Archive for the ‘Shooting’ Category

I have been filling this blog with several entries so far all about shooting. And here’s another one. Again.

I don’t know how to kick off this entry. Maybe I’ll start with my initial plan.

I gave myself a time. A duration. A period. To make it into the national team. And that period ends before I ORD. But as it seems, things haven’t been happening the way I want it to be these days, these years. Something about my life is just feeling so messed up here. Apart from feeling messed up, there are 2 factors which has changed the game plan quite significantly. First, the way the sporting scene or at least, the local shooting scene, is developing, just doesn’t seem to give the respect athletes should be deserving. Well, that’s how I look at it. And I shan’t go into the details of what’s it and what’s not in this whole organisation. It’s off the topic and boils my blood to talk about it. A total waste of useful energy. Second, yet again, somehow it always seems that the government has a hand in it – National Service. NS seriously disrupts my whole life. PERIOD. You thought there would be time to train. More time to keep training. Let me tell you, that’s a freaking no. And definitely not more. As a matter of fact, much less!

So 2 things. Just 2 things and it changed the whole game plan.

And based on the original route, it’s either a make or break situation.

So make = national team…
break = byebye shooting, at least in singapore

Well then, I am going to ORD in Sep, which is like in about a month’s time. And I don’t know. Am I going really going to stop?

BIG QUESTION MARK.

Air Rifle hasn’t been developing well ever since after Singapore Open. I changed my position. I changed quite a bit of everything to try to suit the configs for my standing in 3-positions but everything is going awry. It’s placing extra strain on my left shoulder. Increasing the load, numbing out my shoulder and getting me headaches. Damn this shoulder injury, seriously. Damn hell, I’m at a serious loss on what I should even do.

Smallbore. Well, I am stuck back to training prone nowadays. And bloody hell, it’s getting worse by each training. I am not even working on Standing and Kneeling anymore here. And prone, the only event I thought I could really start drilling and excelling just shuts me dumbfounded these days with all the shots going haywire. Can’t even shoot a damn decent grouping. DAMN IT. SERIOUSLY. I NEED TO VENT!!!

Budget’s cut. Zero income for September and October. So now August, I’ve gotta cut every single expense. So Air Rifle trainings are out. Or rather more likely, I’ve come to a decision: I’m stopping Air Rifle.

Oh yes yes, I did notice another thing though. Got to seriously convert to contact lenses for 50m. Can’t see shit with my shooting glasses and the astigmatism. But budget’s cut! Can’t even get contacts now. ARGHHHHH!!!!

Coming back to the question, are these all signs to tell me: I should stop shooting altogether now in Singapore, or is it just another test of determination to see how long I can last? Honestly, no idea. I want so much to shoot, to train, to get better. But am I gonna ditch all these trainings that I’ve put so much sweat and money into just like that?

Sigh. There are doors open for me to continue training but right now, I am the one to choose whether to shut those doors or step through them. I need a coach, desperately. I’m struggling with shooting smallbore with a book from Germany, even though it’s damn useful. It’s like shooting in the dark to find the right target. It’ll take ages and I feel like it’s a waste of bullets. SO MANY ROUNDS WASTED ON TRYING TO HIT THE DAMN TARGET IN THE DARK!

It’s driving me nuts.
I just need help…

…sigh

 

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It’s over. A week of matches. A month of intensive training. And all the effort. It has all come to end on this day. 13 July 2012, Friday.

Wonder when will it ever be the next time I pick up an Air Rifle or a Free Rifle, again. I got a good feeling it won’t be a long wait anyway.

The week has been tiring, physically and mentally. I believe it is for any athlete who shoots 3 events in a week! Perhaps, it dawns on me because it’s really my first go at competing 3 events in one whole week. Afterall, it starts with the most exhausting event, 3 positions, followed by the toughest mental game: 10m Air Rifle and end it of with…the most precise game: prone? Haha.

Hectic, tiring, frustrating. I mean imagine staying on the north-eastern part of this island and waking up hours early and just to reach the range which is all the way on the WEST!! before the start time. That’s zombifyingly tiring? What about battling the peak hour heavy traffic of the expressway? God, it’s like you don’t even know you can get to the range on time even if you move out of your house like nearly 1.5 hours before the start time. 1.5 hours?!!! A journey which usually takes me 25 mins to drive on smooth traffic conditions, takes me nearly 3 times more!

