Equipment matters, and more on going faster

Back in the “explaining going faster without necessarily going faster” article, timaustintx posted a video of current USPSA Production champ Ben Stoeger shooting the F.A.S.T. drill.

Here’s the video:

Ben shoots the drill a few times, putting up amazing times on each run. What’s different about each run is he uses different gear and technique. And take note of the final comment he makes.

Gear matters.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, the tools you use can help or hinder you. It’s not just in shooting; in my daily life as an iOS programmer, using Apple’s blessed toolset of Xcode helps me write apps. I’ve seen some people try to use alternative toolsets and they always struggle or have shortcomings. In constructing a house, having a good hammer and proper screwdrivers enables you to better get the job done. Proper tools, and then the best of those tools will help you accomplish the task.

This is why in classes we implore people to get proper guns, ones that fit. Why we want people to get good holsters, good magazine pouches. They will help you shoot better, and yes the crappy stuff you bought at Academy will hinder you. Ben’s video is good demonstration of this because he’s got top skill and the only thing changing is his gear… and it affects his shooting.

To follow up on the “going faster” post tho, check out Ben’s “take 2” of the FAST drill.

Some people were giving Ben a hard time for not shooting the drill exactly as written. So Ben made this second video, and still put up awesome times. Heck, shooting the drill at 25 yards he shoots it better than most people do at 7 yards.

While there’s a lot of things you can learn from watching Ben’s videos, the one thing I want you to focus on in terms of the “going faster” context is how Ben changes up speed.

Watch Ben’s non-shooting movements. Look at his draw, his reload. Look how fast they are, and look how they are the same speed regardless of the distance he’s shooting at. He’s always fast on these things, not wasting time. But he changes up his speed when required, such as at 25 yards (you have to go slower at longer distances or smaller targets). It’s not one steady acceleration curve from start buzzer to end buzzer, but going at the right speed for the subtask at hand. And notice that while Ben changes up his speeds, he’s still “going faster” but not “going faster” and puts up some amazing times on this drill.

So don’t think that to go fast you always have to go fast. There’s more to it.


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