Ox here.  Last October, before IDPA Backup Gun Nationals, I went out to some of my mentors and asked them what I could do in the next couple of weeks to shoot better at Nationals, given that I didn’t have much time and that I probably couldn’t get enough reps in to change my technique before nationals.  The most detailed response came from my good friend and one of my mentors, Matt Seibert, from Insight Firearms Training and creator of the Deadly Accuracy One Hole Group High Stress Shooting System.

Fast forward 4 months and I’m getting ready to shoot IDPA Indoor Nationals next week.  I’ve been using these hacks and I’ve got to tell you…they’re powerful, and I want to share them with you–unless, of course, you’re shooting against me next week.  If that’s the case, it’s incredibly unlikely that any of these hacks will work for you 🙂  Without further ad0, I’ll hand it over to Matt:

There are 3 phases of speed:

  1. Reaction Time: This is the perception between the stimulus and the beginning of a response. In other words, how long it takes your brain to respond to the stimulus.
  2. Response Time: This is the time it takes your brain to communicate to your muscles to initiate the actual movement.
  3. Speed of Movement: This consists of how fast your muscles can activate and how much you economize movement. (Speed = Distance divided by Time)

Here are 12 suggestions to help you increase your speed:

1.  Identify the “Why” that is driving you to want to shoot faster. It’s the “why” that becomes the motivation and will drive your behavior in practice, in competition, or for self-defense.Focus on the “why” when you get up in the morning and when you go to bed at night as a constant incentive to assist you in maintaining your motivation to practice and push yourself.

2. Stretch and Warm up Your Muscles and Your Brain before the shooting sequence using short and quick activations.

  1. Warm up and stretch your eyes doing Eye Push-ups and Rotational exercises.
  2. Warm up and stretch your muscles needed for shooting. Warm muscles always move faster than cold muscles.
  3. Warm up your brain by playing a video game.
    i.  I never thought I’d say this; But video gamers perform better than non-gamers in testing of attention, speed, accuracy, vision and multitasking according to Dr. Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester.
3. Build “Fast Twitch” Muscles. They are the lighter color fibers in the muscles. They can be developed through weight training.
  1. Go heavy on the weights. The greater the percentage of weight you utilize for one rep, the more you’ll activate your “fast twitch” fibers.
  2. Fatigue increases “fast twitch” muscle fiber recruitment.
                  (Make sure you consult with your doctor before engaging in weight training or strenuous physical activity.)
  3. Never do heavy weights before competition. It can cause an imbalance in muscle groups. It will also affect the pyramidal pathways that give you smooth and refined motor movements. Every time you tear down muscle tissue, you must allow it to heal and then you must re-create those pyramidal pathways before engaging in competition.
  4. Create an exercise schedule that will support your shooting practice sessions and competition schedule.

4.  Brake Torque Your Muscles when the range official says “Shooter Standby” or you create that stimulus response condition; “When This…Then This…” Engage and activate your muscles prior to movement rather than having them relaxed. Then, once you perceive the stimulus it should feel like someone cut the string releasing the surge of controlled energy.

5.  Anticipate the Stimulus. When I interviewed Bob Munden (The Fastest Gun That Ever Lived), he told me he’d learned to mentally anticipate the buzzer. In essence, he brake torqued his mind.

6.  Videotape Yourself and look for ways to achieve economy of movement. (Then watch it in slow motion and analyze where you can economize movement.)

7. Use a Video Editing Software Program once you have a perfect video of yourself shooting fast, then speed up the video of your performance by 4%. Then continue to watch yourself shooting that much faster. This will sub communicate to your mind what you want to happen. (Don’t speed up the video up 10 times faster or your mind will dismiss it… Make it realistic.)

8.  Capture Videos of the Fastest Shooters performing at the speeds you want to achieve. Then use a video editing software program and edit the top performers together into a single video loop. Then watch the loop over and over again. This will sub-communicate to your unconscious mind and create a model of excellence that will drive your behavior. This is called learning through behavioral modeling.