Well, now if I start looking at why monthly shoots are put on Sundays, yeah, I think it’s a good idea.

Stash the morning rush and frustration aside, now let’s shift to performance of each event.

50m FR-3P:
Prone: 92 94 93 94 373 11x
Standing: 82 89 91 85 347 1x
Kneeling: 87 88 887 83 345 4x
Total: 1065

Final: 6.5 5.9 6.1 9.7 10.2 0.0 4.5 6.9 10.2 6.5 66.5
3P+ Final: 1131.5

10m ARM:
88 90 91 92 92 91 544 13x

50m FRP:
93 98 96 96 93 89 565 18x

3P was a good improvement. Not major. But decent, in comparison to my previous monthly shoot in April. And the fact that it’s my second 3P shoot. So honestly, I don’t have much to complain about except for my prone, which is, well, could be better.

AIR RIFLE. SIGH. seriously, I think this cannot get any much more  indecent. Can’t even remember when was the last time I managed a 540+. Okay, I can. Back in January for Inter-formation, but that was because I was too severely ill. DISASTROUS. RIDICULOUS. Damn, throw in any word in your vocabulary to describe this outrageous performance. 540 scores have to end and so does 550. It’s time to throw them in the history books and seal them deep underground. Goodbye.

And finally, we come to prone, which was today. Not the best. Not the worst, definitely. But it was pretty well done, except for the last series which somehow, a 7 happily pops out. Got off to quite a bad start. But thanks to 3M’s stick-it notes, wrote some stuff down and just stuck them at the firing line, read & visualised the steps in my head as I shot. And it ran through my 2nd, 3rd and 4th series. Then, the rhythm broke.

The team got 2nd for both 3P and prone. But I am not ignoring the fact that there were only 3 teams. The silver was probably just a….well, it didn’t felt honorable to me. It just wasn’t well competed for. Maybe a bit for prone, especially since we’re 6 points behind! But 3P is just far far away.

But still, I must thank all who encouraged and gave me pointers along the way. Particularly, I think Uncle Kasmijan deserves most credit for constantly harping on the points, that I’ve already known, but truthfully, emotions took over and disregarded them. These points are essential. But emotions…still seems to be quite an issue.

Reflections

Somehow, 2012 seems to be a year of many revelations.

First was Inter-formation, where I was made to appreciate more.
Then the Army Shooting Meet, where I was given the opportunity to see and experience.
Now, it’s this. My own game. My greatest opponent. My greatest fear. Myself.

10th year.
Not very long.
But long enough,
to know what’s going on inside of me
to see what truly needs help
to feel my true strength

Fear. Self-Doubt. Diminished confidence. Self-demeaning words.
These are big words and they are not to be under-estimated. They trampled over me. Undermining my potential. Stabbing a knife into my confidence. Ripped away what I could have. But that’s past.

No more. It ends here.

I will face you head-on. YOU WILL NEVER EVER PUT YOUR WEIGHT OVER ME, never again.
Yes, there are times that I must admit, it’s not good enough.
But it’s NEVER AN ALWAYS. SCREW YOU, BLOODY WORDS.

I HAVE BEEN GOOD. MANY TIMES. AND I AM WAY BETTER THAN YOU THINK.
SO GET THE DAMN HELL OUT OF MY HEAD. OR THOU SHALL RE-IGNITE THE PAST FLAMES and BURN YOU DOWN, ONE BY ONE. not even a dot left on any alphabet.

No more hesitation. No more being nice. There’s a limit to everything. And my limit’s reached.

I am myself.
I am what I am.
I am Dennis Tan.
And I am good. Not just good. Very good.

My game is a silent battle and the playground’s over at the range.

No time to waste. It’s time to roar and….
.
.
.
BANGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

 

p.s. i think i seriously need a coach. argh.

Singapore Open Shooting Championships 2012 is starting this weekend with all the administration procedures on registration and equipment control.

And as far as I know, I am shooting all 3 rifle events in this competition; namely 10m Air Rifle, 50m Free Rifle Prone and 50m Free Rifle 3-Positions.

Am I ready? Honestly, no. I am not mentally ready. As a matter of fact, I am coming down with a lot of pre-competition pressure and stress. Totally unnecessary. Apart from 3P, I think 10m AR and 50m prone ain’t gonna be a problem at all. Technically that is.

