Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Waggle and Mental Toughness or "Bring me another shooter"

After shooting in the Magnificent Seven of the Southern Territorial, a young shooter about age ten asked me why I shake my hips before I shoot. I responded that I have one artificial hip and one bad hip and it is painful for me to shoot.  It helps if I can loosen up my hips and my lower back before I shoot.

More importantly it is my current waggle.  Most professional athletes in sports that require a shot, golf, baseball, tennis, etc. use a waggle.  A waggle is a meaningless motion that is done after the athlete has got through his physical and mental routine before the shot. It is the signal to the athlete that he is ready to go and make the shot.  Wild Onion Willie's waggle is to stick his trigger finger in the trigger guard and then position it to its shooting location. Stampede Loverboy checks to make sure his gun in loose in the holster.  Many top shooters do a mock draw, that is what Thirsty does.  A waggle is a signal to the body and mind that you are ready to make the shot.  My waggle is currently loosening the hip and shift of balance right and left.

I shot pretty well at the Texas State and the Southern Territorial.  In the State I had 19 matches including the bracket match and was 15-4. Of my 4 losses, two were competitive losses and two were losses that were mental losses.  In the Territorial main match I had 3 losses two of which were to Short Keg.  I have shot a bit against Short Keg and quite frankly in the Territorial I just got flustered and could not find the target against him.

I was seeded 6th in the Magnificent Seven and when I got the seeding I texted Shady that I thought I had a good draw.  My confidence was boosted by the fact that I had just beaten the 1st seed and 7th seed in the main match.  Also, we would be shooting on 1 & 2 of Range A where I had finished the previous day winning three matches in a total of 10 shots. Even though the field had two black badges and 4 three shooters, I felt I could handle the field if I put the fear of Alleluia in them.  My attitude was "I ain't missing, bring me the next shooter."

I had lane choice and I chose lane 1 because I thought that would put me on lane 2 for Short Keg. I really don't remember the first five matches, except somewhere in there I see Miss Kitty motioning me to clean my gun, to which I responded I ain't leaving, bring me the next shooter.  I don't need to clean my gun I only shoot three rounds per match, bring me the next shooter.

Eventually I got to the number 1 seed, Delta Whiskey, who was the number 1 seed not because he is quick, which he is, but because he is mentally tough.  He gives me my first loss and I have go take care of the number 3 seed a second time.  I ain't missing, bring me the next shooter.

In our rematch I defeat Delta Whiskey. We have now shot three times and I have won twice.  Most shooters would fold, but Delta Whiskey has that champion mental toughness and hits 60% winning the Championship.  It was a fun match and I am looking forward to a rematch. I ain't missing.

Any discussion of mental toughness has to include that gal from Virginia.  Slow Poke is a solid 4.8-5.5 shooter who has the game figured out.  At the Four Corners Territorial she is eliminated only to be resurrected and win 5 in a row to win the event.  She won the Southern.  She has the champion mental toughness.  I am going to listen to her to see if I can pick up her mental routine. That will be worth more in wins that any speed that I can get.  Another new shooter to listen to is Powder Keg.  He went through the Texas State and the state bracket shoot with only one loss.  Almost an impossible feat.

I still have not come down, bring me the next shooter.  Hope I don't stumble on my spurs.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Put the fear of Alleluia in 'em!

I had a pretty good day shooting at Rio Salado Vaqueros practice shoot.  It was a 3 x last man standing affair.  The field was not overwhelming but it did have a World Champion, several World Champion Category shooters, multiple Territorial Champions and of course a Two-time National Champion.  38 shooters in all.  I only had one poor match shooting 57% at mid four speed.  In the other ten matches I shot 89% at mid four speed.  To quote William Munny,  "I was lucky in the order, but then I'm always lucky in the order when......"  Most of the speed ended up shooting in the 2nd chance match.

I mention this only as a prelude to my main point.  The Alleluia training regiment trains gunfighters, not necessarily the quickest but maybe the most deadly.  Saturday shoot, for me was what it always should be, except that one match in which I got flustered and lost the target. 

I am looking for two disciples to train in the Alleluia system for 8 weeks.  I would prefer new shooters because they come without all that baggage, but would consider seasoned shooters who have the right attitude.  Would like one lady and one man. Plan to start May 1 and finish the week before the Pioneer shoot in June.  Prefer folks in the Valley of the Sun so I can meet with them weekly, but  would consider others dedicated to the system.


1.  Must be willing to shoot a minimum of 150 rounds off of the clock a week.  Would plan to meet with you at least once a week in the desert for a practice session.  Normally student would shoot 50 rounds three times a week.  Wax is reusable so 500 wax should be sufficient.

2.  Must be willing to forego the clock except for competition.  You can't learn to be a gunfighter if you have grailfever.

3.  Must be willing to dry fire in front of a mirror on days not shooting live rounds.

4.  Must forgo outside influences.  Only one mentor allowed.  Quickest way to booth hill is to work on your draw during competition.

5. Must acquire practice stand. (about $25)

6. Must agree I can use your alias and story in any future publications.


1.  Goal for the man would be to be a 4 shooter shooting better than 80%.

2.  Goal for the lady would be to be a World Champion.  This is not a higher goal, it just that the next Lady World Champion will be a 4 or 5 shooter shooting better than 60%.

3. My goal is to see if I am in left field or not.  You will be the test of the training regiment.

The Draw:

Most new shooters start out with the level and follow through draw.  They spend months or sometimes years learning to be fast with this technique.  Some become top shooters but most level out in the mid 5s.  Some spend years trying to unlearn the follow through to get truly fast.  We will try to learn the Lock-elbow/Thumb-roll  draw.  If you can't do the lock elbow draw you still can be a 4 flat shooter shooting the level and follow through.  The flail draw is a defect and not an acceptable draw although some shoot world record times with it.  It is a symptom of grailfever.

I plan to video students before, during and after the 8 weeks and give each their reaction/draw splits.

Observation:  I have to end this post with an observation of my idol, Miss Kitty, World Champion.  She is getting ready to hand judge me late in the event and she has her box of 100 cartridges open looking at them.  To me there is no reasonable order to the shot shells and unshot shells so I ask her about it.  She tells me there is a definite order and she can ascertain the hits and misses of each round from the order in the box.  See why she is a world champion.  I got to get her to train me more! She never has, I just pick up tips here and there by watching her.