Thoughts about match performance, H&S and Infinity Euro Open

I just participated in two level III IPSC handgun matches in the space of 3 weeks. My performance at the two matches was worlds apart, and this is an attempt to capture some of the things I did differently.

The two matches were the H&S Cup in Güstrow where I placed as #12 with 72%, and the Infinity Euro Open in Philippsburg where I placed as #53 with 62%. Now, you might expect that I’d be most happy with my performance at H&S Cup, given the better placement and percentage, but that isn’t the case. I shot much better at IEO. To exemplify this, the winner of Standard Division at H&S Cup placed as #45 with 65% at the IEO, and had previously surpassed me with 4% at the Schleswig Holstein match. The field of competitors was much, much deeper at IEO (123 competitors vs. 40, with a lot, if not most, of the european top at IEO), and the result at H&S Cup in SD wasn’t very indicative of true performance at large matches.

Among the differences between the two matches was my preparation. In the week before IEO I practiced alone at the range several times, firing more than 500 rounds.

At the IEO, I also attempted to approach the stages with an aggresive mindset, focusing on getting through the stage fast but getting good sight pictures. At H&S I had many shots fired without a good sight picture.

Another difference was my equipment. At the H&S Cup I has several failures-to-extract, in spite of my Aftec extractor, and my team mate Henrik who was using the same ammo had severe extraction problems. We’d loaded our ammo using S&B 9mm cases, and they seem to have been the source of the problems. Using different cases for IEO, neither of us had any malfunctions.

In addition, at H&S I used several suspect magazines for my gun, while I only used magazines I’d tested several times in the previous week at the IEO. Just the peace of mind created by this probably had a effect.

Yet another difference was my choice of footwear. Before IEO I purchased new shoes with a much more aggressive sole (Prophecy II from The North Face). They’re much less comfortable than the New Balance running shoes I wore at H&S, and harder on my ankles, but grip better and probably enable me to move faster through the COF.

At IEO, I attempted to get more sleep but my nutrition was much the same. The IEO was a lot hotter, but I seem to have kept myself hydrated properly. At IEO I was more conscious about relaxing between stages and sitting down.

Infinity Euro Open 2010 Results
Infinity Euro Open 2010 stage results
hs cup 2010
hs cup 2010 stage results



I've been shooting pistols since 2002, and shooting IPSC since 2004. I'm a NROI Chief Range Officer and instructor. See full bio.