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WTC. Coaching


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We had a 6 plate knockdown rack this last weekend. First pistol one for one. Second pistol knockdown and 4 on dump target. Peanut gallery starts yelling one more pistol. Now, because I consider myself as experienced I ignored them and went on to finish the stage. For me I generally will ignore everyone but the T.O. and still take his support with caution. New shooters will have a learning curve and I have found if you want a competitive edge in this game you better learn the rules for yourself and know what you can and can't do while on the firing line. 

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I have been involved with sports most of my life and have been a wrestler and a coach.    I strive to be as successful in this sport of CAS as I was in wrestling, and love the challenge of competing to get there.  I would be willing to shoot in an open division no matter what the results are.  I would enjoy CAS with coaching or no coaching.  I enjoy the aspect of the coaching, as well as the assistance of a good TO; yet I agree that it adds advantage over another shooter.  I have not competed in sports that do not allow coaching, but am sure it would increase the level of expertise on the shooter and still be rewarding.    In the sport of wresting we had coaching, some good and some bad.  They help us through those brain fades and helped us with a strategy.  We still had to have the talent to react under pressure; most often even good coaching results in a loss of time.   In CAS there are many factors that help us become a better shooter:   equipment, quality practice, modified firearms, coaching as well as luck; such as good weather, good spotters and good TO’s.  I think it is good to have these discussions and express views on how to make our sport, fantasy, entertainment or whatever we consider it.  I would enjoy sitting down with fellow shooters in a discussion on how to make CAS better.  Creeker had the idea of a pro-division.  We are not going to change how CAS shooters are going to feel about many of the reasons they are participating.  Some like the dress, the old firearms, shooting a clean match, winning their category and  the intense competition.  This diversity is another reason I feel CAS is so great.  I see so many benefits of having a pro-division where change could take place, but not take away from others participating in CAS.  I would be willing to sit down with a group of shooters to put some new ideas out there.  Maybe we could meet at the 2022 EOT to brainstorm ideas.  It would be great to have members of the board there also.  Anyone interested, please reach out. Meanwhile, be grateful we can continue CAS.

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The best T.O. in the world is not going to make someone else beat you if you do your job. If you want to win then you need to shoot the best match. Anyone that needs to be coached on any stage is loosing time. If you want to beat that shooter then know what you are doing and don't make any mistakes.  It will be faster and you will win. This whole idea of blaming your loss on someone else getting some coaching help is just sour grapes. If you are a winner, then be a winner and stop blaming it on someone else.

 

Snakebite

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1 hour ago, Snakebite said:

The best T.O. in the world is not going to make someone else beat you if you do your job. If you want to win then you need to shoot the best match. Anyone that needs to be coached on any stage is loosing time. If you want to beat that shooter then know what you are doing and don't make any mistakes.  It will be faster and you will win. This whole idea of blaming your loss on someone else getting some coaching help is just sour grapes. If you are a winner, then be a winner and stop blaming it on someone else.

 

Snakebite

I agree with most of what you're saying...however, instructions given in the heat of the moment can be distracting for even the most focused competitor.

 

I remember lining up a putt in the Ca State Amateur...totally focused. Get up, doing a couple practice strokes...jackass walks behind my line pauses then moves on. I couldn't get rid of the desire to kill the guy...had to step back and regroup. Thank god gold isn't a timed sport.

 

Phantom

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1 hour ago, Snakebite said:

The best T.O. in the world is not going to make someone else beat you if you do your job. If you want to win then you need to shoot the best match. Anyone that needs to be coached on any stage is loosing time. If you want to beat that shooter then know what you are doing and don't make any mistakes.  It will be faster and you will win. This whole idea of blaming your loss on someone else getting some coaching help is just sour grapes. If you are a winner, then be a winner and stop blaming it on someone else.

 

Snakebite

You are correct.  To a point.

Shoot a perfect match - no fumbles - no hesitations - no brain fade and it doesn't matter what anyone else does - thats as good as you're going to get.

But very few shooters have ever shot a perfect match.

I know I haven't - and yet I have boxes of awards and a plethora of buckles.

 

Some matches are one of attrition - last person standing with the fewest mistakes will win.

In a match like "that" where all but the PERFECT shooters are to be challenged by sequences, movements, weather, props or a 1000 other potentials - the TO an individual shooter has coaching or not coaching can change the standings.

 

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4 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

 

I read the "I'm just there for fun - I don't care about how I shoot" posts all the time - same as you.

