!
Improving Your Cold Shooting
© Hot Shots 1995-1999
Club Matches
Shoot only the ones that you think will help you improve. Don’t waste your valuable
time on poor matches, spend it practicing instead. Shoot to win all of them. You have to
payattention and focus just like the world title is on the line. Every shot has to count. If
you are screwing around not paying attention in a club match, you are going to screw
around in a major match and it will cost you money. When you focus every time at a club
match a major match is the same and won’t negatively affect your performance just
because you’re in the “big show.”
Major MatchesShoot every one that you can. I would set a minimum at fifteen a year if you want to
be a serious competitor. This match experience will add up fast. You will learn what it
takes to be competitive on a national level.
Get Out And Do It!
Let’s eliminate some excuses. Your goal is to excel at Practical Shooting, so here are
some things to think about when planning your practices.
Quality CountsMake every round worth something. Use your Timer wisely, keep track of your progess
religiously, and learn from each trip to the range. You’re spending money to do this, make
sure that you’re getting what you pay for. This is one of the few sports that offers you total
control over that aspect.
Time Off Counts
Being dedicated is one thing, but don’t push yourself into “Burnoutville.” Usethis suggestion
wisely, because it’s an easy-out that can be abused.
Two Truths and a Lie: There are many things that you can do instead of practicing.
Some of them are more fun. Winning isn’t all that much fun, but will occur naturally with
no sweat.
Take the time off from practice that you need to maintain perspective and keep your
goals clearly in sight. Don’t skip practice and go to a moviejust because you feel like it.
© Hot Shots 1995-1999
Shoot At Different Times
You’ll probably find that there are ranges open very early in the morning or late at night
in your area. Make use of this flexibility, since it will help keep things “fresh” by avoiding
the same-old-same-old syndrome. Don’t let your practices become a chore; they’re
supposed to be a growth experience.
Shoot AtDifferent Places
Whenever possible, vary your location — within reason. Shooting at different ranges
will accomplish a couple of things. It will give you some experience in dealing with different
layouts and locale rules, and it will get you accustomed to traveling and playing
“away games.” This is crucial to successful competition in this sport, since almost every
important match will requireyou to travel and compete out of your normal environment.
Dry Fire Goodies
You can shoot at different times easily. It’s called dry fire, and requires a minimum of
equipment, expense and preparation, and basically no travel. Discipline does not change,
and you have to do some homework — literally. Make sure that there is an area in your
home that you can safely handle and dry fire a gun, andyou’ve got it.
Ö You need to triple-check your gun for emptiness every time you pick it up to dry fire.
Skipping this step once can lead to tragedy.
Ö You need to make sure that your home dry fire area has a bullet-proof backstop,
because the gun is always loaded. Your local gun shop, range, or club can help you
find or design one.
Ö You need to make sure that friends and family are...
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