how do you over come a bad stage?

Dec 28, 2011
273
2
18
36
daytona beach FL
#1
so I shot a 1 day match not long ago had an issue (no details needed) that was external to me. it REALLY pissed me off and it got in my head the next 4 or stages. so how do you guys over come that
 
Dec 20, 2017
392
320
63
#2
Just like any competition, the mental part is at least 50%. You can hit your target all day long, eyes closed. Add some pressure and a distraction or two and you can't focus on the task at hand. This is problem for the very best of every sport. Think Tiger Woods. He didn't get less skillful. The distractions destroyed him. There's too many stories of athletically capable people not getting beyond the mental and fail professionally. If it was an easy answer, it wouldn't be a problem at the highest levels. If you figure it out, bottle that shit and make a fortune. Other than that, try meditation. Removing all thoughts from your head except the task at hand.
 
Dec 28, 2011
273
2
18
36
daytona beach FL
#3
Just like any competition, the mental part is at least 50%. You can hit your target all day long, eyes closed. Add some pressure and a distraction or two and you can't focus on the task at hand. This is problem for the very best of every sport. Think Tiger Woods. He didn't get less skillful. The distractions destroyed him. There's too many stories of athletically capable people not getting beyond the mental and fail professionally. If it was an easy answer, it wouldn't be a problem at the highest levels. If you figure it out, bottle that shit and make a fortune. Other than that, try meditation. Removing all thoughts from your head except the task at hand.

I am fairly new to the sport and never really competed to a level of this. I normally am a very calm and let shit go (though very high strung) easily. I just got mad and it distracted me very badly. In looking back it was a very minimal thing to get pissed about but had never came across that issue to date. Moving forward now things I can do personally different
 
#4
Except you screwed up, understand what you did wrong, an move on. In another life I shot trap an live birds for money. At the big money shoots, one thing you could bet on was Hookers, being all over you if you played the money. An I mean all over, you. It was other shooters who would hire them an sick them on their competition. Trap is a one bird event, or one set of doubles event until the end. You lose concentration for just one second an you will miss the bird/s. After the first time of getting distracted, I made sure the wife was with me at every shoot, yep best insurance you can have shooting trap. One set of doubles cost me a new truck only once but, she did have the best tits an ass there that day! Any competition is more about concentration than an off skill during an event.
 
Likes: sako.308

Dthomas3523

Blind Squirrel
Jan 31, 2018
975
278
63
South Texas
#5
I'm just getting into PRS, but I can comment on mental aspect. I'll use poker as a prime example since its basically a mental/numbers game. Kinda like shooting as its mental and its weaponized math.

You have to train yourself to emotionally detach from the outcome of each stage. Just as in poker, you have to emotionally detach and play each hand independently from your emotions.

You also need to be able to recognize if it was something you did wrong, or if it was happenstance. In poker, you may do everything right and someone gets lucky. In PRS, you might have everything dialed in perfectly and a wind gust down range hits at the worst time.

Or, you made the wrong move in poker/wrong wind read in PRS. Recognize that you did something wrong and fix it.

Each shot you take is already down range. There's nothing you can do to change it or take it back. The only thing you can do is take an objective look at what you did right and/or wrong and use it on the next shot. If you didn't do anything wrong, keep doing what you're doing. If you did something wrong, fix it.


Something that has helped me in professional life (mil/le) was some advice I can't even remember from who. When something very bad happens in life or work.......focus on the small things. Waking up on time, showering, eating a meal, a workout. Focus on the small things that you need and only on that one single thing at a time. If you fill up your mind with the small things, there's no room for the other emotions.

When something goes wrong on a stage........just focus on the small stuff. Just put all your thoughts into sight picture, trigger squeeze, breathing, etc. Focus all your energy on that and there won't be in room for the bad thoughts of the prior stage.

There's also many, many books on the mental aspect of pretty much any game or sport. It's all basically the same stuff, so pick one that you can relate to and check it out.
 

