What I Learned From My First USPSA Match
By Travis Johnson | 7.19.2018
#Shooting #Mindset
With all of the training I have been doing this year I decided the next step in my progression as a shooter was to try out the competition stuff. I decided to start with a local USPSA match. Walking away from the match, I learned how competition is a great test of your overall shooting ability, the mental or "thinking" aspect of shooting plays a major role in your performance, and can provide you with a clear picture of what you need to work on. 
New Shooter's Journey - Fundamentals of USPSA Stoeger Class Review
By Travis Johnson | 2.3.2018
#Shooting #Narratives
I recently attended a great competition style shooting class instructed by Ben Stoeger, a world champion production class shooter. This class was a fundamentals class for practical pistol shooting in USPSA and geared toward improving your performance in competition. Although certain things are emphasized differently in competition style training than in more defensive and tactics oriented training, all the fundamentals of marksmanship still apply. As I hope to continue pushing forward in my competitive shooting, I thought this would be an awesome chance to learn from one of the best competition pistol shooters in the world.
End-of-Year Shooting Update
By Travis Johnson | 1.17.2018
#Mindset #Shooting
Well, it has been about six months since I made firearms training a major focus and priority in my life. In addition to making it to the range almost every week this year, I have attended three great firearms courses and have been able train with and learn from a handful of great shooters. Throughout the past 6 months I have learned a lot about the fundamentals of both pistol and rifle shooting and the importance of being able to self-diagnose issues in my training. After overcoming some of my poor shooting habits developed over past years, learning and applying the proper shooting fundamentals, and finding the techniques that work best for me. I also raised my standard of training by incorporating movement and speed into the mix while making sure my accuracy doesn’t suffer.”Three of the key things I have learned in my first six months of focused training revolve around speed, consistency, and mindset.
Shooter's Journal #1
By Travis Johnson | 12.11.2017
March 25, 2017 My goal this weekend and during a pistol fundamentals class on Saturday was to identify weak points in my fundamentals and really solidify a platform in my shooting that I can grow off of. In past weeks, I have set a plan for my range time and followed through with it at the range, but I wasn’t fully considering why I made that particular plan and whether or not I was working on the most effective drills to improve my level of proficiency. After taking several classes and working one on one with Drew Estell, I am confident that I know what I “need” to do to shoot accurately and get better as a shooter. The next and more difficult step, however, is applying that knowledge consistently every time I holster up and get on the range. Most of my training this weekend was in a full day pistol fundamentals class. We worked many drills isolating each aspect of our shooting platform and moved into more drills that started putting everything together. After spending time isolating grip, trigger control, and recoil management, as well as getting into the basics of shooting on the move, I was able to confirm one of the key areas I need to focus on going forward. One of my primary weak-points at this point is simply going too fast too soon and needing to slow down and focus on consistency. Let’s face it, we all want to shoot fast. However, we need to be able to shoot accurately first, and this requires us to master the fundamentals. I recall a post by JJ Racaza, where he called out how he sees many people running drills “well beyond their capability” or what he calls the “exploratory stage” and not spending enough time on “…something you can do consistently then pushing that same mastered skill set to either further distance or faster rate of fire.” Yeah, many of us train for different reasons that call for different methods of training, but what JJ was getting at is although it may not always look cool “on the gram”, it is consistent and focused training that is essential to becoming a better shooter. Whether in combat, law enforcement, competition, or self-defense, shooting accurately matters. In JJ’s post, he asked, “…how fast can you put 10 rounds in a 2" diameter target at 10 yards, 5x in a row?” Is that practical for many defense or combat based shooting scenarios? Maybe not, but can it help us shoot more accurately with more consistency? I certainly believe it would.