Building Highpower Rifle Teams and participation
a list of ideas.

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updated 31-Dec-00 and again in april

We held our first IT workday and zeroing session!

We also zeroed at 500yds. - WRITE down your Zeroes!!!

Note - this write-up is posted on the web for the whole world to read... It is of no use to anyone except other Teams preparing for the National Matches. Go ahead, I DARE you to try to use our training plans to improve your own team's training.... all it will do is make Camp Perry more of a challenge and more interesting to everyong involved!

by now we have held several practice sessions and gotten our zeroes refined.

Perry Teams:

I would like to see a greater interest in shooting at Camp Perry. We have had about 10 adults and 10 juniors 2 years in a row now. In neither case did the adults do very well in the 2 team matches, rattle-battle and 6-man, although the juniors did pretty good.

If we could get 12 of each, plus a couple extras, and at least 6 of each who were REALLY well prepared, we could have a serious chance at winning, and get more shooters shooting.

I think we need 6 shooters plus 2 or 3 extras for each match, so if we have 8 or 9 at Perry, we have one team, if we want 2 teams, we need 16 or 18 adults. Of course, we may be able to borrow non-shooters.

Here are the dates for Camp Perry 2001

Rattle Battle NTIT

This appears to be the one we really want to do well at next year, in fact, we wanted to do well this year, but didnít.

According to Derrick, this takes good zeroes and luck.

We need to practice a lot to get the zeroes and the techniques and the cadence. And reduce the likelyhood of bad luck.

Ammo:
24.0 RE-15 or Varget  with a 75 gr Hornaday or 77 gr Sierra (TBD) loaded to 2.250Ē oal. New primed Winchester brass. (no moly) We will load and shoot our own for a few matches, then I recommend that not too late in the training season, we buy a case of brass, bullets and powder and sit someone (TOM A.) down to load it all and package it in bags of 64 rds. We use the same ammo for practice all season long and the match. Someone should be put in charge of the ammo effort, I describe the cost issues below.

tactics:
The 2000 plan was 64 shots per shooter, 22 at 600, 26 at 500, 16 at 300 and none at 200. 20 rd mags so we reload at half time and lay lower. Only the swing shooters swing. A perfect score would be 1380.

This is probably OK. We might consider a few changes. One guy suggests that every shooter swing, that way, if someone sets his sights wrong or has a jam, we still have a chance to square targets. But  another reminds that that increased our chance of a mistake. Also, after we practice a lot, we might determine that a few shooters really can get more than 22 hits on target at 600. We could allocate more shots to them instead of  a uniform 64 per shooter.

We should have an agreed upon command to swing. If one shooter has a jam, he should be able to call upon a neighber to put the second magazine on that target to ensure a squared target.

training:
We should have a monthly practice, 6-Jan, 3-Mar, 31-Mar, 5-May! probably the best time would be after a regularly scheduled match at Ben Avery. . ONLY Ben Avery offers satisfactory facilities (i.e. flat ground for walking and 600 yds).

This brings up an issue. Don Hanks does nearly ALL the work maintaining the targets and pits at Ben Avery. He is protective of the targets and carefully maintains them well enough to last an entire season but not able to tolerate additional use. All's well

I propose that we arrange access to a storage shed in the Avery Pits well, we didn't get a shed!.  We build 16 new targets done! thanks Terry!, perhaps more. We put E targets on 8 and F targets on 8. We use these only for IT practice.

Every practice day, we split into relays and send 8 to the pits and 6 plus coaches on the line. Ideally, we will have the juniors practice as a team or two and the adults pracitce as a team or two. It would be really cool if we could have 2 teams of each.

Early in the season, we will have more slow fire stages to allow everyone to get zeros for the rifle or new barrel. Later in the season, every member should have a firm zero and be done messing with the rifle and we should be able to run the course on practice day with no more slow fire shooting.

rifles:


They will be ARís. Not M14ís! It has been suggested that we have a different rifle or different upper for IT. I recommend that we hit Perry with no more than 4000 thru the barrel. That means, in January we have no more than 3000 rds thru a purely IT barrel, or 2000 rds thru a purely Bullseye barrel, or 1000 rds if using the same barrel for both. This will allow 1000 rds of IT practice, and 2000 rds of bullseye practice and not have more than 4000 thru at Perry. Anybody interested in a quantity buy on Krieger barrels?

We can play with guns early in the season, but by maybe January well, we're only getting started in Jan, so we'll finalize things a little later, each shooter should have his IT gun (or upper) selected and barreled and not make anymore changes to it until after Perry.