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,268
207
63
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#6
Can't let a bad stage ruin a match. Look at how you screwed up, learn from it and move on. That stage is done. You can't do it over so be mad for a few seconds while reloading mags and move on to thinking about and figuring out the next stage. Any other way will just let the bad stage keep ruining others.
 
Aug 9, 2012
99
14
18
44
#8
Make a mental note on how to improve such a stage next time and just let it go. If you don't let it go your match will go into the toilet its that simple.
 
Dec 28, 2011
273
2
18
36
daytona beach FL
#9
FWIW the issue that happen was not something I did or something I could have controlled. it was a outside influence that screwed me up and pissed me off while I was on gun and in stage


but thank you for the input and things to take away from here
 
Feb 27, 2017
88
4
8
#10
You have to have a contingency plan for when an obstacle stands in the way of you completing your processe(s) successfully. Figure out whats standing in your way and develop a plan to overcome it, there's not one size fits all for this as much of it is purely dependent on the individual and his or her circumstances. With that being said, it takes time to figure out whats actually causing the issue sometimes and even when you find a work around there's no telling how long it will take to effectively implement it.
 
Jun 13, 2008
528
187
43
#12
Part of me says you need to HTFU and learn to deal with it, part of me says that I've been there before myself, and have had to learn to think around it myself.

Either way, you should pick up BOTH of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Mental-Marksmanship-Perfect-Shots-ebook/dp/B00IX7VMXQ

https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Mind...3378834&sr=1-1&refinements=p_27:Lanny+Bassham

...before you order even one more pound of powder or box of bullets.

Those will be a good starting point into the sports psychology of shooting. Competitive shooting is one of the most mentally demanding sports out there, so you need to give yourself whatever edge(s) you can.

-Nate
 
Likes: lukejr985

XTR

F-TR junkie
Sep 4, 2010
1,728
56
48
Lebanon, NH
www.onlinehumidor.com
#14
I can say that in the past things have gotten into my head and messed with me over the course of a match. Some times it has been something that I had no control over. Bad pit service comes to mind. Shooting F class, I've got a condition I want to run it in and the target is staying down for 30 seconds every shot, and the guy laying next to me is shoots four or five 10s and Xs as fast as he can pump them in because his target is staying down for 10 seconds. Yea, that will mess with you.

I always tried to not let those things bother me with limited success, then about 3 or 4 yrs ago I was shooting in Phoenix at the Bergers or the FCNC, I forget which. A past national champion cross fired in the first match on the first day. Dropped 10 points in a game where the top 10 can be seperated by less than that. Conditions were rough that week, and at end of the week he finished 4th, (and I think thankfully over 10 points out of the lead). I learned from that, you can't get back the last shot, learn from it if you can and worry about the next one, keep shooting. If you are competing for the top of the board then all you can do is put up your best score and maybe the other guys drop a few, but in any case, there is nothing you can do about what they shoot, and don't forget that we're out there to have fun. If your score becomes more important than having fun your not doing it right.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,998
406
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#17
I've had lightning strike with no warning, many of us have.

You shake it off and stay in the game. Chalk it up to profit and loss, and recognize that the worse the luck was, the better the ongoing averages will be. There's no fighting the odds, and when they're against you, they are also obliged to turn back your way, too.

I am not a winner; it's not part of my makeup. If I had ever allowed that to discourage me, I would never have had all those great brushes with the bright and famous; some of whom inhabit this very site. My glass is half full, it needs to be. That's just a personal choice everybody can make.

Greg
 

RoterJager

The Red Hunter
Oct 21, 2013
499
48
28
The Frozen Tundra
#18
The best thing I ever did was stop marking down scores in my match booklet or on my score sheet. That way if I shot a bad stage or two, I could get right back into focusing on preparing for the next stages rather than writing down a 1 or a 0 and then having the pressure of needsing to shoot a 9 or a 10 on the next one staring at me from the page while I'm trying to read the stage brief for the next stage.
 

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,268
207
63
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#19
Not sure I would do that. I always keep track so I know and to keep the score keeper honest. I like to know and be able to look back if there is a scoring issue and know what I did. Not to harp on a bad stage but just to know.
 

