Why make match videos?

Awhile back, someone asked me why I keep making match videos.  It occurred to me that from the outside, it probably just looks like I’m posting them so people can watch me shoot–and that’s very much not the point.  (Quite frankly, there are a number of stage attempts that I’d rather people didn’t see!)

Originally when I started shooting, I would video myself because I would review the video, and use it to analyze how I was doing on various skill sets.  In some discussions that followed, a couple of people asked me to post my video, and then we’d talk about it, and they’d compare it to their match videos and what they saw, and so on.  Other people wanted to see what various kinds of shooting competitions were like, so having a video example I could link came in handy.  Over time, some people just happened to find watching match videos interesting to watch, so I kept doing it, since I was making the match videos anyway.

For me, personally though–the reason I take video of my matches is so I can see what I’m doing under match pressure.  If you don’t know what you are doing, you don’t know what you need to work on to get better.

So I thought I’d give an example of what I do when reviewing my own match videos.

  1. First I start by just watching each stage, and checking my memory of how it felt versus how it looked—and how it looked versus what my time and my points really were compared to the stage winner in my division.
  2. Then I go through each stage, normally watching them at half-speed, and take a look at some specific skills and mechanics.
  3. As part of that, I try to match up specific actions with specific shots, to see what happened in cases of poor accuracy or poor technique.
  4. Lastly, I sum up the main issues, prioritize them, and use them for later practice.

Some of the specific skills I always check:

  • Draws
  • Reloads
  • Stance (mostly, is it LOW enough)
  • Explosive/efficient movement leaving positions
  • Efficient movement entering positions
  • Gun readiness when entering positions
  • Foot placement for entries/exits

If a person focused only on the above skills plus trigger control, they’d do really well as long as their stage plans weren’t incredibly bad.  Those skills are important pretty much 100% of the time.  Sure, you want to make Grandmaster there are a ton of other things to add on, but the above skills are still always important as a basis for everything else.

Here’s an example of some of the things I think about when reviewing a match video.  Just so you don’t have to sit through 30 minutes of listening to me talk, I picked a match with only 2 stages that I shot recently.

As you can see, there is a LOT you can learn from just watching yourself shoot some stages.  If you want to get better, analyze how you do under pressure and USE that to determine later practice!

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