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Where Do I Start? How to Improve the Most When You First Start in CAS


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1 hour ago, Griff said:

4 pages of advice, criticism, misunderstandings and musings... and it still boils down to "PRACTICE".   Desire + funding + time = improvement.  Quantity of result depends on quantity & quality of those 3 ingredients.  

We are on the fourth page but it is not full yet.

 

Agree with what you say, now to apply it efficiently. I still stand by Doc Shapiro's book as a reference. I know he has said he would change some things for a second edition. There are a couple things in it I have already changed direction on.

 

But it is a reference, it is a comprehensive reference, and I know of no other reference at its level (I am open to other references).

 

So for me, I find it a basis to consider from. There are a couple things I am doing differently but I do have the entire book to reference those changes against.

 

There is an incredible wealth of information available. And Doc is not necessarily right in every aspect, and every YouTube video out there is necessarily right or wrong either.

 

But if you take a random gathering of them they are likely not consistent with each other.

 

So yes, practice! It is helping me. I really should shoot more often though.

 

But pick a program that is complete and comprehensive as a basis for practice, and feel free to then deviate from it based on what works for you. 

 

Breaking the Shot is the only complete reference I am aware of, but I can not say there is not another comprehensive resource out there. I would certainly look at another.

 

But for training, I do think it is best to base training on any recognized solid foundation versus going at it in random pieces.

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18 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

We are on the fourth page but it is not full yet.

 

Agree with what you say, now to apply it efficiently. I still stand by Doc Noper's book as a reference. I know he has said he would change some things for a second edition. There are a couple things in it I have already changed direction on.

 

But it is a reference, it is a comprehensive reference, and I know of no other reference at its level (I am open to other references).

 

So for me, I find it a basis to consider from. There are a couple things I am doing differently but I do have the entire book to reference those changes against.

 

There is an incredible wealth of information available. And Doc is not necessarily right in every aspect, and every YouTube video out there is necessarily right or wrong either.

 

But if you take a random gathering of them they are likely not consistent with each other.

 

So yes, practice! It is helping me. I really should shoot more often though.

 

But pick a program that is complete and comprehensive as a basis for practice, and feel free to then deviate from it based on what works for you. 

 

Breaking the Shot is the only complete reference I am aware of, but I can not say there is not another comprehensive resource out there. I would certainly look at another.

 

But for training, I do think it is best to base training on any recognized solid foundation versus going at it in random pieces.

 

Thanks.  I'm sure you didn't mean Doc Noper, from what I've heard he's a heck of a leather guy.

 

The content in Breaking the Shot is an amalgamation of techniques, theory, approach, etc. that I learned from so many other shooters.  Essentially, my role was to put it together in an easily digestible format.  There is some stuff in there that came out of my head, but the majority came from the incredible friendship and willingness to share from the shooters that are listed in the book.  I'm extremely grateful to all of them for the passion they brought and the amount of time and effort that they contributed.  It would not have happened without them.

 

If you'd like another book reference, I learned an enormous amount from Brian Enos' book Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals.  It's aimed more at other shooting games like Bianchi Cup, Steel Challenge, IPSC, etc.  But there's a TON of great stuff in it.  Mostly about what's happening between the ears.

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2 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

Thanks.  I'm sure you didn't mean Doc Noper, from what I've heard he's a heck of a leather guy.

 

If you'd like another book reference, I learned an enormous amount from Brian Enos' book Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals.  It's aimed more at other shooting games like Bianchi Cup, Steel Challenge, IPSC, etc.  But there's a TON of great stuff in it.  Mostly about what's happening between the ears.

OK fixed my brain fart! I meant you and you knew it.

 

I do shoot those other sports and will hunt down a copy. A lot of it is between the ears, and also "how to solve the problem."

 

Steel Challenge is pretty well explored, it is getting down to foot shuffling and fewer options for each of the standard stages. I'm lucky to run 8 seconds on most stages as I am not dropping power factor, going to red dots, thumb braces, and a lot of great ways to buy time once one has the skill (or even if they don't, it is possible to buy time in that sport).

 

IPSC, yes, fun. But I am finding I get better times is I shoot "that-a-way" twice with my rifle and hot the target both times than if I aim and nail the center in one shot. Well, it is a game, but if I could develop my skills to nail COM on the first shot, I should be faster than firing twice.

 

Anyway. SASS is different. But fundamentals count and when compared to IPSC, I am trying to sort out one good shot versus two "good enough" shots. Which is really faster? Assuming the limits of skill.

 

In SASS, that decision is not available. I'm liking that.

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8 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

<snip>

 

Anyway. SASS is different. But fundamentals count and when compared to IPSC, I am trying to sort out one good shot versus two "good enough" shots. Which is really faster? Assuming the limits of skill.

 

In SASS, that decision is not available. I'm liking that.