RoterJager

The Red Hunter
Oct 21, 2013
499
48
28
The Frozen Tundra
#20
Not sure I would do that. I always keep track so I know and to keep the score keeper honest. I like to know and be able to look back if there is a scoring issue and know what I did. Not to harp on a bad stage but just to know.
I get where you're coming from but if I'm being honest with myself; I'm not going to place high enough for it to matter if an RO misses one or two points. I haven't tried this at a major PRS event yet like the SDSC and to be honest I'll probably write mine down there so I can compare where I'm at from last year. But as far as one day matches, I stopped writing my stuff down I'd rather spend that time focusing on the next stage or helping some of the new guys figure out how to shoot a stage.
 

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,268
207
63
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#21
Yeah one day matches aren't as big of a deal but the difference between 1st and 3rd in the last one I shot was 1 point between each so being competitive I still keep my scores for them. Lol
 
#22
I started competitively shooting a little later in life. I have shot firearms all my life, but not competitively. I did; however, play golf since the time of was 6 years old.

I could have gone far in golf, except, 1 bad shot and everything went downhill. Another thing, is I could not putt. Could not putt at all. After 35 years, I finally laid down the clubs and started shooting competitively. I knew I wasn't going to be on the leaderboards, but every match I learned something that I was doing wrong and just logged it so I would not repeat.

I started getting better and started placing a few matches and became a much better shooter. I wasn't worried about scoring... I just wanted to get better. Have a bad stage.. eh.. what happened.. okay... Let a bad shot go? Forget it.

Then, last September, I surprised my Dad at his club for his birthday to play in the Skins game. I shot 77. Haven't picked up a club in 4 years and I shoot 77. Did not miss a putt.

Why? Because shooting competitively and not worrying about score trained my mental game that bad shots/things were going to happen and I could overcome. It took 41 years to get that through my head.

My opinion.. is that it is not the next shot/stage that is going to hurt your score; it is always the last bad shot/stage that sticks in your mind. And.. enjoy the game.. that is why we do it.. to have fun, fellowship and become better.

Just my $.02.
 
Sep 25, 2017
35
4
8
Blythewood, SC
#23
I always squad with friends and we all talk shit to each other while shooting and through the whole match. It's good fun. I'm there to see myself improve. I don't have the money or skill to win but I'm there to learn, improve and have fun.
 
Likes: Va_Gentleman

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,268
207
63
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#24
No one comes in with the skill to win. Everyone starts somewhere down the food chain and it's how much work they put into it that will show the benefits. Doesn't take a bunch of money to win either. Just spending what you can wisely.

Don't think that skill to win and learning, improving and having fun are mutually exclusive at matches. I squad with friends and do the last three at every match but when on the line and on the clock it's all business. You can have fun and have your head in the competition at the same time. When you have that bad stage you need to learn from it and see what you can do to improve and it's the fun with friends that is part of letting it go and moving to the next one.
 
Likes: sako.308
Mar 12, 2013
937
68
28
#25
Treat each stage as a chance to win or do something right. Build your most solid position, be the smoothest shooter in your squad, have the best time management, nail the wind call, clean it. Use a rough stage as motivation to crush the next one. I'd rather take a 5 on the first stage and clean the rest than take a 5 and throw the rest of my day away. Does a baseball team quit if the other team scores first? Why would you mentally give up over a few bad shots?
 

Fig

Janitor of the Hide
Mar 15, 2018
603
749
93
The Most Dangerous City in the USA
#26
I shot at a PRS match on a stage that was 10 shots, on 4 targets (two mulligans) impact twice and move to the next target. It was a long stage and really windy. One of my squadmates was very good and regularly places top 10. He hit #3 the second time with his 9th shot, the RO called "impact", and then when he hit #4 on his 10th shot the RO called "Wrong target".

He wrongly got docked TWO impacts on that round. He didn't say a word and moved on like nothing happened. I was the one who was questioning it, and he just shrugged. When they called for reconciliation he asked me to go with him, and I told them what I saw. He never got hot about it or made a big deal out of it. I didn't stick around to see how they reconciled it, but I can tell you that if it bothered him you would never know.

