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.


  1. I finished way down in the pack, but I'm a new shooter and don't have the fever. I'm having fun, By God, and that's all that matters. I don't regret a thing about the Tx State/STC. I had a ball, met some fine people and spent five days shooting.

    Delta Whiskey is a friend of mine. He is a champion. Mental toughness is is game. He's also a Christian Gentleman, and is raising two fine boys who will be powers in this game.

    Slow Poke is a lady, and she's riding her wave. Tough competitor, gracious to a fault. I am smitten with her. She's a great person to be around. I hope to see her again at some of these shoots.

    It was good to meet you, Everitt, and I hope to se you on the line again.

    Major D.

  2. Oh, and before I forget, Congratulations on your win. You did a fine job against a lot fo great shooters.

    I'd love to know who that young'un was that asked you about the "waggle". We've got a bunch of great youth shooters in the Southern Territory, and I think each of them are champions.

    Again, congratulations. See ya' on the line.

  3. Dont know his name, but I was impressed that he would ask. He is a shooter who is going be good because he wants to learn and is willing to talk to folks, even grumpy old guys. Glad to me you, wish I would have spent some time with you but I have a tendency to isolate myself at shoots, part of the competitive routine. I need to be more friendly.

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  6. Delta's son gave me one of my mental losses in the State. Hate to admit I got flustered by a youth shooter but I did. Good for me since eventually I had to face Texas Marshall twice in the Magnificent Seven.

  7. Delta's boys are a force, no doubt. That club has a lot of fine youth shooters. They had four young men step up to the Junior class and shoot with the men. The sleeper in that bunch is Trigger Happy, Gentleman George's grandson. This was his first sanctioned shoot as a Junior and he got 9th in the STC. Another one to watch is Part-Time's boy, Dash.

  8. First I want to thank you gentlemen for the fine words. I am touched to hear such things spoken about me. I have been shooting for almost 5 years now. Its hard to believe it has gone by so fast.

    I have won a few Championships, but I find it hard to believe that I am winning matches against the likes of the Great Ladies of our sport. I have been in awe of those shooters since I first heard the names of KK Kid, Lefty Lipscomb, Cool Hand Suz and A Lotta Lead, just to name a few.

    My strategy for mental toughness, stay in awe of the fun. We get to play gunfighter, Cowboys, Cowgirls...dress up and forget reality. I try to stay out of my head by keeping busy between rounds helping the match run smoothly where I can. Finally on the line, I concentrate on a single thing on the ground, be it spent primer, shot wax, or a red feather from a costume and clear my mind of anything other than my draw. Its just me, no one else on that line to beat. I will stop there before I give it all away. LOL

    I still love fastdraw with the awe of a child on Christmas morning. No matter how I shoot, I have a great time with this new extended family I have found. Cant wait till next time on the line. SlowPoke