GETTING THE MOST FROM PRACTICAL MATCHESWhen you shoot matches, especially if you shoot regularly, you build habits, which can be good or bad. There are numerous examples of people doing something bad out of habit when involved in a gunfight, such as unloading for no reason, trying to pick up dropped empty speedloaders while actively involved in a fight, etc. When shooting any match (IPSC, IPDA, or any other), to get the most out of it, strive to do everything correctly, even if it means not getting the best score. Here are a few specific things to watch: 1. Wear a concealment garment or use LEO retention devices, even if it isnít required. 2. Shoot your carry gun or something similar. Donít worry about game guns. Some people think you should shoot the exact same gun you carry. I don't think that's necessary, but I do think you should shooting something that is an analogue of your carry gun. I carry a Sig 229, and in competition, I shooter either a Sig 229 or Sig 226. All of my guns are completely stock, with no modifications, and all my Sigs are double action, so they all have the same operating system. 3. When youíre behind cover, donít expose yourself to more than one target. 4. Come out at different positions to engage different targets from the same piece of cover. * 5. Move while engaging targets in the open, even if not required. * 6. Move while engaging targets in the open, even if itís faster to run to cover first. * 7. Shoot from behind cover, even if it isnít required. * 8. If you are a proponent of tactical sequence, shoot in tactical sequence, even if not required. * 9. Come fully behind cover to reload. * 10. Shoot as fast as you can get hits. Donít just take points down because itís quicker to blaze away. 11. Shoot slightly slower and get good hits, rather than just throw extra shots and hope they hit. 12. Reload in a way that fits the stage tactically, not just a way that will be faster overall. A. Tactical reload before moving out from cover if youíve already fired shots. * B. Donít fire extra shots just so you can reload in a certain spot. 13. If you donít like a shot, make it up, even if itís quicker to take the points down. 14. Never take penalties for incorrectness because itís quicker than doing something the right way, and never do something incorrectly just because it's faster than doing it the correct way. 15. Shoot a stage correctly even if itís slower than shooting it a different "incorrect" way. It's dependent on the context, but faster isn't always better or more correct. 16. Donít worry about your overall score. Strive for the best score you can get by shooting correctly. 17. To judge performance, do not compare yourself to other shooters. If you must compare yourself to someone else, compare yourself to only other shooters that shoot tactically correct. 18. Remember, overall speed may not be the best judge of "tacticalness." See #19. 19. Fast is not always gaming and slow is not always tactical. Sometimees, fast is the correct way to shoot a stage. Sometimes, slow is nothing more than lack of speed. 20. Donít argue about a close call on shot placement. If the shot had been where it needed to be, it wouldn't even be an issue in the first place. 21. Remember, competition is just that, competition, and to most people, it will never be anything more. 22. Do not unload as you fire the last shot. It is a terrible habit to get into. See #23. 23. Take a second sight picture or scan after you are finished. Donít speed reholster or unload. 24. In general, donít get into a habit of doing anything you wouldnít do in real life. 25. Donít use downloaded ammo. Use ammo that shoots similar to your carry load. *follow this statement with "when, by the stageís design, it makes more sense to do so."