This is killing me. It’s really breaking me down. I feel like my brain is heading for a meltdown.

Cause? One word: Expectations.

Normally, having expectations are good. It gets you motivated, sets you at doing something and drives you towards it. But there are times, when our own expectations thread beyond the safety zone and crosses into where danger lurks. Over-expectations lead to unnecessary pressure, stress, anxiety, inhibitive reactions, etc. Puts an athlete really at the edge and eventually when he breaks, his brains will just bust. Even if he doesn’t, the performance will just go way under. Frustration’s gonna build up and self-confidence is gonna take a big dip with all the self-blame on oneself.

Oh mannn…

This is all what I am suffering right now. Well, at least the only consolation I get is that I am still sane enough to know and identify before I really go crazy.

Damn. this sucks. Sigh.

I need to do something that detaches me totally off the expectations pre-conceived in this head of mine. I need to enjoy the game. And seriously, I can’t remember when was the last time I truly enjoyed the game.

End quote: Too much expectations = more disappointment. Just get in the game, and have fun. (note to self)

Mmm, it’s about a week from my first monthly shoot and my first actual competitive match for the 3P event. Well, once again, I’m late to post. I guess I really can’t deny I feel kinda lazy to blog sometimes, possibly because I’m just too tired to put my English to creative use or I’m just too busy caught up with doing other things …like Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook. (Man, it’s so addictive, it’s like a drug now.)

Honestly, the only proper training I had, was the day before the monthly shoot. Proper defined as practice for each of the positions within the same day. In fact, to add to the list of inadequacies, I practised with way less than the quantity of rounds fired in an actual match. So…yea, number 1 reason for below average performance: extreme lack of PROPER training.

I shot a total of 1011, consisting of Prone: 367, Standing: 320, Kneeling: 324.

Well, at least I met my training objective that day. What I wanted was only to ensure I have, at the least, a relatively appropriate configuration to shoot decently. Not the best but good enough to get me through. So having met those objectives, I was satisfied, even though I knew that the belief or expectation that I definitely do too well at the monthly shoot was apparent. Maybe that was a self-imposed limiting factor I may have unconsciously placed on myself.

On the shoot itself, I must say I was still feeling pretty much under-prepared for one reason because I barely knew how the format of the match is going to be. And that is a challenge…because well, it’s my first time and I had not done any trials for a full match on myself. So yea, prone was normal, as always. I just did it like any prone monthly shoots. But the anxiety for the debut match in 3-positions got my heart beating a little faster than usual. Naturally, that led to a few undesirable follow-up consequences. The increased rate of heart-beat was distracting, increases your muscles’ tension, accelerated rate of homeostasis which in this case, perspiration, and heightened digestion and use of energy.

No doubt, perspiration seem to got a little too exaggerating. For every position when I removed my shooting jacket, it’s one or both of the following: the jacket got heavier and/or it got more damp. By the end of the event, I was like: “Hmmm. Okay, the jacket and innerwear is definitely drenched. And the weather is offering extreme drying services with a strong afternoon sun and a clear sky. Alright, I think I’ll just stop shooting for the day.” Seriously, the volume of perspiration couldn’t get more ridiculous than what it already was! The stench from the corrosive sweat smell…gosh, it’s x3!!!

And there’s more! Before I started shooting on the final position: Kneeling, I got a quick bite and finished half the serving of my takeaway. In fact, while finishing up my last series for my Standing position, the stomach has already started to grumble for food. This is an event that transforms hungry humans to hungry monsters! Woah.

I don’t know what to say. Must have been hell. Even running a half-marathon takes lesser time to shoot this whole event. Can you believe it? A half-marathon is physically crippling, reduces fat mass, and zombie-like if they make you start the race at 5 in the morning. A 3-Positions match is more or less static, extremely mentally exhausting, and gets you perspiring as much any physically engaging event because of the horridly humid weather here. But there’s a common similarity, they both have the ability to knock you out for hours because of the extreme fatigue the body gets from the activity.

