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Nationals 2020: Competing With New Eyes

Previously: My reflections on being able to see for the first time in 2 years. 

Gil, Doss, and I got three days to actually shoot at our field before Nationals. And that was the first time I had shot after my cataract surgery. I had not shot since last year’s Nationals, since I couldn’t see, so I had to go through a learning curve. We worked on a new move called the challenge move and that was about all we did. I spent those three days just getting the feel of the gun again.

It felt pretty good to go to Nationals and I enjoyed seeing everyone. I felt good about my sight and was curious to see how it would go. That was all the practice that I did. I didn’t look at the Kill Shot Reviews like I had done in years past and didn’t do the 3-bullet drill or flashlight drill. I really wasn’t prepared to do well, and I didn’t.

We shot the main on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend and it was okay. It just felt good shooting again and seeing the different targets and how the target setters were trying to fool us. That was 300 targets that I tried to use as my practice. And I hoped it would help in the next seven events. We were shooting until Friday with an event each day. Lots of practice!

On Monday we did the K-Kup. The targets were really nice and not all that hard, but I had a lot of trouble scoring. I must admit I became very frustrated by about stand 8 because it wasn’t getting easier or better, and I knew I could hit those targets.

So, I had a little talk with myself about what I did to prepare – which was pretty much nothing. Why would I expect to do any better than I was? It’s hard to accept poor performance from someone who’s shot well for so long, and now nothing was coming together. But I had to keep it together since we had so many more events to shoot.

I did enjoy watching Brian, Gil, and Doss do so well. That helped get my mind off of my shooting. I was just sorry that someone had to shoot behind me because I wasn’t hitting very many.

Gil and I talked, and I said, “I feel like I’m starting all over again.” Nothing looked right or felt right. The sight pictures were not there, even though I knew what it was supposed to look like. So, the next few days the goal was to see the sight picture and get back into a rhythm.

My takeaway is you can know what to do but if there is not enough time behind the gun or looking at the Kill Shot Reviews, then you need to lower your expectations and spend the time enjoying the targets and the people at the event. Then when you get home, you have a lot of work to do to improve your game.