Friday, June 2, 2017

Lessons from an 8 year old and an Oldtimer

We had a few free days up on the Rim in the Coconino National Forest before the monthly Pioneer Shoot so I and Lil James headed into Jack's Canyon to tune up a bit.  We each shot 50 rounds on Thursday, mostly speed work, and then 50 on Friday.

Lil James put 15 on the target. He then did a drill where he draws, fires, reholsters, draws, fires, reholsters, draws, fires and reholsters for 5 rounds.  I think he was down under 3 seconds, maybe 2, for 5 rounds. We did that for 15 rounds.  The point of the drill is to finalize your draw.  You are repeating the draw over and over with no time to think about it.  It is all from the subconscience.  No time to think.  Just draw and fire.

Our next drill was to wave a stick behind the shooter casting a shadow across the target and drawing on the shadow.  This stimulated drawing on the light without the light. The next drill was to stand side by side and I would call out "Shooter on the line, Shooter set" and then "Go" and see which shooter would hit the target first.

All of this work was done at 6 feet on a cardboard target where you see every shot.  I doubt many other shooters shot 100 rounds to get ready for the Saturday's match, but if they did, most would do it on the light and would miss more that half the time.  While other shooters may see 30 to 40 hits, Lil James saw 100 hits.  He was chunking data.

I made a mistake on Friday and put a 6 inch target on the cardboard.  Lil James being a head strong kid refused to do any speed work.  He was determined to put 50 rounds into that circle. I didn't press the issue knowing he was going to be the slowest shooter at Pioneer.

Saturday at Pioneer, Lil James missed only one shot in his first three matches. He lost all three matches to faster shooters.  He was getting a little down, but it was a good life lesson for him.  Even when you do your best, sometimes you are going to lose.  He just kept putting the wax on the iron.  He won his next three matches, which seeded him #1 in bracket C and in the money. Another life lesson, if you just keep battling good things will happen.

Now fast forward one week to the Kansas State Championship Category matches.  Probably the toughest category is the Old Timers category.  There maybe faster shooters elsewhere, but it was the only category with a Black Badge in it with seasoned veterans such as Little Kazzie, Luckey 45, Jayhawker in addition to the top four.  Speed does not win gunfights, gunfighters win gunfights.  A relatively new shooter, a Rio Salado Vaquero, a 9 flat shooter (8.5 to 9.5 at 60% or better) Smoken Hank is the new Old Timer Champion.  Of the top four he put out down in order, Everett, Deacon, and Short Keg.

That same old life lesson.  If you keep putting the wax on the iron, good things will happen.

Ain't this sport great!  And to think some want to take the gunfight out of the sport!

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