BJ Norris’ Blog

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A few more thoughts on US Steel Shoot

A few more thoughts on the match, and on how to improve match performance.

First, I’d like to say thanks to Derek, Mike, Pat Cochran and all of the RO’s for doing the absolute best job possible under the circumstances. However, this match did bring light to the fact that with Steel Challenge growing as fast as it is, USPSA must develop a new training program for Steel Challenge RO’s vs. the standard NROI for USPSA curriculum. I saw very good IPSC and IDPA RO’s struggling with the Steel. Why? Well, if you haven’t ever seen an entire squad of guys draw and hit 5 steel plates in under 2.5 seconds, it’s something to watch and it’s understandably difficult to see every little detail of exactly what happened during the string. There is an enormous talent pool of Steel Challenge RO’s in CA, and I believe that USPSA should let them get together, develop the curriculum, and then teach the RMI Corps of NROI, creating the trickle down effect.

Improving match performance can be one of the more difficult tasks around. In practice, it is very easy to see improvement, but it can much harder to translate into better performance when it really counts. Before two weekends ago, I always dissected what went wrong during the match so I could break each part down in practice and improve it before the next match. The theory behind that is great on paper, however it can be hard to transfer that improvement, which you will more than likely see during practice. This is because your mind is always looking back to “X match, where I did Y wrong”, increasing your chances of doing it wrong again, since that’s what you are thinking about. After this match, I decided to dissect what I did correctly. Your body will repeat what your mind sees, therefore, you should be thinking about the things you did right, while letting the other things go, take my Smoke & Hope for example. I had to eat a miss, bingo, that’s it… I could probably write two, single spaced pages on exactly why I missed that plate on two separate runs, but what good would it really do? I know that I over swung slightly and missed, since I was trying to get a quick shot on the stop plate. What I would rather write two, single spaced pages on is what I did after Smoke & Hope. After picking myself off the ground, which I’ll admit took a few minutes of sitting on the berm completely alone, I choose to go on the attack Every. Single. One. Of the last four stages, as a result I was able to win three of them, two by a fairly large margin. When I stepped into the box on Speed Option, I was a totally different shooter than the first half of the match, I shot the last four stages without fear. This doesn’t mean that I was shooting at 100% of my ability, what it means is that I wasn’t thinking about anything other than what I had to do… Which is hit the plates quickly.


March 25, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Good Stuff BJ! I appreciate the insight into competition at that level. Ya dun good !

    Comment by acapizzo | March 25, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] competition shooter BJ Norris reflected back on his performance at the 2008 US Steel Nationals, he found this exact same mindset approach helped his performance. Folks, it’s a real […]

    Pingback by Mindset is everything - continued « Stuff From Hsoi | May 7, 2009 | Reply

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