Should we have 1 spare rifle for the team, tested thoroughly and zeroed by all shooters to bring to perry, in case someone has a failure late in the season? Or just plan on pulling in the alternate shooter should that happen (hey now THEREís an incentive to keep your rifle functioning!) Everyone should make sure their rifle is functioning and not on the verge of breaking (Iím not sure how to do that...)

One failure we had was sights cranked the wrong way or one full turn too many. I recommend we develop a common way of marking our sights so the coach can see at a glance that we are all on our zero.

Speaking of sights. ½ minutes for everyone!

It is recommended that the IT gun be heavy as possible. We may have to move lead around when switching from bullseye to IT.

Magazines: every magazine gets marked with the owners name and every magazine gets tested more than once with the team ammo in advance, questionable ones get set aside. We use military 20ís.  Everyone MUST own 6 or more through the season. We will use 5 unless we change the firing order.

We may discuss this and decide to use 30 rounders.

Coaching:
I recommend we select ONE person as the leader of the IT effort, regardless of whether we can raise 1, 2 or more teams.
We should also have one captain per team (may be the same person, but not necessarily). Very soon, we will select who our 2 coaches will be, and begin training the coaches.

The leader of the effort will make sure that the ammo and targets get manufactured and a storage shed arranged and practice days scheduled for the year early in the season. That everyone in arizona who can hold a rifle knows about the project. That all potential member know about the practices etc etc etc. (there will also be leaders and captains for the 6-man team and 4 man team and any other disciplines).

Since we cannot all shoot, we will need 2 coaches, ideally our best coaches will not shoot, only coach, but I suspect our 2 best coaches are also our 2 best shooters, so we should plan on each of us training to be coach too, just in case.

Paperwork:
We found these cute books at Perry, a regular shooting data book, except for IT! (very M14-centric tho!) $5 at Champions Choice. I'll order enough for the entire team on tuesday! The score/plotting sheets I made up on Derrickís design were almost as good. We'll run off about 50 sheets on cardstock. We should have a supply for everyshooter for the duration of the effort.

No doubt Derrick will be available for gunsmithing. If he does small fixes for us or the juniors as a courtesy, (like he always does) we better all make sure he doesnít have to pay for his favorite beverage or lunches after practices. Same goes for Phil.

Shooting slots:
There are only 6 shooting slots per team. AND we need 2 good coaches and a scorer, and optionally a verifier and brass monkey. Also, one shooting member must be a new guy!

To build a winning team, we MUST put our best shooters and coaches on that team. AND we must give our one new guy LOTS of training so he is one of the best. If we have 9 more after that, we can make team #2.

We all must enter the beginning of the training season with the understanding that at least 3 of us per team will make every practice, spend a fortune on a barrel and ammo and end up NOT shooting IT at Perry next year. For the 3 or 4 that get designated coaches scorer and verifier, they at least can know they are part of the team effort in the match.

Cost:
OK, hereís the hard part.
We each will spend money on a at least one barrel this year for the Perry effort. Anyone who chooses to will need to procure an extra upper or gun.

We will need to chip in to buy target materials. We will need to collect range fees at every practice. at least $10

We will need to finance this ammo manufacturing effort up-front. it will cost 9 boxes of bullets and almost 16 lbs of powder for every case of 4350 rds of primed winchester, not to mention about 35 minutes of Tomís time on his super duper dillon!!! That 4350 rds will last only 10 practice runs of  6 shooters and the match at Perry! This will cost about $1300 to make! Thats about $200 per practicing member!

If we want to try to raise 1 or 2 each adult teams and junior teams and practice only once a month, we will need as much as 4 cases of ammo ($6000!) and if we think its important to get all the ammo in one ďlotĒ we need to buy a bunch of stuff this fall! No one of us can easily front that much money, so everyone interested will have to chip in early in the season!


 

6-Man NTT & 4-man Rumbold Team

Iím not quite sure how to prepare for this match, other than for all of us to practice and do our best. Of course, we have to all help the one new guy become a better shooter.

We will have to put our best 4 or 6 shooters on the #1 team, a good coach and 2 pullers. If we have enough shooters, we can have a second team. Just like the IT teams but they need not be the same members.

We should probably try to identify potential members early in the season and practice as a team by shooting team matches together. Also we can try to run team matches as club matches (or just 4 relays.)

Other Teams:

If we establish club-based teams, at least at Rio and South Mountain, that will promote some rivalry and mutual support.

