Before 2016 I had never placed in a titled match. In 2016, I scored points in every titled match I entered and was in the top 7 in the majority of the matches even though I was 50 milliseconds slower in 2016 than 2015 due to Cal's silliness. What was the difference? Before I get to that let me give credit where credit is due.
All of the credit goes to the Lord. Each day he gives me tasks and it is my job to do the best I can. He blesses me with wins and losses, with pain and joy, with adversity and successes. All the glory is his. Alleluia Ruah in Hebrew is "Praise God's Spirit."
I credit my draw to Miss Kitty. Three years ago I had hand surgery and could not shoot. As I recovered, I watched and copied Miss Kitty's draw.
I credit my accuracy to Rodeo Romeo. We started out about the same time and his mentor lead him to believe that you have to learn to be fast before you learn to be accurate. That never made sense to me. Seems like a lot of wasted wax so my training regiment is to learn quickness and accuracy at the same time. He needles me that I am just a good 2nd place shooter and I recant that if he ever can get to me we will see who the best gunfighter is.
I credit my mental toughness to No Daisy and Shady Mike. About 18 months ago No Daisy wrote a post about making adjustments. Prior to that I believed you should never adjust during a match. No Daisy's post lead me to change my mind and now adjustments are the main part of my pre-shot mental and physical routine. That Shady character up on the mountain is always taking my marbles (gold coins) and toughening me up for the matches that count.
So what is the difference between 2015 and 2016? The difference really comes down to mental toughness. My last match at world really illustrates what I am talking about. It was against Holli Day in the master gunfighter bracket. I have tried to mentor her without success and I believe she considers me a thorn or burr. Anyway, prior to the match I say to her "Play for blood?", she says "sure", phrases from her favorite movie. Her first shot nicks the plate low left, her second shot is 3 inches closer to the light, I say to her "next one in the light", which she does, all in 4 flat speed. Three shots and I sit down eliminated from the match. I have not been able to beat her in months. Whenever we meet she gets that cold gunfighter toughness and puts me down in three. Whatever she is thinking, whatever is her attitude, she needs to replicate that for every match. If she would do that she is unbeatable, men or ladies.
I shot poorly at World and I know the reason why. It will be fixed prior to next season. The only time I shot average was towards the end of the resurrection match which had a lot of speed in it and 75 shooters. I knew I was going to win after 60 shooters were eliminated even though three Arizona Gunslingers were left including two multi-champions. I was in that "I ain't missing, bring the next shooter" zone. Loverboy may say I am just a good 2nd place shooter, but as I say, "get to me and we will see."
The difference between 2015 and 2016 was mental toughness. You can practice it. You can develop it. There are club wide drills for it. Arizona Five is a great mental toughness drill. How you train matters. Don't practice missing. Develop that cold hard gunfighter attitude.
See you in 2017. Think Ruah coming back with the short gun and Everett again will try to master the long gun. As Noah says, real men shoot the long gun.