I have played this game for a long time - I don't know that I have ever met one of these people.

But IF they don't care about how they shoot - then eliminating or minimizing coaching should have zero affect on their enjoyment.

 

But fine - let clubs make the monthlies anything they want to do (it's what they do already anyways)

But at a minimum, CHAMPIONSHIP level matches need to be operated like a competition.

Minimal coaching (to be determined - acceptable levels) and MAJOR safety commands (ceasefire/ Squib) from TO.  

ZERO coaching (excepting ceasefire/ squib commands) by Spotters or Posse members.

 

The other thing to consider is - You mentioned having a brain fade and the TO saving you.

It has happened to all of us.

But "maybe" if we knew we were completely on our own - we might (maybe, possibly, theres a chance) do a better job prepping/ focusing ourselves before we shoot.

AND if we lost our way - we wouldn't stop and stand there befuddled - hoping someone will save us.  

Our thought would be,"(insert curse word of choice)" and soldier thru as fast as possible.

Resigned to eating 10 seconds - but knowing its a long match; others may have brain fade as well and no one is going to save them either. 

So if I lose - it's because I lost - I won't get beat because someone else had a better, quicker, more focused TO.   

 

Your contention about championship level matches needing to be operated like a competition isn't wrong, but it's not 100% correct either.  Yes, they're championships.  Yes, they attract the best shooters in the sport.  Yes, they need to be run more strictly than local monthlies. But SASS championships aren't like championships in other sports.  You don't have to qualify to get in.  I've seen shooters at Winter Range that still had price tags on their guns.  Regardless of the level of the match in SASS I still contend we have to follow your philosophy of catering to our customers.

 

Would we better prepare ourselves for matches if we knew there'd be no safety net under us?  You, Phantom and I most definitely would.  But we already do that. We're there to win so we prepare ourselves.  But again, I believe we're in the minority.  What's the age old argument about target size and distance?  Top shooters are going to win no matter what size or distance the targets because they practice.  Same here.  Top shooters are going to win with or without coaching.  But how would eliminating coaching affect middle of the pack and lower shooters?  It would affect them the same as making targets smaller and moving them out to 10 - 20 yards.  

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1 minute ago, Shooting Bull said:

Your contention about championship level matches needing to be operated like a competition isn't wrong, but it's not 100% correct either.  Yes, they're championships.  Yes, they attract the best shooters in the sport.  Yes, they need to be run more strictly than local monthlies. But SASS championships aren't like championships in other sports.  You don't have to qualify to get in.  I've seen shooters at Winter Range that still had price tags on their guns.  Regardless of the level of the match in SASS I still contend we have to follow your philosophy of catering to our customers.

Funny you say this (Bold part). I've been saying this for years whenever I'm asked or I'm involved in a discussion about WR (and lately EOT), stages. The response I get from the "Powers that be" is "It's a National Championship (or World), and it should be a test (paraphrasing of course by you get the drift). 

 

So...if the Stages need to be Championship "level", then shouldn't the Coaching be made illegal? I mean...we're measuring for the National and World Championships fer gawds sake!

 

Hmmmm...perhaps a new tangent to take us to 8 pages...???

 

Phantom

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19 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

Your contention about championship level matches needing to be operated like a competition isn't wrong, but it's not 100% correct either.  

I am not saying the matches need to be more challenging. 

Im not saying to exclude or eliminate anyone.

 

Im saying that AT A CERTAIN LEVEL of event.  A Championship event.

Everyone should be subject to shooting the same match under the same conditions.

 

Same target distances - same sequences - same movements - same round counts..

We always hope they all have comparable weather as well, but that one is out of my hands.

 

But we can control the distances, the sequences, the movements, the round counts, etc. 

Those by design will all be equal.

 

But every TO is NOT going to be equal.

They will vary in ability, attitude, focus, speed, mental agility and reflexes.

 

The ONLY way to have comparable coaching is to minimize/ eliminate it.

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At a state or higher match often at least 2, probably 3 waves of shooters. Given that some shooters might get an advantage due to weather, it means not all shooters shoot the same match. Can’t be helped. Some get better TO, spotters etc than others. Can’t be helped. Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield!  
I’ve seen top shooters lose a match due to a penalty. Dropped gun, earned P, a miss. I’ve never seen a top shooter lose a match due to lack of coaching by the TO. Simply put, the top 2-3 guys or gals are generally so close that if shooter loses track of target sequence and needs coaching, they have probably already list the Caddy. TOs can only do their best. 