9.  Follow the Yerkes-Dodson Law: There is a relationship between arousal and performance. When levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases. We need to find that sweet spot. This sweet spot keeps the attention locked in the present. When the challenge is within 4% of the boundaries of one’s skills, most shooters self-limiting belief system will not become activated nor will their arousal level increase to the point where their performance decreases. Ideally we need to create the presupposition of: “I’ve done this before and I am certain I can do it again.” This way the outcome is predetermined and you will stay interested and engaged and you will be more likely to succeed.

10. Create a Trigger “Word” and anchor that word to the respective state of activation that will put you in hyper-drive. A simple word like “READY” can create a predisposition to GO!

11.  Use Self Hypnosis to program the speed that you want achieve at an unconscious level.

  1. Use a “coach” in your visualizations during self-hypnosis. A coach is someone you bring into your visualization. The coach understands the process you’re trying to achieve. The coach guides you in refining your technique by helping you gain perspective from a disassociated point of view during the hypnotic visualization practice session.
  2. Project yourself into the ideal model of the fastest shooter you know as a model of excellence. This will allow you to experience the feeling of speed that they are achieving from their perspective during your self-hypnosis sessions.
  3. Project the fastest shooter you know into yourself and allow that top performer to take over your body and guide your motor movements and emotional state during your self-hypnosis sessions.
  4. Create a “Swish” to future pace your performance. A “Swish” projects you into the future at the time you need to activate all your resources. You see and feel yourself performing perfectly at the speeds required for your success in the actual competition or engagement.
  5. Pick a trigger to activate the “Swish” at the onset of the competition or engagement. Then fire off the trigger and feel all those resources that you remember from your best practice run flow into you, giving you the confidence and the skills you require (this pre-loads a map in your mind for your body to follow)….Then let it all go and everything will flow effortlessly. Use this during your hypnotic visualization AND when you are in competition or in the onset of the engagement.

12.  Practice… Practice… Practice (Keep it safe…Never compromise speed over safety!)

Give yourself permission to push your “speed” envelope. Your accuracy may fall off a little at first, but that’s okay. It’s a lot like driving a car at 90 miles an hour. At first it may feel a little uncomfortable, but your brain will adapt to the speed and your motor movements of steering the car become more natural and more comfortable with time.    i.NOTE: Never push for speed if you haven’t developed a sound foundation in your accuracy. If you can’t keep a 2 inch group at 21 feet when shooting slow fire, you should NOT be working on speed!  Inaccuracy is an indication that one or more very important elements are missing in your shooting process.

Like it?  Love it?  Want some more of it?  Then please check out Insight’s Deadly Accuracy Home Study Course by clicking >HERE<

You will discover what elements may be missing in your shooting process. You will learn how to increase your accuracy so you can shoot 1-hole groups with consistency at 21 feet.

How hard should you push the envelope so you stay within your skill ratio and yet continue to grow as a shooter? Sport psychologists have found the sweet spot is 4%. The challenge should be 4% greater than the skill level of the shooter. This also means that future challenges should be progressive in nature and increase in 4% increments to maximize and maintain peak performance.

But, if you work higher upstream on the mental and nervous system aspects of shooting, you can get long lasting 100%, 200%, and larger quantum leaps in performance in a single day.  That’s what Insight’s Deadly Accuracy One Hole Group High Stress Shooting System. has done for more than 5,000 other shooters and why I want you to check out their home study system by going >HERE<  And once you’ve gone through Deadly Accuracy, I’ll let you in on more under-the-rader high speed training programs that will stretch you more than you thought possible (again) as a shooter.

Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? Additions? Share them by commenting below…

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  • Munro

    Reply Reply February 20, 2015

    Wow! That is a lot to take on unless you are really motivated. I had seen bits and pieces of this content floating around here and there, but you did all of us a great service by putting it all together in one place, thank you!
    I do not shoot competitively anymore, but for anyone who does, or is wanting to get into the sport, this information will save you huge amounts of prep time and also huge amounts of ammo!
    I hope you have much success at your upcoming event Ox, and Matt, thanks again for this very valuable information!


    • Ox

      Reply Reply February 20, 2015

      Thanks, Munro…don’t think you need to eat the entire elephant in one bite or eat everything at the buffet 🙂 Take what you can enjoy, use, and savor and don’t worry about the rest until you’re hungry again.

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