Match Prep: Some thoughts on how to move up the in the standings

Here we are a month out from the A Weekend in the Arena Match. Seems like only yesterday we were freezing. Of course, we have been doing COVID-19 since then. Ah the good ol days.

Today I am going to talk about what we used to call Violence of Action in my Army days. It defines as “unrestricted use of speed, strength, surprise, and aggression to achieve total dominance against your enemy.” The term sounds cool but is slightly out of context for what we are doing but that is the point of the article.

Speed

Speed is rate at which someone can move or operate. It is something we all think about after the fact, but we should think about it more before the fact. It comes from knowing what you need to do when you need to do it. Racers do not come up on a corner and then say oh I need to turn. The know either from personal experience on the track or by indicators before the turn. The start doing things to prepare for the turn long before the turn and then commit to the corner. Speed in a Quantified Performance match comes from knowledge and practice long before the match. It also comes from committing to the plan on how to run the stage and then executing that plan.

Strength

While the A weekend in the Arena matches are not about physical strength, having durable equipment and strong, verified data is going to help more than speed. Missing fast is still missing. Stage planning is also a strength. Most stages are not as complicated as some other sports, the planning is important. Most peoples plan stops after the first position or after the first miss. PROTIP, unless the stage specifically says must be hit in order, you can skip a target at a cost of 30 seconds. Once we watched dozens of shooters collect a ton of misses when two of the three targets were chip shots and the third was hard. Had you skipped the third target in the four positions you would have picked up 4 misses. Instead, shooters maxed time and picked up 9 misses.

Surprise

To carry with that stage, had you skipped the hard one surprise would have been yours. Surprise is doing something that is not expected. We all know that most of the squad will shoot the stage the same way as the number one man until someone has a better plan that works. By running a different plan that people were not expecting, surprise can be achieved. Now, why do you want to bring surprise to the table? Well, despite it being fun and a great match, it is still a match. Prizes await you. Seconds matter. (HINT I know what is one the prize table)

Aggression

Watching many people shoot the match, there is another army term that applies, lollygagging. To lollygag is to dawdle or waste time. Some will burn 10 seconds to do a 3 second movement. This comes from most people not feeling as how they can win and just trying to have fun. I highly encourage you to take 90 seconds per stage out of the day and pour a healthy dose of aggression into it. You will find you have a better time at the match and probably a better finish if you do. Fight for a stage win. Fight for every stage win.

While you may not win, doing the above will allow you to gain total dominance of your equipment and yourself for those precious seconds of the day. You will feel better about the placement and you will know you gave it everything you had. Odds are, those that apply this will be much higher in the standings.