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14 minutes ago, Hoss said:

At a state or higher match often at least 2, probably 3 waves of shooters. Given that some shooters might get an advantage due to weather, it means not all shooters shoot the same match. Can’t be helped. Some get better TO, spotters etc than others. Can’t be helped. Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield!  
I’ve seen top shooters lose a match due to a penalty. Dropped gun, earned P, a miss. I’ve never seen a top shooter lose a match due to lack of coaching by the TO. Simply put, the top 2-3 guys or gals are generally so close that if shooter loses track of target sequence and needs coaching, they have probably already list the Caddy. TOs can only do their best. 

I have seen shooter lose matches due to "Coaching" - I have seen shooters win matches due to "Coaching"

Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

Everybody is equating this to the TOP 2-5 shooters at a Match or in the world.

There are something like 38 categories now - 38 Championships up for grabs at every State, Regional National and World event.

EVERY person who has picked up these wins or losses had a TO - If you think for a second - they did not affect a single one of these shooters and their placements for better or for worse...

You aint paying attention.

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2 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

I have seen shooter lose matches due to "Coaching" - I have seen shooters win matches due to "Coaching"

Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

Everybody is equating this to the TOP 2-5 shooters at a Match or in the world.

There are something like 38 categories now - 38 Championships up for grabs at every State, Regional National and World event.

EVERY person who has picked up these wins or losses had a TO - If you think for a second - they did not affect a single one of these shooters and their placements for better or for worse...

You aint paying attention.

Oh I know a TO can and does make a difference. I might have not clearly stated my point. I guess what I’m trying to say is you pays your money, you takes your chances. Nearly every competition has officials. Umpiring baseball comes to mind. Ump has to make a split second decision on a call. Impossible to get them all correct. I’ve had good TOs, great TOs, barely adequate TOs, and really poor TOs. I think all of them did their best. That’s all I can ask. Unless they mis-apply a rule I’m going to live with their call. If I think they mis-applied a rule I will politely question it. 

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"But SASS championships aren't like championships in other sports.  You don't have to qualify to get in."

 

As far as the other action shooting sports and qualifying for national chamionships.     In USPSA about 20% of spots are earned by performance at area matches or previous nationals. The other spots are through open registration from any USPSA member with any classification or slots given to clubs around the country. Bigger clubs get more slots. Shooters of all abilities but you will see more of the best there.

 

IDPA has a system where you earn points for shooting their bigger matches no matter what your performance was. They do have some slots earned by performance but most are just earned by shooting major matches. They don't fill the match this way so some are able to enter with few points.

 

i don't know what types of matches around the country have nationals spots based only on performance.

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3 minutes ago, Hoss said:

Oh I know a TO can and does make a difference. I might have not clearly stated my point. I guess what I’m trying to say is you pays your money, you takes your chances. Nearly every competition has officials. Umpiring baseball comes to mind. Ump has to make a split second decision on a call. Impossible to get them all correct. I’ve had good TOs, great TOs, barely adequate TOs, and really poor TOs. I think all of them did their best. That’s all I can ask. Unless they mis-apply a rule I’m going to live with their call. If I think they mis-applied a rule I will politely question it. 

I think the comparison with BB is not a good one. Yes there are some similarities, but in BB you have a set of officials for the whole game. To be a fair comparison, you'd have T.O.'s that are dedicated to the Stage. If you wanted BB to be run like CAS, you'd have a new Homeplate Umpire for every hitter...ask how a pitcher might feel about that.

 

Phantom

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10 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

I think the comparison with BB is not a good one. Yes there are some similarities, but in BB you have a set of officials for the whole game. To be a fair comparison, you'd have T.O.'s that are dedicated to the Stage. If you wanted BB to be run like CAS, you'd have a new Homeplate Umpire for every hitter...ask how a pitcher might feel about that.

 

Phantom

You may be right about baseball. But the idea is no competition with judges/officials is going to be without some mistakes made. All we can ask is they do their best. 

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43 minutes ago, Hoss said:

You may be right about baseball. But the idea is no competition with judges/officials is going to be without some mistakes made. All we can ask is they do their best. 

I with you on that...would be hard to argue. But I just believe we can and should eliminate subjectivity wherever possible.

 

Phantom

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7 hours ago, Hoss said:

But the idea is no competition with judges/officials is going to be without some mistakes made.