But this is only my first of more to come…

What can I expect down the road? We’ll see…

The End of Another Milestone – ASM 2012

Posted: March 11, 2012 in Shooting
Tags: , ,

2012 seems to be a pretty eventful year so far. With the month of February down, I have crossed yet another major milestone for my NS period, for 2012, for my shooting career. The second for the year. Of which, the first, in January, left me with a truly unforgettable experience. So much so that, I would consider it life-changing.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, ASM has been a much awakening journey, reminding me that it takes intentional effort to continually appreciate the people we have around us, to experience life in a Zen perspective. Because it’s so hard not to fall prey to temptations and the devils in life, enjoyment seems to be taken at face value all too often. We forget the effort we need to put in to earn this joy. We give in to the evils in our ways, turned lazy and stop fighting for the truest life to integrate with nature.

And so does initiating a change in yourself. That takes on the utmost effort to stay in the game. Initiating is easy. It’s always the midst that puts your strength and determination to the test, just to see how much you truly want it.

Well, I think, what I will do for the rest of this is to dedicate a couple of lines of appreciation to the team members in the 9DIV/INF rifle shooting team for this 2012’s ASM:

Champions we are. Honouring sports as true athletes. Whether medals, trophies, or nothing to our names, we are a victorious team in our own performances and in our eyes, staying true to our integrity. Nothing beats it!

Continue to excel in your life, doing and giving what you know you must.

The Journey of ASM 2012

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Shooting
Tags: , , ,

Have been wanting to record down all the daily tiny meaningful experiences in this journey of ASM 2012, but the body just don’t have the drive and the mind is lacking on words. It’s been pretty much tiring at the end of each day and all you want is just to have a good rest or enjoy the rest of the day, or rather night, getting some entertainment.

Well, I guess I’ll just do it now. Although the vivid and reliving experiences would probably not be felt as I go on to describe, I guess that’s the best I can do at this point in time. Sigh. Oh well…

The training running up to my matches was intense. Pretty intense. Well, there were official days of training specifically allocated to our formation and on the rest of the days we, basically, took on a position as “squatters” waiting to see if there were spare rounds that we might be able to train with. The bottom line is, we were there at the range everyday and we literally trained everyday, even if it was just a couple of shots, in multiples of ten. No doubt about it, it was definitely tiring. Both physically and mentally. More of the latter though. I remember that during my second week of training, frustration was building when I couldn’t understand why my shots were going haywire and I could not attribute any reasons to the outcome. I started out the week good, and got better the next day. By the third day, I hit a slump, and it got bad the next day and much worse the day after. I was like: “ARGHHHH, what is happening…” It was making me crazy with all the unfathomable outcomes, especially with the sharp declining performance with each day.

So I thought of the endless list of reasons, trying to isolate the cause so that I could perform on the actual day. First, I thought the slump was natural because I have been training everyday, and I lack adequate rest, particularly for the mind. So I accepted the performance and told myself, I must really really rest a lot. But then, I was still insecure. I recalled my first week and realised I cleaned my rifle to the least of a 95% free of carbon at the end of the week. So it might have helped the performance in the beginning of the second week. So I cleaned, disregarding my initial belief of not pulling through the barrel which was probably equally layered with carbon considering how my grouping has been tight on the targets. Still, there was a block in the road. Looking back at this point in time, I think I pretty much lost confidence in myself by the end of that week, letting myself being near-entirely affected by my daily performances.

The weird truth that sports shooters, particularly the rifle shooters, cannot truly do well in shooting with Army rifles. Hmm…well, I don’t know how much truth there is in this matter but I must agree to a certain extent, at least in my opinion. It is just the in-built mindset that has been there since my beginning of sports shooting, is to take your time, get in place, and shoot. You can’t change a mindset in period of less than a month. I mean you can mock it up, and build a temporal routine. But it’s really hard to simply push away a mindset that has been around for like…8 or 9 years? Well, the common belief is that if you are a shooter, air rifle or air pistol or similar in secondary schools or junior colleges, you can shoot well and be a marksman. Hell no…. Okay, maybe yes. But ahh well, it’s a very subjective matter and there’s a whole lot of factors that I’m not even considering to cover here.

The thing is because of this belief, there tends to a self-imposed pressure on oneself, that we are able to do as well in this discipline of shooting, and for ASM or any other similar competitions. It is an invisible expectation people expect to see. But damn it, it’s a No!

Even though, fortunately enough, I got put to compete in the Open category as an individual, the irrelevant pressure still lurks around.

