Shooter Frustrations and Getting Over Them

We all get frustrated with shooting sometimes. Me probably more than others. It took me a lot of years to learn how to deal with frustrations. Coming from a defensive/combative oriented shooting background, the answer was “Too bad. Fight through it!” As I progressed and matured as a shooter I came to the realization that most times, “Fighting through it” was often not the right answer, and in fact was more detrimental to my progression of skill and emotional state.  We are not talking about emotionless correction here. This is past that point. This is where we’ve made the same 20 emotionless corrections and we are still not achieving the desired result. So what do we do? I’m glad you asked!


If it is early on in a session, dry or live fire, I will try to apply the idea of deliberate, or more deliberate to be exact, practice. I will become hyper focused on refining every bit of the technique down to the minutia and make it perfect. What this looks like is best described in an actual occurrence. Typically, this happens to me while doing 6-reload-6 in dryfire. Often, I will start messing up the reload as I am trying to perform it at the edge of my capability. After I’ve messed up or missed the reload two or three times, I will stop and go into micro-mastery of the reload. I will ensure that every portion of the reload is perfect for 5-10 reps at a pace I can guarantee perfection. After that I will return to my 6-reload-6, but I will ensure the reload is executed perfectly for the next several reps. Using this technique, I can salvage a dry fire or range session from being a complete waste of time.


You heard me. End the session right there. Nothing good can come from frustrated reps. Your technique WILL suffer. You will be executing bad reps, and because you’re mad you’re probably gonna do a lot of them really hard (ask me how I know). At the end, after you’ve “fought through,” you will have myelinated more bad reps, prepping yourself for failure the next time. There is nothing wrong with ending a session early once in a while if it just isn’t happening. I have driven an hour to the range, gotten there, shot 10 rounds, unloaded my gun, packed it up and drove the hour home. I knew in those 10 rounds that nothing good could come from that session. Yeah, I lost two and a half hours on that session, but I saved 290 rounds, tons of frustration, and who knows how many hours to correct the damage I could have done to my shooting. The next day, I started fresh.

So remember, bad reps never helped anyone in practice. Know when you can stop, refocus your attention, and get good reps in, and know when its time to call it a day. “Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em.”

Until next time, “Stay thirsty my friends.”