Shooting is a fragile, learned skill that starts with knowledgeable training, and it needs to be maintained by frequent practice. In addition to visiting the range to reinforce fundamentals and refresh muscle memory, a shooter should learn from the experience of others, including professionals. What if you could learn from those who not only shoot frequently but also do so under competitive pressure? It’s time to meet Team GLOCK.
Team GLOCK is composed of shooters who use the best pistols in the world, GLOCKs, and are well experienced in keeping on target when under time pressure and while being watched by sometimes thousands of spectators. They have developed the mix of the right gear, correct grip and stance, but most importantly, a winning mindset to become the pistol champions that they are.
Tori Nonaka and team captain K.C. Eusebio have competed and won in both national and international pistol competitions. Recently, at the 2012 Pro-Am competition, a nine-stage match held at the Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof, FL, Tori earned Amateur High Lady, Amateur High Junior, second place in “A” Classification and eighth overall in Amateur Open, scoring highest among all female competitors.
Eusebio earned top honors in his first Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) match of the 2012 season. He used a customized GLOCK 17 during the Open Division of the 10th Annual World Class Steel “Speed on Steel” match to take high overall and first in open centerfire pistol. K.C. said, “the match meant a lot to me, knowing several of my most fierce competitors were aiming for first place.” Eusebio also admitted, “I had a rough start but held my composure to ensure my first steel challenge victory with my Open GLOCK.” The competition included seven stages over the weekend event.
At the recent 2012 International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Level III Summer Fun Championship held in Kingston, Ontario, Tori Nonaka earned Second Lady shooting her GLOCK G35 in the Standard division and eighth overall out of 51 competitors. However, before the 5th Annual Pro-Am, where Tori shot with the country’s best competitive pistol marksmen in the blazing-hot Florida sun, she took the time to reinforce the fundamentals of successful shooting. She verified her equipment was competition-ready and repeatedly walked through the course of fire for each stage, simulating everything from the sight picture, reloading, and even where to place each step between shooting positions. As a champion, she knows that preparation is the key to winning.
During an interview at the range, Tori mentioned, “Before each match, I make sure my gear is ready, that my GLOCK is locked down and ready to go.” She went on to say, “The key is to be prepared as much as you can to reduce what can go wrong. I test my magazines and make sure my sights are lined up, so when I shoot steel I know where each round will hit every time!”
More From Tori
When it comes to shooting well, Tori said, “Keeping your basic skills up to date is important. Even if you don’t have matches coming up, always stay ahead so you don’t get behind. That means when you go to the range correctly practice your draw, trigger control and reloading until your muscle memory is solid.”
Tori also likes to use practice time to make sure that all of her gear, including her GLOCK pistols, are exercised. She stressed, “You want to make sure your gear is reliable to try to eliminate all the negative factors that could affect your shooting.”
Another big tip Tori offers is to make yourself a better shooter by simply dry-firing. Tori said, “Dry-firing is not the most exciting thing to do, but it is absolutely a great training tool to have in your bag because it takes away the distraction of the live fire of the pistol going off. It really allows you to focus on the sight picture—when you pull the trigger, you can tell if you jerked and lost your sight alignment or kept the gun steady.”
Tori practices about three days a week. “I go for quality training instead of sheer quantity, so I always train with a direction and plan. I don’t just show up and shoot without a specific goal for that practice that day.” Tori recommends that shooters keep specific and tangible goals so that “as long as you are getting accurate rounds downrange, you are seeing what you need to see and covering what you needed to cover, then you know that your practice session is a success.”
It’s important to remember that all shooters have off days as well. If Tori does not achieve the results she’s looking for, she gets back to the basics. “Personally, I go back to what I was always good at: simple accuracy. So I slow down and just shoot groups and focus on trigger control. Once I regroup, I go back to what I was doing or pack it up for the day because you always want to end on a positive note!”
Captain Calls the Shots
Team GLOCK Captain K.C. Eusebio has been shooting competitively for 16 years—since he was eight years old—and likes his GLOCK because of its reliability and simplicity, two very important factors in competitive shooting. K.C., who was introduced to shooting by his father, an avid shooter himself, said, “Shooting is in my blood. I love it!”
The main thing K.C. stresses is that shooters should “enjoy yourself and have fun, and if you no longer enjoy yourself, like any sport, it is time to quit.” When it comes to preparing for a match K.C. said, “I shoot live-fire on the range and keep my muscle memory synced with a lot of dry-fire practice. That includes sight picture, reloading, moving and even practicing taking aim around corners.”
For ammunition, K.C. really likes the .45 G.A.P. round. “It’s a cool round developed by Mr. Glock himself that I like to use as an effective self-defense round.”
Misses Help, Too
The pros learn more from their misses than their hits and shoot primarily because they enjoy it. However, that does not mean that they don’t work to get better all the time. I watched as Tori repeatedly walked the course of fire for each stage at the USPSA Pro-Am Shooting Championship. While most other competitors sought shade from the blistering sun, Tori looked for the spots where she would take her shots and then visualized her sight picture. She stepped off the space between shooting positions, noting just where each foot will go, to avoid any missteps or stumbles. She practiced her movement as well as determining where and when to reload until it was a seamless flow. Overall, both K.C. and Tori show that their dedication to fundamentals, preparation and practiced execution is the key to shooting and winning. That is something even non-shooters can learn from.