It seems to me it's the same dudes trying to argue with the ROs all the time. It sucks to be squaded with them, or be in the squad behind them, because that's always the bottleneck squad. It's like people who try to ague with the cops. Not only is it pointless, it's counterproductive. Don't be one of them. If you have a discrepancy/dispute address it at the proper time.

I get being a fierce competitor, but the alcoholics mantra comes to mind...

God give me strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,998
406
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#27
You can only shoot one shot at a time; the one you're shooting now.

The ones before are history, and you can't change history.

The ones to come are still pure fiction, and they can't help you either.

So concentrate on the only shot you can take.

My only competitor is myself, and I'm my own hardest competitor to beat. I'll gladly accept all the help I can get, it's always all uphill, and at my age, I won't be running any (more?) four minute miles. I won't be running any miles, period; so it's get your head back in the game, Greg.

When I was a teenager 50 and some years ago, I ran Cross Country, and once run a 6:20 for the mile and a quarter on a flat track during a practice. That's just history now, for dang sure, and it wasn't even any great history, either.

When I shoot (shot?) competition, I make/made my mind up that each and every single shot is/was a whole match in and of itself, so If I lose/lost my to with myself, nobody else is/was noticing, and the next one is/was coming up right soon.

It's just exactly they simple (?)

Greg
 
Last edited:
Jun 26, 2008
268
6
18
Chester, Virginia
#28
Being able to control emotion is a big part of anything we do. Brush it off and move on, can’t change what happen and have fun. There’s always next match.

We shoot with a guy that bitches all the way home after a match and it gets pretty old hearing it.
 

Rob01

Super Mod/Team Blaster
Staff member
Jul 9, 2001
9,268
207
63
NC
www.teamblaster.net
#29
Jacob Bynum always used to say something pretty profound before a match at Rifles Only. To paraphrase him: "it's just a rifle match. In a couple months no one will remeber who won or lost". That's a good way to look at matches and stages. Once it's over, it's over. Look to the next one and move on.
 
Likes: sako.308
Feb 25, 2017
46
17
8
#30
There is some very good advice here. I'm not yet competitive at the PRS game, but when I was in high school I was very competitive in 3-D archery to the point people were trying to convince me to shoot in the pro class when I could no longer shoot with the youth class. My goal was to be a pro shooter. As I got close to college I started talking to some of the better pro shooters. It sounded like a pretty lackluster life to be honest, so I quit shooting altogether except for bowhunting.

I disagree that the mental game is 50%. I believe the number is much higher. When I started shooting competitively (this goes for archery or PRS), it was nothing to do the basic physical operations well enough to do well. Many people can shoot well and gather good dope and make their ballistic calculator match their trajectory. Managing the stress and expectations of a match is the difficult part. When I first started competing in archery I was very emotional about winning. The more emotionally detached I became the closer I got to shooting pro level scores on difficult courses. I made it more of a robotic operation and never added up my score until the end of the match. Rob is right though. You do have to keep your score if you want to be consistently competitive. Keeping score has a large human element involved, especially in PRS. In some local matches your squad might spot for you or the roof might be very inexperienced. In 3-d archery shooters were double scored at the big matches, but there was rampant cheating at local archery matches.
Experience will also help. You have to have enough to expect all of the unexpected things you never thought you would encounter at a match. Crazy stages, equipment problems, and difficult conditions all become less daunting when you have experienced them several times. I hate to say it because most competitive shooters are great people to be around, but rude, inconsiderate people even become easier to ignore when you get used to managing them within your shooting and competitive process.

There are tons of great books and videos about mindset out there. To boil it down, if you can zone in and make the mental process as robotic as the physical process you will likely do very well. Having an emotional attachment to doing well is a sure way to prevent it.

As others have said, don't forget, we started doing this to have fun. Unless you're making hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it, there is no reason to be there if you aren't having fun.
 
Top Bottom