 

Brian covers this when he talks about "Awareness", and how much you really need to see/be aware of in order to make the needed shot.  Essentially, there is such a thing as "good enough".

 

I didn't get much into that as I didn't feel I could do it justice, and Brian Enos covered it so well. 

 

Also note that "limits of skill" is an arbitrary mental construct.  Even having that in your head will limit you as it sets expectations.  But now we're really getting into the weeds of how your thoughts affect your actions and ability.

 

Come out and visit.  I still do lessons B)

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Aaaawwwww shucks...

 

You know, I don't think we've crossed paths before.  Hopefully one day.  It would be fun to sit down with some whiskey and chat.

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9 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

You know, I don't think we've crossed paths before.  Hopefully one day.  It would be fun to sit down with some whiskey and chat.

Can Bud come?

 

:P

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2 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Can Bud come?

 

:P

 

I dunno.  I haven't spoken to him in quite a while.  But I appreciate the sentiment. :P.  It would be more likely if I make chili and cornbread.  He seems to have a soft spot for that. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

I dunno.  I haven't spoken to him in quite a while.  But I appreciate the sentiment. :P.  It would be more likely if I make chili and cornbread.  He seems to have a soft spot for that. 

 

Well I don't see myself getting out West soon...Ever get out to Colorado, the drinks are on me!

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Just now, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Well I don't see myself getting out West soon...Ever get out to Colorado, the drinks are on me!

 

Hopefully.  I don't know what the future holds.  The mystery is part of this great adventure we're on.

 

Actually, once the kids get out of the house, it's more likely. 

Just now, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Heck, Chili and Cornbread, Phantom, Doc and Bud,

and even ole Widder might even show up.

 

..........Widder

 

 

Oh Widder, we inducted Tully into the ranks of Jedi Gunfighters today. 

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Just now, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Heck, Chili and Cornbread, Phantom, Doc and Bud,

and even ole Widder might even show up.

 

..........Widder

 

Hey!

 

It'd be like a big old party / get together for old folks that don't know $&@ about the game of CAS!!!!!

 

:o

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1 minute ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Hey!

 

It'd be like a big old party / get together for old folks that don't know $&@ about the game of CAS!!!!!

 

:o

 

Heck, we could fix all the problems!!

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19 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Hey!

 

It'd be like a big old party / get together for old folks that don't know $&@ about the game of CAS!!!!!

 

:o

 

18 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

Heck, we could fix all the problems!!

Well, y'all know we have the Tennessee State match coming up in October. Be a good time to visit. I don't know $&@ about much, and I have problems to fix. Come on over.

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1 minute ago, Tennessee williams said:

 

Well, y'all know we have the Tennessee State match coming up in October. Be a good time to visit. I don't know $&@ about much, and I have problems to fix. Come on over.

 

Would love to, but it's not in the budget.  My daughter will be starting college in a year and we're setting budget to help her with that.  PM me.  Maybe we can figure something.

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4 minutes ago, Tennessee williams said:

Well, y'all know we have the Tennessee State match coming up in October. Be a good time to visit. I don't know $&@ about much, and I have problems to fix. Come on over.

I wish...not in the cards. Sept-Jan is pretty booked...

 

Would love to be able to get together with Doc and Widder and teach ya something....wait...we don't know #(%@...well thank god y'all have that new shooter to help you fix all yer problems :o:P

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The only problems TN Williams has is limited to TWO.

 

One of his biggest problems is that he has had to throttle back

on his DQ consumption.    Even stock value has plummeted since

he stopped eating Nanner Splits.

 

#2 problem....... WOMEN.   More notable is his X-girlfriends.

Seems that most of them work the drive thru windows at the

local carry outs like McD, Wendys, Burger King, etc.....

And it bothers him because NONE of them remember his name.

:lol::lol:

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

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I'm finally going to reveal my big secret to not only getting faster but just generally getting ahead in life. It ought to be common sense but it seems I could charge for it. 

 

In school, if I was struggling I found the folks that were getting good grades and talked to them to figure out what I was missing. When I was wrestling and boxing and run out of steam, I found the guys that seemed to be able to go forever and trained with them. I didn't have to agree with them on every single thing, but I had enough sense to realize they were doing something I wasn't and I didn't discount what they said just because I didn't understand it.

Same goes for cowboy shooting and life in general. If your goal is to go faster, look to the people faster than you and see what they're doing. Watch videos of them. Call them and talk to them. Practice with them if you can. But don't disregard what they say just because you don't understand it. You don't have to understand something for it to be true. 

