Another comp another day

In early October I went to Dunedin for the South Island IPSC Champs. The build-up, for me, wasn’t great. With my main pistol out of action, I was forced to use my back up pistol. After a shaky start the Sunday before going South, I got the hang of most of the differences in this pistol and had high hopes for good results.

Boy, that didn’t last long, the little things just felt larger and slowed me down, which showed in the scores I was getting. Small things matter when shooting under pressure from other competitors and your own expectations of yourself. As with most sportsmen, it is the expectations we have of ourselves that are the hardest to live up to.

Don’t get me wrong, the other competitors are doing the same and it all comes down to who masters it the best. A comment was made to me a few years ago that shooting was a bit like golf, a huge part of it is mental rather than physical and, in a lot of ways, that is right. Hitting the targets isn’t really hard and we do it every day at practice without much issue but the change of competition pressures adds a whole new level of things to handle and master as best we can.

The same in golf, it isn’t hard to hit a ball just at your feet and not moving but add in competition and anything can happen, and usually does. What I do know is, a golf course is a waste of a perfectly good rifle range in my humble opinion.

While I started out okay in my shoot, things went bad fast. I let myself down by not prepping as well as I should have, which resulted in a giant meltdown on a stage, sights off and a couple of nasty jams. It was the final nail in the coffin. Before that, I had a brain fart on the other big stage, the two with the most points and it was all but over for me.

Everyone else seemed to be doing well and as the supportive friends they are, they pointed out quite happily how bad I was doing. I can’t really say anything because this is what makes this such a great sport, the quality of moral support given so freely. While the sport is very serious in a lot of ways, these are good people. No one gives a damn how much money you make or have, or what religion, we just like to come together to shoot.

We still have one or two folk, for example Adam from Christchurch, who was on fire and won the open division but he does dress like he should be playing golf. I can’t rightly say we are all normal, as normal would be boring, but down to earth is what we are.

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