Aaron Spuler is a firearms enthusiast and recreational shooter. Follow more or his work at The Weapon Blog
Hey there, “Are you here to win?”
I shot a match years ago with a man who asked me, “Hey there, are you here to win?” And I just bowed my head and said no friend, I’m here to be safe and have fun! It’s the Gods honest truth. You see I was not there, in that moment at that outdoor shooting range surrounded by fellow competitors and match officials, to win. Sounds mental right? But as I said it’s true. I was there on that day to have fun and be safe, it’s a simple as that and the thought of winning hardly passed through my mind during those few hours. I follow those two rules every time I shoot whether it be hunting, plinking, practicing (oops I said the P word), or in the bright lights of competition.
Let me say this to you all right now, I am a fierce competitor no matter what the game may be and I do have a deep desire to win. A win is a beautiful thing and everything that comes with a win can effect my mind, body and soul in an extremely positive way. Sometimes my reward for winning is a physical prize like a trophy, shooting gear or cash. Most of the time it’s bragging rights. Winning a match might also complete a goal that I set for myself, thereby finishing that goal and moving on to the next one. In short, winning is great! So, why was I not there that day to win?
My answer: Because I practice to win. I spend time on the range on the weekdays before the weekend matches in order to win. I spend a few hours each and every day doing something competition shooting related to win. While not on the range I practice a bunch of dry fire drills, loading drills and footwork. On the range I set up my own stages and I practice the things that I noticed needed work in my prior matches from the weekend before. And I practice things that I think might help me be better prepared for the upcoming matches the next weekend. I practice so that when I am competing and standing in the shooters box about to run a stage waiting for the buzzer to go off, right there that very moment has happened before.