780,000 Words

2-Sep-13 – 09:19 by ToddG YouTube Preview Image

The exercise itself is pretty straightforward. Draw and engage a target from around the outside of a barricade, engage three more targets on the move, and then engage a final target around the outside of a second barricade. The main “lesson” is the importance of moving with a purpose when shooting on the move.

Six and a half seconds of video at 120 frames per second shows a lot more than a simple drill, though. And the number of things I was able to see — positive and negative — in those 780 frames proves just how valuable video can be in analyzing your shooting technique.

The most glaring fault is the horrendous press-out at the beginning. Somewhere during my weird on-again, off-again shooting schedule this year I developed a ridiculously bad habit of “fly casting” my pistol instead of doing a straight, level press-out. While I knew (and saw) that my press-outs were getting aligned late, this video really hammered home just how bad things are. It gave me a solid, simple technique fix to work on.

There was also the weird glance at the ground as I came to the second barricade. In multiple iterations of the drill (all on video) it never happened again so I’m at a loss as to why I did it.

Things I was happy with: speed of engagement on the move (though not so happy about the slow movement); finger discipline when maneuvering past the barricades; decent use of cover (and no crowding); good target assessment (“scan”) after shooting.

And here it is at full speed from the target’s point of view:

YouTube Preview Image

If you’re not using videotape in your practice, start. I’ve found the combination of a tripod-mounted point & shoot camera and a head-mounted POV camera works great. For the regular camera I use a Nikon AW110 which is both waterproof and shock resistant for rough handling on the range; the camera attached to my earpro is a Contour ROAM which is also water- and shock-proof enough for any normal shooting activity.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 5 Responses to “780,000 Words”

  2. Even though you don’t engage/reengage targets after your reload, you wasted a second or two stepping all the way back behind cover. Your stance at the beginning of the reload already is in compliance with cover (100% lower body, 50% upper body).

    When I SO IDPA, this seems to be one of the most common time wasting moves I see. In addition to not crowding cover, I have to almost yell at myself not to do it, but I guess it can be a hard habit to break.

    Looks like a great run, regardless.

    By James on Sep 2, 2013

  3. Todd,
    Your “weird” glance at the ground is not so weird at all. It would be natural to glance at your footing in this case to be sure you weren’t going to stumble on the barricade base that you could see in your periferal vision. You were also going behind cover so the glance would not effect your ability to keep eyes on the target. On subsequent runs you didn’t need to glance down because you already knew where you needed to be to avoid the barricade base.
    Just a thought,

    By Dean on Sep 3, 2013

  4. To follow on Dean’s comment, I think subconsciously you picked up the color change on the ground and checked for something to trip over, nothing to worry about so you got back to work. I don’t think that’s a big deal.

    By Chuck Haggard on Sep 4, 2013

  5. James — I realize it costs time. It’s just a habit I’m happy to have. If my gun isn’t functioning and I can’t send rounds downrange, the more of me behind cover the better as far as I’m concerned. If it costs me a second in a match, so be it.

    Dean & Chuck — Thanks. I’m not losing sleep over it, it’s merely something that stood out when watching the videos. And it’s something to look for in the future to see if it’s got a purpose or not. If anything, it’s simply interesting to see the things that are obvious on film but went by invisibly as I was shooting.

    By ToddG on Sep 4, 2013

  6. Takes a lot of courage to post a video of yourself.

    Yep, I expected to see a big fish at the end of the line from that cast….. (hehehe)

    Other than what you already saw and said about that press out, the rest looked pretty smooth and good. The slight look down was relevant and necessary to not trip over obstacles on the ground…..something that is learned the hard way sometimes.

    I agree using video taping is a great way to really see what you do when the buzzer goes off, and then work on fixing that. The wasted movement on the draw cost you more time than the stepping back behind cover to reload.

    By Kenny T on Sep 9, 2013

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