First IDPA match tomorrow. Panic? Panic.

First IDPA match tomorrow. Panic? Panic.

This is a discussion on First IDPA match tomorrow. Panic? Panic. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Back in January, I dusted off my pistol after years of disuse to get ready for Illinois concealed carry. A couple months later, I stopped ...

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Thread: First IDPA match tomorrow. Panic? Panic.

  1. #1
    Member Array Highwayman's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    First IDPA match tomorrow. Panic? Panic.

    Back in January, I dusted off my pistol after years of disuse to get ready for Illinois concealed carry. A couple months later, I stopped by this Action Pistol group to see what they were up to. Took a class on holster draw and handling, went to a few drill nights. Well, looks like the drill night I always go to has been taken off the calendar because of a range issue. I asked about how I could be able to still eventually get the nod to compete a few months from now in the group's IDPA and USPSA matches...And was promptly told I was good to go, and there was an opening in the IDPA match tomorrow night. Was told to read over the rules and handbook, and 'see ya' on the range'.

    ..And now I'm...competing? Tomorrow? I've spent this evening switching between dry fire, movement drills, and pacing the room debating if I should back out based on nerves alone. My goal? Finish the night without being DQed for safety infractions. I'll be on the line with classified competitors using custom guns, and I'm a 23 year old with a police surplus Glock and gear from eBay who found out he was doing this the night before.

    Any general suggestions for mindset, match etiquette, or simply staying sane as I take the plunge?

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    just go have fun. The guys at these matches are usually very supportive and make the experience a good one. My first match years ago taught me that I was only a student of the gun, and in no way a master.
    Very humbling, but oh baby so much fun. You'll find out very quickly where you need to practice, and you will get better. That's all that matters.

    ....SHOOTER READY??? The most haunting words you will ever hear. You are NEVER ready.
    Give to them according to their deeds and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands; render to them their deserts. Psalm 28:4

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Washington State
    Relax and remember that it doesn't really matter how you shoot your first time or so. Just be safe, focus on being smooth and correct; just the mechanics of it all. Get used to the routine first. Then after you settle in you can worry about your score!

    Oh, remember to have fun!

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  5. #4
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    Array farsidefan1's Avatar
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    Just understand that if you do poorly, they will kill you slowly then eat you, while still slightly alive. Everyone you know will know that you FAILED and will make fun of you the rest of your life. Girls will reject you and guys will spit on the sidewalk in front of you because they know you are a loser

    And the best news is that is all nonsense. You will learn, make new friends and have a ball. I mean it can't be any worse than the above so it's all downhill from here.

    Isn't it amazing the stories we tell ourselves when we are worried about trying something new? I think I've told myself all the above at one time or another.
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  6. #5
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    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Heck, just DO IT! Sign up, turn in your card at each stage, and just WATCH until it's your turn. Will you do well? No! Will you screw up? Of course! But you have to break the ice, and better sooner than later.

    Mindset? Simple: I'm there to learn, and to be safe. Time/score - meaningless for tonight.

    Etiquette: Don't break the 180 rule; follow the RO commands ("if finished, show clear; if clear, hammer down, and holster" - or similar).

    Ignore the low score you'll get; run the stages deliberately, which will likely mean 'slow.' Your first match is all about watching, listening, and learning.

    Good luck!
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman View Post
    My goal? Finish the night without being DQed for safety infractions. I'll be on the line with classified competitors using custom guns, and I'm a 23 year old with a police surplus Glock and gear from eBay who found out he was doing this the night before.

    Any general suggestions for mindset, match etiquette, or simply staying sane as I take the plunge?
    Rethink why you're doing IDPA and carry in the first place. You've stated your basic goal for this first go. I'd just go to have fun with it, basically. Do it safely, meet the folks, keep your wits about you on squeezing the benefit out of the exercise. Particularly with other "race gun" types there, it won't be about competing. It'll be about exercising your abilities with carry gear. Frankly, I'd say that with IDPA you're going about it far more sensibly than anyone with a "race" gun ever will. IMO, it's not about competition. It's about getting competent in stressed, simulated situations with your carry gear.