Yes, where's judging there's mistakes. But judging is not coaching. A basketball ref wouldn't tell a player where to throw the ball, he just make the calls based on the rules. 

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1 hour ago, Equanimous Phil said:

Yes, where's judging there's mistakes. But judging is not coaching. A basketball ref wouldn't tell a player where to throw the ball, he just make the calls based on the rules. 

But he calls fouls, traveling, goal tending, land violations etc, which are all judgment calls. 
 

im certainly not saying our system is perfect. And as a TO I do t do a lot of coaching for experienced shooters, but donegknes they get stuck too!

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29 minutes ago, Hoss said:

But he calls fouls, traveling, goal tending, land violations etc, which are all judgment calls. 

And so will do a non-coaching TO, still making the calls for 170 violations etc. But he won't prevent the shooter from getting a P, he just calls it afterwards.

 

36 minutes ago, Hoss said:

And as a TO I do t do a lot of coaching for experienced shooters, but donegknes they get stuck too!

I am very far from beeing experienced. And if I get really stuck, I appreciate someone pointing out what target or move is next. On the other hand, I HATE IT  when everything runs fine but the TO is "helping" by giving advice what to do!

 

Basically, I'm in the camp of

22 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

...isn't remembering the stage instructions part of this game?

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Recently at a monthly match a many time state, National champion drew and cocked pistol instead of rifle. Shooter realized it as soon as gun was cocked, but then froze, not sure what to do. TO rightly coached her to go ahead and shoot the pistol targets and take the P. 
it can and does happen to new & experienced shooters. That “beep” can make us stupid!  
 

 

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1 minute ago, Hoss said:

Recently at a monthly match a many time state, National champion drew and cocked pistol instead of rifle. Shooter realized it as soon as gun was cocked, but then froze, not sure what to do. TO rightly coached her to go ahead and shoot the pistol targets and take the P. 
it can and does happen to new & experienced shooters. That “beep” can make us stupid!  
 

 

So...you mean YOU saved her time. Are you saying that she wouldn't have figured it out?

 

She would have...just would have taken a few more seconds perhaps.

 

I had to two stages where I was "lost" for a fraction of a second last weekend...long enough for people to comment that I was Brain Farting.

 

Glad no one tried to help during the Stage...I own it...no one was hurt.

 

Phantom

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So how would a match director or posse marshal go about silencing the spotters, brassers, peanut gallery, et al during a match? There are a couple of shooters that I won’t posse with because they won’t shut up while people shoot the stage. I have a hard enough time hearing the TO without all of the chatter going on in the background.

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1 hour ago, Yul Lose said:

So how would a match director or posse marshal go about silencing the spotters, brassers, peanut gallery, et al during a match? There are a couple of shooters that I won’t posse with because they won’t shut up while people shoot the stage. I have a hard enough time hearing the TO without all of the chatter going on in the background.

Duct Tape?

 

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1 hour ago, Yul Lose said:

So how would a match director or posse marshal go about silencing the spotters, brassers, peanut gallery, et al during a match? There are a couple of shooters that I won’t posse with because they won’t shut up while people shoot the stage. I have a hard enough time hearing the TO without all of the chatter going on in the background.

Folks do what they are allowed to do.

And they will continue to do so as long as it is allowed or encouraged.

 

It will take a widespread effort to eliminate old habits - but we created the habit - we can break it.

 

We begin with education, culture change and peer pressure to shut folks up.

In a year or two - we move to Spirit of the Game penalties if needed.

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

So...you mean YOU saved her time. Are you saying that she wouldn't have figured it out?

 

She would have...just would have taken a few more seconds perhaps.

 

I had to two stages where I was "lost" for a fraction of a second last weekend...long enough for people to comment that I was Brain Farting.

 

Glad no one tried to help during the Stage...I own it...no one was hurt.

 

Phantom

No. I did not save her time. I was just a member of the peanut gallery at the time. And yes, shooter likely would have figured it out. 
 

given under current rules, TO is charged with safely assisting shooter thru course of fire, he did the right thing 

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2 minutes ago, Hoss said:

No. I did not save her time. I was just a member of the peanut gallery at the time. And yes, shooter likely would have figured it out. 
 

given under current rules, TO is charged with safely assisting shooter thru course of fire, he did the right thing 

How is a Procedural penalty related to safety?

We have bastardized the "Safely Assist" idea from keep them and the posse safe to "Protect the shooter from making any error possible". 

