do you shoot better when.......


January 18, 2003, 10:11 AM
Do you shoot better when you're stressed? I do and it scares me a little.


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Art Eatman
January 18, 2003, 10:20 AM
You're lucky. Stress apparently makes you concentrate, which is definitely a Good Thing.

Age and experience make a difference. I've been through so much over the last half-century that I find violence almost boring. Sorta "Aw, garbage. Here we go again; there's always some fool around..." And so you just do what you need to do to reinstate a condition of peace and quiet.

My age, pretty young gals generate a lot more adrenalin. :D


January 18, 2003, 10:29 AM
"Do you shoot better when you're stressed? I do and it scares me a little."

It depends upon what you mean by "stressed". A little worried? Somewhat hyper? Standing in front of a charging Grizzly sow protecting her young? There are many different levels of stress.

Shooting while you are totally relaxed can be pleasurable but may not provide your best results. Shooting under pressure of a competition may cause you to (as Art said) concentrate on your basic shooting skills and improve your results. But having a life-threatening situation squarely in your face is a different story. Then you tend to default to gross skills and your training. If you have a high level of training and skill then you should be okay.

I would say don't be afraid of what makes you shoot better. Instead, learn to master it and use it to your advantage.

January 18, 2003, 10:44 AM

I fare worse when I stress myself before shooting, stress in the sense of dread of embarassment, making a silly mistake or two in front of all those other shooters watching my every move.

But when I loosen up, like squatting several times, jump-jack, and stretch, I fare much better.

And I noticed that I react the quickest when, after reviewing my tactic in a course of fire, I take my mind completely off the task at hand.

Never been able to understand why... :D

January 18, 2003, 11:24 AM
Heck, if I shot better under stress, I'd be winning IDPA matches all over the country ;) "Fight or flight" will bring out a reaction in people, it's good that you are able to focus and perform the task at hand well!

4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 11:41 AM
Stress decreases with practice.

January 18, 2003, 11:56 AM
I used to shoot better after a night of light to moderate drinking. I got started in IPSC shooting while in college. One of my college buddies also started shooting with me. We found that if we went out the night before and pounded down a few brews, I shot better the next day, but he did not. Must be a personal thing, but I won a number of bets doing this.

Mike Irwin
January 18, 2003, 11:59 AM
A lot of people do some things better under stress.

I can write really, really well under stress.

Bob Locke
January 18, 2003, 12:07 PM
I competed in numerous math and science competitions in junior high and high school. Always got my best results when the butterflies went off right before the moderator called "Start".

I've found the same to be true of my IDPA shooting, though I haven't geared up for that in about 2 1/2 years now. :(

Calamity Jane
January 18, 2003, 12:57 PM
Diane asked:

Do you shoot better when you're stressed?

Sometimes I do. Depends on the nature of the stress, though. If it's stress resulting from sleep deprivation, for example, I don't shoot better, but if it's stress resulting from a great deal of stressful activity that day, then yes, I do.

Weird, huh? :cool:

I guess it's that, for me, shooting can be very relaxing, and it's a good "mental place" for me to go after a hectic, annoying day.

January 18, 2003, 01:58 PM
I have found that I do most tasks (both intellectual and physical) much better when I am faced with stress. I can't say that I enjoy stress one little bit but that's how it has worked for me and I have learned how to make it "work" for me. When I really get into the task, shooting in particular, the stress diminishes and is replaced by feelings of exhiliration. Good shooting:)

January 18, 2003, 05:35 PM
I shoot better a little amped up, but not to the point I get flustered by all the brown and white steel plates charging me!

If anything I get lethargic from waiting around and taping while the guys are picking up their brass all day and I'm waiting to shoot. :banghead:

January 18, 2003, 05:46 PM
Actually, I do shoot better when I'm stressed. It's almost a little confusing trying to describe it, but here goes...

I'm a "squirrely" tense person - alot of times when I wake up from a long sleep, my stomach muscles are tightened up in a knot, and I feel like I haven't slept at all. I'm also like that during the day, so it's affected my breathing; my upper body moves enough that it affects my aim if I don't hold my breath. I also used to try too hard to make the perfect shot smack in the bullseye, when target shooting isn't really what I'm supposed to be doing with my CCW gun.

Altering my habits into more "combat style" shooting has helped alot - I have to shoot faster at hostage targets, etc., eliminating the leisurely time I have to concentrate on a bullseye. This more "stressful" shooting has improved my overall accuracy because now I can just "cut the crap and shoot".

The psychological change from "you've gotta hit dead center or you're a lousy shot" to "you've gotta stop the cardboard badguy or he'll stop you" is what worked for me.

January 18, 2003, 05:54 PM
yes and no , Yes if its from the stress of everyday things going on in my life, like when I was going thru the fiance'/house thing , I was then using the range as a stress reliever,( try plinking at .223 and .45 shells at 100' with a 10/22 without a scope ), but if its stress from the lack of sleep or sickness I can't perform worth didlly either at work or at play .ussually when this occurs I recoup .

January 20, 2003, 12:52 PM

I do tactical drills by building a possible scenario in my mind that fulfills the requirement to use deadly force - and my concentration goes way up - and I shoot the drill with deadly focus!

When I do the more rare recreational (also non-competitive) shooting, my awareness seems to become much more a practice of an art form; akin to dance or painting. No stress, and yet completely focused.


January 20, 2003, 01:05 PM
all that matters in my poor shots is how much second guessing i do when looking down the sights. same as in shooting pool. the longer i take to make a shot, the worse it winds up being. line up the shot and immediately press the trigger/hit the cue, the more likely i am to sink the ball/hit the target where i want to.

January 20, 2003, 02:54 PM
Coming to think of it...I shoot awfully poorly when bored and lethargic. Anyone else this way?

January 20, 2003, 03:10 PM
I am kinda the same way, Skunkabilly.

I shoot better when under a little stress. (I still manage to flinch occasionally when I am bored.)

I seem to be more accurate under SOME stress. Of course if I am under SEVERE stress (LIFE/DEATH situaton) ... I am afraid that I might shake or otherwise become less accurate. - Never been tested for real. -Not sure there is any way to simulate that.


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