2-ways to look at this, one is put together the best team we can, then a 2nd best etc, other is put a Master, an Expert, a SS and a MK on each team and that would force the top guy to coach the less experienced guys.

Each team should have an assigned captain. New shooters could be referred to a team captain and simply the title may provide a sense of authority that will alleviate the new shooterís apprehension about being welcome or able to perform at a formal match.
 

Travelling to other  matches.

Lets try to travel to some other matches. Ft Huachuca, Yuma, Flagstaff, Las Vegas end of  feb, Albuquerque,  Raton, Utah, Colorado (we have a place to stay!). whereever else we can get to.

If we are building 4 man and 6-man teams, we should try to get them at the varous far-away matches as a team.

Practice

Well, of course, weíre all gonna try and shoot almost every match here in Phoenix as a matter of course. What else can we do?

When the weather gets nice and the days long in the spring, we can try to have afternoon matches. If we can find some spare weekend times at Avery, we might be able to get on there. (see the IT section above).

I will try to shoot some smallbore prone, my weakest stage is slow fire prone and 160 shots of practice cannot possibly hurt.

I have tried to get onto Rio before work a few times when they opened at 6 am. I shoot a reduced course typically cuz the targets are easy. It doesnít help learn wind, but hold is a problem for me.

As we approach summer and Avery becomes free we and the juniors should reserve every single weekend day on the 600 yd range. Just like we did last year.

We should all dry fire (ok iím guilty, Iíve got dots on my walls and Iím too lazy to pretend to shoot at them) as often as we can. Maybe shoot air rifle at home too.

Division of Labor

No one can do all this alone. I propose that among us we divide up the work that needs to be done.

I will maintain the web site and will be glad to produce flyers for distribution. (Poole)
Bob Pultz is already on line to run the M1 Clincs, he will need support from others. (Pulz & Kirby?, Zimmer?...)
Someone will have to run the IT effort (Poole). He will recruit others to make targets, and manufacture ammo (Albanito?).
Someone will have to run the Gun show effort (?). He will need help building and manning the booth. Juniors will be useful for this.
Some one or more will have to do the Junior introduction sessions. I am already planning to do this up here. (Poole, Weidell?)
Someone should design and make shirts hats, stickers, etc. (Kirby?)
Someone should write articles to put in the state assoc Bullet Trap. (Kirby or Poole?) I have written several! watch the bullet trap!
Mentor new guys, adult and Junior. (anyone)

Oh, by the way, one price we pay for the glory of shooting at Perry is we have to coach and pull for the Juniors Whistler Boy match.

We need to train captains.

Speaking of Labor:

Club work days:

Rio and probably South Mountain and Ben Avery targets need to be rebuilt, buckets of supplies restocked etc. Lets plan a work day this fall at each range. Rio will be after the 500 yd match on 24-Sep. We cleaned the range up so nicely John M said he wouldn't let us shoot there anymore!
 

Team building
I propose that we have several team shirts: an IT specific T-shirt, another team T-shirt, a nice Team polo shirt for awards ceremonies etc. I propose we have a team hat for everyone. All team members would procure these. Also, a sew on patch for shooting jackets, soft gun cases etc. Paint the team colors on our rifles?

I propose that the logo be an AZ flag, an AR and 2 cactuses Like I use for the web site. I propose that the shirts and hats be various shades of tan. Larry suggested Forest green.

If we shoot under a club name, we could use the existing club hats and shirts. We should use the ASRPA sweatshirt.

We should make extra hats and shirts to sell or give away, especially to other stateís shooters at Perry.

I propose we agree to uniform pants, I suggest desert-storm desert camo. Tom A might prefer blue jeans. I just think it would look nice.

Team names
I propose that all the teams be ASRPA teams and the discriminating name (not be color like blue, gold etc) but rather be something unique to arizona, like cactus (ocotillo, saguaro, cholla, etc) or place names, (like Mogollon, Maricopa, Grand Canyon? Sonora? ) or tribes (like Navajo, apache, etc) Alternately, we make the teams by geography? or club? Flagstaff, Rio, PRGC etc?

Can we have several teams under the state association? I think we can.

It has been suggested that having club rivalry at the local level will enhance team performance. Rio vs PRGC, vs some group based at Avery, vs Flagstaff? etc.

Teaching and mentoring
in order to do well in team matches, the ďnewĒ guy will need to be good, this means that we experienced guys need to help the new guy get good!