 

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I guess in the long run, out TO system is kinda like our trial by  jury system. It ain’t perfect, but it’s better than other methods. 
 

if trial by jury is trusting your fate to 22 folks not smart enough to get out of jury duty, does that mean shooters are trusting a TO not smart enough to get out of that chore:o

 

I've had some really good TOs. Phantom is one of them.  Most are adequate. A few are learning and should only fo monthly matches. A very few should not TO, but want to at big annual matches. I’ve had a couple of those. I try to avoid them! 

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2 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

How is a Procedural penalty related to safety?

We have bastardized the "Safely Assist" idea from keep them and the posse safe to "Protect the shooter from making any error possible". 

 

Many shooters first instinct is to decock, which is a safety violation. 
I’ve always understood the “safely assist” instruction to mean keep them safe and assist. TOs are tasked with assessing shooter as they come to line for shotgun shells, possible reload Bullets, hammer back etc. should we ignore the fact that a shooter is coming to the line with no shotgun shells? 

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2 hours ago, Hoss said:

Many shooters first instinct is to decock, which is a safety violation. 
I’ve always understood the “safely assist” instruction to mean keep them safe and assist. TOs are tasked with assessing shooter as they come to line for shotgun shells, possible reload Bullets, hammer back etc. should we ignore the fact that a shooter is coming to the line with no shotgun shells? 

The TO SHOULD:

Verify the stage is ready for the next shooter.

(brass picked, targets reset, reset ropes clear from walkway, three spotters in place, etc.)

Verify the shooter is prepared for the stage as applicable to SAFETY aspects.

(eyes, ears, hammer(s) back, observe shooter walking to stage for signs of dehydration, etc.)

Allow the shooter to stage their firearms

(and since the shooter does NOT yet own the stage {the shooter may ask for assistance} or the TO may issue reminders as needed regarding starting position, hand position - empty shotgun loops, etc.) 

Allow the shooter to signify ready by stating the line.

(once the shooter has signified ready - they are saying, "I know what I'm doing")

Issue a standby and a beep and get out of the way.

Remain close enough to stop unsafe behaviors or issue SAFETY commands.

Beyond that - shut up - catch the last shot on the timer, poll spotters and report the score.

 

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So if shooter is in wrong starting position,  but says his line, you give him the beep, let him shoot, and then give the P?  Or say he shoots first gun, goes to incorrect 2nd gun, you don’t say anything? That just goes against what I was taught and what I’ve seen. But….we shoot in different parts of the country. Maybe it’s a regional thing? 
 

and I hate splitting hairs and doing lots of “what if’s”. So, this will be my last post on the subject. If I’m timing, unless shooter specially asks me not to do any coaching I’m going to do what I can to safely assist them thru brain fades or other faux pas.  I fully understand and find no fault with you if you elect not to. 

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3 hours ago, Hoss said:

 

I've had some really good TOs. Phantom is one of them.  

 

Q:  And what are the Characteristics of Phantom, and those like him,

that make them a good reputable TO?

 

A:  The mere things he is posting his thoughts on this wire.

 

But this thread ain't about Phantom.  But rather about trying

to have TO duties that can be considered 'more equal' for

everyone on EVERY posse..... which in turn gives a more fair

assessment of everyones score at the end of the day.

 

When ole Widder makes a Boo-boo, then Phantom and

Creeper whoops his butt.  When Phantom errs, then

Widder and Creeker whoop his butt.   And so on.....

 

The TO does not need to be a factor in those outcomes

nor should "Hide Saver" be added into a TO's job

description.

 

Just my opinion.

 

..........Widder

 

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3 hours ago, Hoss said:

So if shooter is in wrong starting position,  but says his line, you give him the beep, let him shoot, and then give the P?

No, you don't ask him for the line until he looks ready. That includes starting position.

 

Give the shooter a chance to figure it out (why am I not being asked for the line?) If the delay gets uncomfortable, then prompt/coach. The timer is not running yet. Do need to get the timer running.

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8 hours ago, Ace_of_Hearts said:

Duct Tape?

 

Spray bottle with vinegar water should do it.

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2 hours ago, John Kloehr said:

No, you don't ask him for the line until he looks ready. That includes starting position.

 

Give the shooter a chance to figure it out (why am I not being asked for the line?) If the delay gets uncomfortable, then prompt/coach. The timer is not running yet. Do need to get the timer running.

You ask for a line?

 

Please don't do that for me if you're ever running the timer on me.

 

Phantom

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