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Some thoughts on the mental game.  My daughter wrote this article after her 2nd Ladies World Championship.  She went on to win 4 total Ladies World and National Championships.  There are a lot of great books on the mental game .  What ever method you use to develop your speed;  do not neglect the mental game.  My hope is that this article inspires you to train, take the advice of champions.  There is some great information on this thread.  The one thing I have learned is to pay close attention to the advice of shooters who have made it to the top.  There are many great video's today on you tube.  There are several great shooters who visit this wire and offer advice.  Doc Shapiro's book is excellent as well as books by Lanny Basham and his son Troy, Brian Enos and others.  Not sure who wrote the Art of Tennis and Zen Golf but I thought they were excellent.  

 

Subconscious Shooting

                        by SASS Kicker

 

            I believe the subconscious mind is one of the most powerful attributes humans have. As an accomplished competitor in a sport dominated by  the mental game, I have learned that what separates first and second place is not necessarily skill but the power an individual competitor possesses to overcome their innermost thoughts.  Last summer in the World Championship of Single Action Shooting, I felt compelling pressure to retain my previous title. To prepare, I practiced often, but more importantly I trained my mind to believe I was capable of winning. This mental focus prevented unnecessary mistakes and allowed me to overcome obstacles beyond my control. I approached each stage with confidence which allowed me to rely instinct rather than calculated effort, confirming the power of the subconscious mind.

            Unfortunately, events occurred beyond my control. My firearm broke while shooting which added devastating rank points to my score. Before I could finish the last four stages, I had to overcome this setback. Devastated, I wanted to convince myself it wasn't a disaster. Emotions and tears literally poured out without warning. Some might declare this a weakness, but the release dismissed the negative emotions and thoughts that would have prevailed in my mind. Afterwards, I visualize myself shooting the stage perfectly three times; although this wasn't going to change the past, I needed to redeem myself mentally. I moved onto the next stage with  confidence, and approached each of the last four stages with the mental focus of a champion. Nothing was going to impede my performance.

          It was my turn to shoot stage nine. I envisioned a flawless performance, lined up the sights like I had done hundreds of times, and the stage coalesced into one fluid motion. Moments before, I remembered a saying which has helped me, "slow is smooth, smooth is fast...front sight." The range officer directed me to the firing line and all eyes were on me; three commercial cameras documented every shot and spectators watched anxiously hoping to witness a comeback. When the loud buzzer prompted me to begin the stage I picked up my first firearm just like I had envisioned...the rest was a blur. It was only after the stage concluded that I had time to reflect on the events that had transpired

            Unknowingly, I had shot the stage in my subconscious mind. Although I had heard of this concept, I have never witnessed it until that moment. Even today, I cannot recall the 17.08 seconds that changed my life except by validating the theories regarding the subconscious mind. My coach, Pecos Clyde, gave me the techniques that guided me to the World Championship; however, what actually allowed me to overcome adversity, was trusting my mind to take over my body.

            In most competitions it is unheard up to succeed with equipment malfunctions, but I was able to defy the odds. I am the current Women's World Champion of Single Action Shooting and I believe my subconscious mind is the most powerful weapon I possess and quite possibly the reason for my success. It is the reason the hours of practice every night paid off, the reason I woke up early every Saturday morning, the reason I missed my first two homecomings, but most importantly, it is the reason all the sacrifices were worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KIRK,

I always enjoy reading, and often learning,  what you post on the

Wire.   Thanks for sharing that info by SASS Kicker.

 

..........Widder

 

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OTJ,

 

   I shot with ya last year in Valdosta; I think yer doin' ok.

You have some good examples down there Gator way.

But if ya think you really wanna get some learnin', we can probly figure out a way to get you out west for some real schoolin' Lol.

Hangin' with Stan, Bucky, Glen and Outlaw and the crew, I think you'll be just fine

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On 7/31/2021 at 10:03 PM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Hey!

 

It'd be like a big old party / get together for old folks that don't know $&@ about the game of CAS!!!!!

 

:o

Man, I wish I could join y'all, just to reinforce all the "STUFF" I know and refuse to put into practice... there it is again... that dreaded word... practice... like twice the badness of a four letter word!

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On 7/29/2021 at 2:35 PM, Tennessee williams said:

Wonder what the record is for speed gunfighter? It's 1.81 is on film for 10 shots on target from holsters...and it's been done faster. That's with those manually operated ruger vaqueros.

The individual shots on the timer is the holdup. Once you get below 1.7 is really hard. 

The fastest I've personally seen is 1.42.  But I know widder has some blazing times.  Smokestack as well.  Lefty and the Cumberland kid are fast enough to beat that. 

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On 7/29/2021 at 3:03 PM, Chacón said:

 

Realistically .157 seconds is faster than me unless I really focus that day with a bottom feeder.  With a revolver I'm a total amateur, which is why I'm here and reading this thread.  I can say I'm going to practice transitions from target to target before my next match.  That seems like low hanging fruit from what you guys are saying and that should help me a lot.  Starting out as a gunfighter has reallllllllly driven my brain bonkers though.

