Cold Starts

Posted: July 15, 2009 in IDPA

I learnt a valuable lesson at the last match about cold starts. I’ve recently started doing new shooter briefings as well as running a stage, since I’m now officially an IDPA safety officer.

Immediately after the new shooter briefing is the shooters’ meeting. Once that’s over the squads are called out and move to each stage to start shooting. Once I got everyone to the bay, I was rushing around to get my gear on, load mags and prepare since I was first on the line. I wasn’t mentally prepared because I was rushing around and my performance really suffered.

I was not mentally all there and it really showed because I totally tanked the stage with wide groups, misses and a Failure To Neutralize penalty. It was by far my worst performance in a very long time. However, I managed to mentally kick myself in the butt and get my head sorted out. The rest of the match went well and I was fastest overall one stage with a time of just under 8 seconds (including 1 point down).

Cold starts and/or going first don’t usually bother me, but it was unusual for me to get into a bay without all my gear prepared and it obviously threw me.

I definitely won’t make that mistake again, or if I happen to do it again, I’ll have to calm down and do a lot more mental prep before I set up to the line.

  1. Lee says:

    I enjoy your posts. Say, was there an opportunity to change the shooter order? Or just didn’t think of it at the time?

    p.s. Congrats on SO qualification.

    • idpashooting says:

      hi Lee

      Thanks for reading and the feedback. The new shooters were also signed up on my squad and what we tend to do is run some more experienced shooters first, so they can see a few example runs and see the commands and responses. I guess I could have shifted the order a little, that’s also something to consider next time I guess. Thanks for the idea.

  2. Gary Jones says:

    I can relate to your story. Being an IDPA SO and occasional MD, it’s hard to get focused on my own shooting at times. I also seem to be “randomly” selected to go first quite often.

    To deal with this, I do as much advance preparation as possible. The easiest thing to do is to have all magazines/speed loaders/moon clips loaded and ready to go beforehand. A check list that lives in the range bag can be useful as well.

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