Unexpected Benefits of Competitive Shooting

A man shoots skeet competitively using MGM targets

Participating in a shooting competition can help even the most inexperienced shooters gain important skills and experience unexpected benefits.

  • Even beginner-to-intermediate shooters can benefit from participating in shooting competitions.
  • Competition shooting can help you become better at your craft, and skills can increase with repeat competitions.
  • Some of the unexpected benefits develop into skills that can carry over into real-life situations.

For many beginner or intermediate shooters, the idea of participating in a competition may seem daunting. You may think competitions are only for the best of the best, and it would be a waste of time to try to participate. The benefits of competitive shooting extend beyond the idea of winning first prize. Even for a novice shooter, participation can prepare you for the next level and teach you how to operate your gun in a high-pressure, time-sensitive situation. If you have been reluctant to enter a shooting competition because you don’t feel like you have enough experience or talent, consider some of the unexpected benefits.

Increasing Focus While Shooting

If you are a recreational shooter, you are probably used to shooting at targets in the comfort of a shooting range or another location where you have time to carefully set up your shot for accuracy. Some shooting ranges have options that put a little pressure on you to help you increase your skills with timing in addition to accuracy. If you are accustomed to shooting a moving target, such as with skeet shooting, you may already have some experience with increased focus while shooting.

Participating in a competition pushes you to take this focus to the next level. Not only do you learn to handle the changing targets, but you also have to learn to tune out the distractions around you. The more competitions you complete, the more skilled you become at learning where to place your focus, and the better you get at ignoring distractions.

Remaining Calm Under Pressure

Similar to learning how to tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand, competing in a shooting tournament helps you develop the skills you need to stay calm under pressure. Practicing at a range can give you an adrenaline rush, but it doesn’t compare with a real-life situation where you have to think on your feet and avoid panic. During a competition, the stakes are higher, and you learn to control the adrenaline rush to use to your advantage.

Staying calm under pressure can help you improve your shooting skills and make you perform better at each competition, but this is a benefit that can also help you in your everyday life. Some individuals find that participating in competitive shooting events helps you learn to remain calm during other unrelated high-pressure situations that arise.

Learning More About Your Firearm

Practice makes perfect, but studying up on your firearm to learn how to manage it properly doesn’t hurt. No matter how much information you read, advice you absorb, or times you practice at the range, there is still more to learn about using your firearm that you can’t get in a practice situation. During a competition, you are forced to get to know your firearm in ways outside the box compared to typical target practice. Under the pressure of competition, you learn when you are making a mistake that costs you time and accuracy, how to correct errors on the fly, and how to perfect your grip for the best experience. Instead of practicing one skill at a time, you get a crash course on every skill you need all at one time.

Rethinking Your Shooting Methods

Many of the unexpected benefits of participating in competitive shooting are related to one another, and the tactical skills you gain are another benefit that can carry over into parts of your life. Competitions involve strategizing in ways that you don’t usually consider when shooting at targets or studying up on your firearm. The setup of competition means you have to plan your moves wisely, taking shots carefully and strategically.

Planning out your strategy takes higher-level thinking skills, and honing these skills can be used in more ways than just increasing the quality of your shot. Strategizing and tactical planning are useful in your everyday life, and you may find that the more competitions you try, the more situational awareness you develop. Learning to visualize a plan and implement it successfully can be beneficial to your work life as well as your home life.

Making Connections With Other Participants

Participating in competitions with others who share your hobby creates a camaraderie you can’t quite accomplish in other ways. Competitive shooting is no exception to this rule. You will find a wide range of participants at every competition, from all walks of life and of every type of background. Some individuals learned to shoot from a family member years ago as a child, while others never picked up a firearm until adulthood. Some people you meet shoot purely for recreation, while others developed skills because they were necessary for a specific career, such as law enforcement.

One thing everyone seems to have in common is the willingness to teach others new skills and strategies to perform better. No one at shooting competitions likes to hoard knowledge, and part of the fun is providing tips and tricks to those looking for ways to improve the game. Since there are shooters of every skill level, there is always something to learn and someone to teach you.

Keeping a Clear Perspective

Sometimes it takes learning more about a subject to realize just how much you don’t know about it. When you begin to shoot competitively, you quickly learn that there is always another skill to develop and more ways to advance the skills you have already mastered. You also realize that no matter how tactical and strategic you begin to shoot, it’s no substitute for a real-life situation when you have someone who is returning fire. This healthy perspective makes you appreciate the power and responsibility behind using your firearm. Gaining perspective transfers over to real life and can help you better respect the choices people make under pressure.

Get Ready For Your Next Competition with MGM Targets

If you consider participating in a competition, you should get adequate practice before the big event. At MGM Targets, you can choose between a variety of competitive shooting targets to help you prepare. Choose among a variety of versatile targets that are both high-quality and affordable. Browse the catalog for ideas about which type of target works best for your situation. If you need any help deciding, a member of the MGM Targets team is available to help determine which types can prepare you to meet your shooting goals. If you have any questions about available products or need advice about your shooting game, contact MGM Targets today for more information.

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