As I mentioned earlier, all of us should be prepared to take a new shooter, Jr or adult as an apprentice.

We need to find a tactful way of helping each other improve our attitudes and team spirit.

We need to avoid topics on the line that will depress our spirits, like Politics! (someone at Perry mentioned that the father of a gorgeous teenage girls didnít appreciate the comments of some adult men, we need to keep it clean)

Members
Making a list like this is where Iím likely to forget a lot of names.

we might lose a few guys if they are on military teams or get job assignements in communist countries.... Leaves of absence from work to pursue MBA degrees do not necessarily justify a leave of abscense from shooting!

I have only dealt with service rifle shooting, so match rifle shooters are not being considered, of course they can convert to the one true path.

regulars: Poole, Albinito, Weidell, Kirby, D Martin, J Martin, G Smith, Piotrowski, Lucero, Seiler, Arrington, Ward, Stevens, Richardson, Weaver, ... many many more who I donít remember.

Potential others I need to contact:
Eric Mix, Swett, Kuhns, Bootha, Parry, Lars, Raul,
 

Otherís input:

Bill,
While I may not be the most qualified respondent I have a certain amount of experience so I'll give it a go.First though all I am talking about is Team attitude and Team selection. All the other back and forth on that thread is another topic. To be a good team shooter in the sense Tom and Bill and several others mean is to have such an attitude toward team achievement that it just about overshadows your sense of individual achievement. Wait!, I said just about. Everyone wants to excel on a personal level ,and practice toward that end of personal improvement is constant. The difference is that the goal is a Team Victory regardless of who are the trigger pullers at the match in question. Several statements have been made about the combative atmosphere of the trials, the individualistic attitude and having to fight for a spot. In my mind this is all wrong and its not the fault of the trials. If I qualify for the tryouts I will go down and shoot the best I can. If I make it fine, my effort will have been satisfactory to be accepted. I will not be going down hoping that any number of the top contenders has a train wreck which puts them out of contention and allows a weaker shooter to luck into a spot and lessen the teams chances of ultimate success. Further on down the line it would be indicative of a team individual to forego shooting and loan their ammo and or rifle to a better shooter if that would help the team effort.Everyone would like to shoot but in this type organization you have to be happy to contribute in whatever way you can even if that is scorekeeping or pulling targets. Sounds a bit extream but there it is. Team first, individual second. Anyone who doesn't subscribe to this attitude is a severe liability to the team no matter how good a shooter. Don't know how you will receive this viewpoint  and I am not pontificating. Its just my slant on what you asked for clarification on.
Joe Silvia california

Hello Bill Poole:

                     Again, my appologies for getting back to you late. There are more experienced guys that I was  hoping that would offer their views first. I'll give it a go however. It's kinda long-winded :-)

                     I've never been on a winning Rumboldt or NTT Team and can't speak with absolute authority on the subject. However, a winning team is a winning team and I've been on a couple. My bag was  Rattle Battle. Most will sneer at this game, but those who have played it at the top level know that it is the consumate team event that exists in Highpower. If you consistently want to stay near the top, it takes all 8 cylinders running at peak efficiency. You get one shot at it and that's it! No abilies, no second chances. It's got to be right the first time and you'd better be ready (read that as drilled) for any eventuality. Winning this game doesn't just happen by chance. It is a total TEAM effort taking practice, practice and more practice.

                     I think that a complete team shooter on the types of teams you're discussing is one that feeds his  fellow members enthusiasm first and foremost. They will have a "whatever it takes" attitude and the  best candidates are those that do not seek personal glory. Their sole mission is to see the effort succeed and will provide encouragement to their fellow shooters to get them to achieve their best  possible performance. The winners instinctively know what is expected of them in the team sense  and can take direction well from superiors. They do whatever, whenever it's requested of  them...and they'll love doing it.

                     Obviously, you can't have a winning team if you are dealing with those having no talent. However, each member should be willing to help their fellow team mates if they are having troubles in specific areas. They need to lift each other up to the next level. If they don't, they'll never go anywhere as a  team.

                     I was always a stickler for getting folks mentally focused on the ultimate objective. Everyone knew the goal and the steps we'd be taking to get there. No favoritism was expressed towards  anyone...ever! But, they were ABOVE ALL treated fairly in every respect. They new what was  expected of them right up front and we needed to know right away if they were prepared to make  the commitment. If not, we'd part company right then and there.

