By: Ricky Casner
Your ability to maintain a good “tight” group when shooting on the range is very important. During your time on the range, it is also important to establish and practice the fundamentals of shooting, namely, grip, stance, sight alignment, and trigger press. These fundamentals, however, are often put to the test and found wanting when a shooter experiences even a little bit of stress or anxiety.
Even law enforcement officers have been found to make less reliable shots when faced with stressful situations.1 For this reason, it is important for all shooters to seek firearms training that will increase realistic stressors so that they may identify areas of weakness and train to make their weaknesses strengths. Fortunately for us, we have fun ways of doing just that.
Although participating in competitions will not represent a deadly force encounter in the truest sense, competitions do have the ability to raise the level of anxiety just enough to take a shooter out of their “comfort zone” a place them into the “growth zone.” As shooters improve their abilities, they continue to compete against others who exceed their own abilities, thus forcing them to become better in order to compete.
If designed correctly, competitions force each shooter to problem solve and identify and capitalize on their opponent’s weaknesses. These are the same skills that will be needed when encountering a deadly force situation. Following a competition, each competitor will have the opportunity to work on the weaknesses that they have identified during the competition. If done on a regular basis, the steps that the competitor follows to improve their performance on the range will also follow them if they are faced with a deadly force situation.
If you are interested in joining us in our regular competitions, you can learn more about them here https://www.iishooting.com/competitions
We look forward to seeing you soon!
(1) Lewinski, W. J., Avery, R., Dysterheft, J., Dicks, N. D., & Bushy, J. (2015, March 14). The real risks during deadly police shootouts: Accuracy of the naive shooter. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 17(2), 117-127.