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Thread: Input wanted- training a young comp shooter

  1. #1

    Input wanted- training a young comp shooter

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    My 11 year old son has started shooting USPSA, he will shoot his 3rd ever match this weekend. He has very good fundamentals and gun handling. He is deliberate moving through a stage. He is also very accurate. In his last match he had the fourth most A's and 0 M's.
    He could definitely move faster between positions but I'd rather him grow into that as he becomes more comfortable moving with a gun.

    Something that I think he needs to work on is recoil management. We've been working on grip and stance as well as shooting Bill Drills. I'm just not sure how much he is capable of due to his size. He is 4'9" & 80 pounds.

    We're having a blast so far.

    Just wondering if anyone has been through anything similar or has any words of wisdom.

    My background is in defensive training, no competition experience other than watching it on TV.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Peally's Avatar
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    FWIW he may just not be built enough to grip hard enough just yet. I would say give it time, on top of growing up he'll naturally get better the more he shoots too if he's remembering to just grip as hard as he comfortably can
    Semper Gumby, Always Flexible

  3. #3
    Member SecondsCount's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Utah, USA
    I did some competitive shooting with my boys. At his age, I would just let him have fun as long as he is safe.

    I remember my wife relaying a story of a 30ish year old guy who was happy that he beat my 14 year old son at a stage. Typically it was the other way around so we all got a laugh out of it.
    Last edited by SecondsCount; 07-13-2017 at 09:38 PM.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

  4. #4
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    What Peally said. I would also have him start learning how to visualize and execute a plan. Don't worry about him having a good plan or anything, just that he visualized it. That will also help him stay safe when the stage requires uprange movement or starts facing uprange, etc.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the advice so far.
    I'm definitely not pushing him to perform but he is competitive and wants to do better. He is also a "practicer", loves to dry fire, practice reloads, etc.

    We talk a lot about having realistic goals for his age and experience. He shot NSSF rimfire for a while before starting USPSA so he has the competition itch.

    I put him in Limited Minor so he has fewer reloads to worry about.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantrill View Post
    Thanks for the advice so far.
    I'm definitely not pushing him to perform but he is competitive and wants to do better. He is also a "practicer", loves to dry fire, practice reloads, etc.

    We talk a lot about having realistic goals for his age and experience. He shot NSSF rimfire for a while before starting USPSA so he has the competition itch.

    I put him in Limited Minor so he has fewer reloads to worry about.
    If you're not aware of them look into one of USPSA's junior camps. I can't imagine a better way for a kid to move his game up than intensive coaching by the best shooters.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Keep it fun. Also, realize he will soon discover girls.

    Him being safe is the most important thing. In USPSA, time is important. Advice I was given, is shoot slow and do everything else fast.

    Lots of good advice in the thread.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nesbitt View Post
    Keep it fun. Also, realize he will soon discover girls.

    Him being safe is the most important thing. In USPSA, time is important. Advice I was given, is shoot slow and do everything else fast.

    Lots of good advice in the thread.
    Yep, good advice.
    Shot his match today. Either he just had a bad day or our emphasis on recoil in practice hurt his accuracy. He had 2 or 3 no shoots, a procedural for shooting 7 rounds on a 6 round course of fire.

    He was squaded with some good dudes and had fun.

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantrill View Post
    Shot his match today. Either he just had a bad day or our emphasis on recoil in practice hurt his accuracy.
    It doesn't matter a lot how high the gun recoils, as long as it comes back on target.

  10. #10
    Member cor_man257's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
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    I have yet to go to a USPSA match. So take it for what it's worth, possibly nothing.

    I think the biggest thing that I have learned since I started trying to improve, is to pay attention to what I see. Where my eyes are pointed, what is in my peripheral vision, what is in focus, and what is not. If I had started out realizing that I need to really, really, focus on where I want to shoot and then just let the gun come up and the shot happen I would have be further along in skill development then I am. My ability to process what I actually see is just now starting to come together 8 months into actively trying to learn and improve.

    With reps and practice I think the recoil control, hand speed, movement speed, will all come along. Especially as he gets bigger. Being able to put all those things to better use will depend on how much of what he sees he can actually process, and how fast he can do it.

    But like I said, that just seems to be what holds me up with my progression, and I'm not shooting real competition yet.

    -Cory

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