As a CCW holder, I take my responsibility to be prepared very seriously. I’ve spent countless hours and fired thousands of rounds on the range both here in Modesto, Ca and on my private range on our ranch in Bootjack. I am a confident, very good shooter
It wasn’t until I shot my first USPSA match that I realized how woefully unprepared I really was. The adrenaline and nerves turned me into a jellied mess. I completely missed the target with my first two shots out of the holster. My pistol seemed to go off all on it’s own like it was disconnected from my brain. The smooth reloads on the static, no pressure range became very difficult to perform on the move. Basic fundamentals like front sight focus, trigger control and simply breathing evaporated. It was an incredibly eye opening experience. In a real life scenario, the nerves, the adrenaline the fine motor skill degradation would be magnified by a 1000 compared to a practical shooting stage.
Since then, as part of my training, I make sure that I shoot in my local combat pistol league as often as I can and run USPSA matches a couple times a year. I no longer feel the nerves, the draw is smooth and deliberate, my reloading is efficient, problem free and my first round is always in the A zone. If you haven’t tried it, the matches are a blast and full of helpful friendly people. Very addicting, too. As a training tool, they are the closest thing you’ll get to the one thing none of us want to experience, an actual armed confrontation. No matter your skill level, you will walk away a better, more capable armed citizen than when you arrived.