                     When we shot bullseye team matches I always tried to shoot first. It wasn't that I was one of the  better shooters. It was just that my zeroes were pretty good and I figured it would buy the team points by me shooting first seeing that there wre no sighters. Subsequent shooters would then get centered up by the coach. I was willing to sacrifice my score for the betterment of the team. You see, it's all about attitude and one's mindset. Some shooters have it, some don't. However, an effective leader can bring out those traits in most individuals. If they are non-existent in those select few, it is best to discard those bad apples pronto.

                     In South Africa, I don't even want to guess how many pilot shots that I took. Mid just happened to be right next to me on the line. When he asked for a test shot (record of course) to go downrange, I always said that I was loaded and ready. I think that I was refused once, possibly twice. Even if my shot were an 8, the corrections would go on 3 other rifles and it'd be rounds out as soon as my   target cleared the pits! Up would come three tens or X's. Somebody had to do it and why not let it  be me? I'd rather be the lowest scorer on a winning team than the high scorer on a losing team...any  damned day.

                     Again, it's a mindset of being part of a team. It's an "US" and a "WE" type of mindset. If you understand the basics of team building and are willing to make the personal sacrifice yourself,   I think that you can manage a successful team program in Arizona, Bill. I hope that you can garner something beneficial from these ramblings. Maybe some of the guys having success on some of the  big teams will offer other views for you.

                     Regards,                     Grant Ubl Wisconsin

This section moved down from the front.

I suggest pursuing some related goals: Increase Junior Participation, Increase Adult participation in local matches, get a better adult turn-out to Perry. Create a team(s) that can win Rattle battle and 6-man and 4-man (Rumbold) at Camp Perry in 2001.

some of these notes are to myself.

Promote Junior Program

I propose a meeting (or series of meetings) in someoneís home. A bunch of teenagers who have expressed an interest in shooting (and their parents). We would have a junior demo-ing the positions, all the equipment on display, some club rifles that they can handle an know that they will shoot that rifle. Have a video of the matches to run. have some photos and books.

We could add some interest by serving something like ice cream.

Determine who is truly interested and arrange a day at the range with several adults shooters. Actually we should have a day or two at Rio this late summer or early fall ONLY for new junior shooters, have enuf adults so there is nearly 1:1 coaching.

I need to take my many videos & create a composite video that is maybe 20 mins, showing standing, sitting,  prone, both slow and rapid, and target operation.

Larry should do the same thing in his part of town, Leanna in hers, maybe someone in the west can arrange a similar thing. How about Tucson and Flagstaff?

I held such a session....

additional ideas:
Assign an adult ďmentorĒ for each Junior who will ensure that the kid has a ride to the range, knows about the match, is coached on the line, has suitable ammo, etc.

We should inventory what the programs have and how much the programs can spend per junior and tell them up front what equipment and supplies they can expect to receive and what they will need to procure. This might give us insight into what the program should buy for them. its reasonable to expect a supervised junior to load ammo and clean his rifle. There might be economies of scale and common zeroes for the coaches if we have the juniors load huge lots of ammo for all of them to share.

Promote adult Program

I believe there are a lot of guys with ARís or Garands who wander around gun shows, goto the public ranges, shoot rocks in the desert, visit gun shops and know nothing about competition, but who could become great competitors.

Flyer:
I have been creating a flyer that briefly describes the match and lists all the club schedules, but it has not been widely distrubuted. This should be distributed at gun shows, every decent gun shop in town, all the ranges, etc.

Gun Shows:
We should set up a gun show display. I had spoken to the lady at Crossroads of the West a year or so ago, we can probably get a complementary outside booth. We should have it manned 100% of the time with an experienced adult and junior shooter. We should display typical equipment, be available to display the positions, talk about the course of fire, target operation etc. We should have photos, targets etc on disply, flyers of the match and the clubs. A full sized target in the background would be good. Apparently Rio often has a table, we could help man that if it doesnít clash with matches. Big Crossroads Shows: 9-10 Sept! 2-3 Dec!

Of those interested potential new shooters, we should get their names and numbers and call them back and invite them to the next Clinic.

M1 Clinic:
The M1 Clinic should have 2 purposes. 1) to qualify M1 collectors for CMP purchases, and 2) to introduce new competitors to the sport. To date, we have emphasized 1, there is talk now of shifting the emphasis to 2.

Iím not exactly sure how best to do that other than to really talk up competition during the clinic and hand out flyers, etc.

As we get new guys, we should assign an experienced shooter as a mentor for each of them, make sure they know about the matches, loan them equipment, coach them at matches, encourage them, etc.
 



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