Give it time. I started out as a gunfighter as well.  With practice it gets easier.  Before long you'll never want to shoot any other way. 

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2 hours ago, evil dogooder said:

The individual shots on the timer is the holdup. Once you get below 1.7 is really hard. 

The fastest I've personally seen is 1.42.  But I know widder has some blazing times.  Smokestack as well.  Lefty and the Cumberland kid are fast enough to beat that. 

 

I agree Evil.    There are a few folks that can blister the current

GF record but its just darn hard to pick up 10 distinct shots

going at such speeds.   Basically, the 10 shots only cover

about 1.3 seconds.

Going on faint memory, I think some of my best

times from 1st shot to last shot,  was approx

1.18 seconds.

 

I 'had' some blazing times but I don't practice it much anymore.

I've "helped" show others what is possible, but now its up to you young whippersnappers

to continue the venture.

 

I know YOU and Smokestack are legendary with your GF speeds.

 

..........Widder

 

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Just to see if we can hit 5 pages, here's another thought to knock around.  There is a correct answer.  I'm sure some of you have read it in a book, or heard me discuss it.  If you know the correct answer, don't respond too quickly.  Of course, this may not resonate and there won't be any responses at all and this post will fall flat.  Or it might be an interesting discussion.

 

What's the most important shot?  The 10 second bonus on stage 10 that is still a 5 second miss (yes, this was at EOT one year?  How about the clay bird as a pistol shot on stage 4?  Or something else?

 

What do you think, and why?

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The most important shot?

 

I would venture to say.....  'The NEXT shot'.

 

Of course, sometimes I've felt like the most important shot

was the one that missed the target.

 

..........Widder

 

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1 minute ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

The most important shot?

 

I would venture to say.....  'The NEXT shot'.

 

Of course, sometimes I've felt like the most important shot

was the one that missed the target.

 

..........Widder

 

 

Pending the specifics of what you mean by "Next" you may or may not be right.  But now tell me why that's the case.  Then we'll have something to discuss :-p

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1 minute ago, Bad Bascomb, SASS # 47,494 said:

:ph34r:  To me, it's the one I'm making at any one moment.  I TRY to give it my full attention, and quickly if I can.

 

You've made the right choice. 

 

The interest in the question is getting to the why. 

 

Ok, so now we know the most important shot is the one you're taking NOW.  But why?

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Hey Doc.

To me, it mostly seems to be 'The Next' shot because that is

the shot I have the most control over at that time in history.

 

The last shot is history.  Wherever it goes, however straight its path

may be, whatever destruction it may cause or whatever 

salvation it may have reaped..... its story is now told.

Its story might be that which legends are born.

Or its story might be that which warrants to be untold.

 

BUT, the story 'The Next' shot creates can enhance any

previous legendary shot or erase the memory of 

the untold story.

 

Yep, its that Next Shot.   We gotta wait for it.  And hope

we have a chance to fire it.

 

..........Widder

 

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15 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Hey Doc.

To me, it mostly seems to be 'The Next' shot because that is

the shot I have the most control over at that time in history.

 

The last shot is history.  Wherever it goes, however straight its path

may be, whatever destruction it may cause or whatever 

salvation it may have reaped..... its story is now told.

Its story might be that which legends are born.

Or its story might be that which warrants to be untold.

 

BUT, the story 'The Next' shot creates can enhance any

previous legendary shot or erase the memory of 

the untold story.

 

Yep, its that Next Shot.   We gotta wait for it.  And hope

we have a chance to fire it.

 

..........Widder

 

 

What if the "next shot" is tomorrow, or next week?  You're not taking the shot yet.  At the moment (as in right now), you have no control over it.  It's still an imaginative future state that doesn't exist, so it isn't yet important.  The danger is that you can start to apply expectations to that shot.  Expectations come with demands.  They come with performance requirements.  Expectations start to create an "ideal state" where you expect a particular result.  Expectations create fear of failure.  Expectations and the fear of failure that goes with it creates a block for performance.  Our minds work in strange ways.

 

Here's an example.  If someone is bringing a bowl of soup to the table and you say "don't spill the soup".  What happens?  They spill the soup.  The reason is that your brain ignores the "don't" part of that, and gloms onto the negative part "spill the soup".  Better to say something like "walk smoothly".  That will facilitate keeping the soup in the bowl.

 

Frank Herbert mentioned this in Dune "Fear is the mind killer".  No expectations means that you're free to perform at your best. 

 

After that diatribe, the most important shot is the one you're taking right now.  It's the only shot you have control of.  The previous one has left the barrel and is on the way to it's destination.  The one after you haven't gotten to yet, and you can't control the future.  The one you're taking right now is the only one you can control.

 

Did all that make sense? 

 

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