Well, beyond the many pressures, obstacles and roadblocks, there are always an element of surprise in competition. No one knows, but those who expect them and are unperturbed by them will gain the advantage. The saying goes, anything can happen, especially on the actual day. And all that matters, is the very day itself. You could have done well in practice and all the training running up to that very day. But if you lose the ability to compose yourself and remain constant on your emotion graph, it just takes a poke to make you lose balance and zone out of your game. It was interesting to watch how the events and surprises were unfolding itself, the looks and expressions on the faces of the competitors. It was kinda humorous, in a way, I think.

But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t me that was hit with the surprise on match day. I had mine just the day before. And apparently following, the previous competition I had last month, in January, when I was very ill during the match, this back injury I received before my ASM match, seem to me like a sign. Don’t exactly know what it means though. Well, I nearly didn’t manage to get through the whole ASM 2012, without actually shooting a proper actual official match, be it because of my back injury or the incident on match day. But of course, I did, eventually. And the performance? I would say it’s of total irrelevance. The performance, the outcome, it didn’t matter at all by the time I got my first shot out. I was just purely in the zone to get my routines right, get my actions right, because for all I have prepared, I could have only done that much.

It’s been a wonderful journey. There’s so much more to say. But ASM, it ain’t over. There’s still one more week.

And I thank everyone who’s been involved in giving me the opportunity to journey through this Meet, because it’s just one of the milestone in this year that shows me how much I am wanting my life to change, how much I am wanting to put and see things in a more positive perspective.

Much remains…

Pre-ASM Training

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Shooting
Tags: , , ,

This post comes a little late because I only decided to start a whole new blog recently. So essentially, it’s overdue by about 2-3 weeks?

Anyway, I will be having my shooting matches tomorrow, on Monday 13 February 2012, and that will mark the end of my competitive role in ASM 2012.

Wait, I forgot to mention what ASM stands for. It basically means Army Shooting Meet, a shooting competition within the whole army force itself, competing in different disciplines like pistol, rifle, MGs, etc.

Now that my time in this competition is about to end, let’s just pause and rewind back to the point before I embarked on this short-term detour from my service in NS.

When I first received news of when to report to my temporary attached unit to start my training for ASM, I was bombarded with so many uncertainties and doubts, and even fears. There was so much apprehension within me. I could not decide whether I should be going for the training. First of first, being an athlete, I never liked to take on a competition in which I was totally unclear of. There were too many unknowns and most of all, we had to us only a month to train and compete. Obviously, no athlete in the right mind who is doing a new thing for the first time would head out to compete within a month or less. Much worse if it is for shooting.

Although I must highlight that the ground of competitors from other formations within the army were mostly newbies to the environment too, it still doesn’t remove my sense of insecurity in participating. And eventually, it proved pretty accurate in which it takes a toll on my performance.

There were many fears too. I would say some of these fears, though, can be isolated with the use of mental skills. But apparently, certain issues become like a poison in the mind when people and organisations overly emphasize on them. And they truly limit you from doing your best.  It’s like you know you isolated it, but at the back of your head, in your subconscious, it’s banging and rippling its strength to overwhelm you. For example, with the army being the army, and Singapore being Singapore, such activity, though a more competitive form, can still be liable for chargeable offences. Ain’t that true? Never mind that fact, because the poison was deeply ingrained long before this experience – during BMT.  And that is exactly what I call, Inception. It’s the exact same concept, same principles. They plant a seed of poison into your head, let it germinate with time, and it takes over you, making you vulnerable all over.

And you know what, it definitely sucks, big time.

Nevertheless, after talking to some people, I decided to give it a try, at least for the first training. It was a tough call to make, really. Up against so many negativity, I couldn’t just stand up and push them all away from my head. It just didn’t seem possible, or maybe I was simply choosing avoidance. Even at this point of time, just a day before the match, I still have so many doubts and fears within me. (I know there’s a lot of negativity, in bits and pieces all over this entry. But I think, it’s still healthy, for now.)

Something in me, though, convinced me to go ahead and take it as an experience. Because it said that although, what seems blur then, would become clear, and it’s worth the risk to step in and experience a similar sport in another perspective. It will open my eyes and mind even more than I already know. And it’s a big risk, but right until now, I haven’t been presented with anything that tells me: This is a total waste of time; it’s not worthwhile at all.

Well, well, I’ll be doing my best tomorrow then. Only my best.