The match

This picture really sums up what a match is all about. You’ve got two people who are working very hard, concentrating on what is currently going on.

The shooter, of course, is busy manipulating the gun, hitting the targets, and getting through the course of fire safely.

The Range Officer (RO) is both timing the shooter – note the little gizmo held in the RO’s hand – and making sure the shooter completes the course of fire safely. Both of these guys are focusing very hard – or at least, they’d better be – at the task at hand.

Contrast that to the group standing behind the action. One person (Rhonda) is ready to score the stage when the shooting is over. The rest of the guys are standing around waiting to tape, and take their turn at the line. And frankly, this is where you spend the bulk of your match….. waiting.

The shooters that can master the art of being relaxed when they are not shooting and energized when they are do very well in practical shooting. Note I said “energized” and not overcharged. Some folks get bored waiting to shoot and can’t get going when it’s their turn. Other guys get so worked up that they can’t calm down and stay so amped up that their energy level dies off and they crash and burn at some point. There’s only so long you can keep your mind crisp and focused.

The more I think about some of the shooting images I’ve taken lately, the more I like this picture and others like it that really tell the story. There’s so much going on in this picture – the tension at one end and the expectation of tension on the other; all divided up by a little yellow line on the ground.

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~ by Derrick Birdsall on August 26, 2009.

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