    Ditto on everyone else's little tips, above. Relax, focus, have fun, remember what IDPA is and why you're there.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Everyone there will be nervous, not just you. You will love it, don't back out. Get your hits, don't worry about the timer the first time out.
    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.

    The supreme art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting........ Sun Tzu.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array Navydude's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Beckley, WV
    Ah man, enjoy it. It will be a blast. I have never shoot in a match but have shot with people who have. They are just ordinary gun owners like you. Out to have fun.

    It took me almost a year to get up the nerve to take a handgun class with other shooters. Just afraid I would mess up and they would think I was a dork. But it's not like that at all.

    You will do some things right and some things wrong but that's just part of the fun. You will mess up and be harder on yourself than they will. You will probably learn more than you think. Then you will hit a stage and just tear it up and the atta boys you get will make the whole day worthwhile.

    Just be safe, have fun and oh yea Have Lots of Fun.
    Tinman517 and bmcgilvray like this.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array darbo's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    A lot of good advice so far. I would add lose the idea of competing against race guns. First thing is be safe and have fun, don't worry about competing against anyone else. Second, if you are shooting IDPA there really won't be any "race guns". That is one of concepts of IDPA is that it is not about the equipment. It is geared towards everyday type carry equipment. USPSA on the other hand there will be people using several thousand dollar race guns. The good thing is you would not be shooting against them.

    Be safe, have fun!
    bmcgilvray likes this.

  11. #10
    Member Array chandlerusm's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    While I haven't competed in years, I did quite a bit back in the day.

    It will be fun, the people will be great.

    Front sight, trigger squeeze. Go slow enough to make every shot count. DO NOT try for speed. Try for smooth.

    Slow is smooth.

    Smooth is fast.
    "The six-shooter loaded with deadly cartridges is a dangerous companion for any man, especially if he should unfortunately be primed with whiskey." - Texas Live Stock Journal, June 5, 1884
    "Leave Your Revolvers At Police Headquarters and Get a Check." - Sign outside Wichita, 1873.

  12. #11
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    With the dry-firing and all, you are doing everything right except for the pacing the room. Quit that and go for it with a positive attitude, born out of knowing you've devoted yourself to practicing and preparing the best you can under the circumstances. You won't be the worst shooter there and you might surprise yourself where you place.

    Get that first match behind you and it'll do wonders for the case of nerves. You'll find yourself enjoying that match and you'll enthusiastically embrace future matches.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array miller_man's Avatar
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    Ditto on what everyone else is saying.

    DO NOT BACK OUT!!! I went and watched the first time - what a waste!!! You will be fine, you'll go to a new shooter meeting, they will know your new and people will help you the whole way.

    After its all over, you'll have a huge smile on your face, be glad you went, realize you've got lots of practice to do, and be excited to get back out there.
    Tinman517 and Navydude like this.
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  14. #13
    Member Array chasbo00's Avatar
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    Northern Virginia
    You will see other competitors shooting fast and you will want to go that fast too. Don't. Shoot at your own speed, which is likely to be slow compared to many others, and get your hits. Everyone there will be happy to assist you as a new competitor. The only one who cares how well you do is you - that is so long as you are safe. It's meant to be a fun, friendly gun game. Enjoy it!
    Navydude likes this.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Tinman517's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Las Vegas/SF Bay Area
    You will not regret your first IDPA shoot. You will have a BLAST and will be looking forward to the next one.

    If you are not clear on the course of fire, be sure to ask. Everyone is very friendly and most are willing to help.

    Have yourself a great time.
    Navydude and Bad Bob like this.

  16. #15
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    Array whoppo's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Southern Maine
    Get some modelers paint and apply racing stripes to your glock... the others will tremble in fear!

    Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the match. I think you'll find that everyone there will be supportive and help make this a good experience for you... no need to be nervous.

    Shooter ready? Yes.. you are :)
    Navydude and redbirddog5 like this.
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