Sunday, November 15, 2009

Introl to USPSA: 09-10 and 09-11

The ARPC match this weekend not only allowed the November Introduction to USPSA class members to complete their training and certification, but it also served as a forum for earlier class members to 'show their stuff' now that they are no longer under the burden of proving that they can shoot a match safely.

All five of the graduates from last weeks Introduction to USPSA class graduated with honors: they engaged all targets of the six stages safely, and at least one (Brandon) won an award for finishing high in his division/class.

We emphasize in the Live Fire portion of instruction that participants should conscientiously avoid trying to move and shoot fast, but Brandon is such an accurate shooter that he prevailed against several difficult stages; he certainly performed much better than I did in most stages.

(In my own defense, I mention that I competed without the bifocal glasses which permitted me a clear view of the sights. But Brandon shot accurately, avoiding the temptation to shoot faster than his skills and experience would permit; I was impressed by him, and I doubt I could have beat him even if I had been better able to see my sights.)

Ultimately, all of the class participants proved to be not only very capable/accurate shooters, but comfortable with the USPSA rules, gun-handling, and competitive priorities.

It's a joy to see competent shooters enter into the realm of USPSA/IPSC competition. I wish I had been able to watch all five of the class of 09-11 (November, 2009) during their First Match. Lord knows I was struggling to complete the match with a reasonable finish, but they not only did well on Standard stages, but also on the more bizarre Field Courses. (Match results available here.)

When I left for the match, the ambient temperature was 32 degrees; when I arrived at 8am, the temperature was 36 degrees and I had finally defrosted my windshield and the rear widow of The Egregious Explorer. I "armored up" with Rain Pants and Rain Coat, but in truth the weather was much more mild than I had expected. I kept telling my squad-mates that it would "rain before we get out of here", but it didn't rain all day -- disregarding the pessimistic forecasts of In my mind, that only proved that even God was willing to ignore His previous intentions to prove me wrong.

I love it when a plan comes together. I often wear rain-gear and even carry an umbrellas, on match days which coincide with dubious forecasts. If it rains, I'm a reliable prognosticator; if it doesn't rain, I have obviously sacrificed my reputation to the benefit of my squad. This weekend, I may have appeared to be A Dolt but I consider myself a Weather Hero.

Well, we take our successes where we can.

Long story short: we had a lot of fun with 09-11 shooter Brandon (who kicked our butt), and 09-10 shooters Gerry-with-a-"G" and Luc. All new shooters learned a lot ... including the proper definition of "unsupported strong-hand shooting" and how to engage a multi-target stage when shooting Production Class. ("Don't count your rounds; determine where you need to reload and follow your ammo-management plan religiously. Except for when The Plan doesn't work.")

We always enjoy new shooters, and these were no exception.

Oh, and if you are a New Shooter, please feel encouraged to bring your Better Half to the range. We like to meet the family, and be assured that we will do our best to coerce her to start shooting the matches, too.

SWMBO says so.

No comments: