My off season project…

If you don’t shoot in the south you wouldn’t realize that many people here think of the summer as our off season, as we can shoot fall, spring, and much of winter, but the summer can be oppressively hot. So we tend to take it easy in the summer. For me it is doubly so, all the major matches I shoot run March through May, after that is practice, fun matches, and some local matches to round things out. This year for the off season I am going to work on a little project that will help me shoot better, and will help prove or disprove that hand strength is important to shooting.

After my chemo I let myself go, I haven’t worked out since I got cancer and my overall strength has diminished. I am going to change that, but in addition to the usual cardio, upper/lower body workouts I am going to work on my grip strength. To that end I picked up a three pack of the Captains of Crush Grips Strengtheners, that includes a Trainer, #1, and #2; I also picked up a bag of the Expand Your Hands bands, and will be picking up other tools as needed . Right now I can close the trainer with my strong hand 10% of the time, and need a ton of work on my weak hand. It is going to take some time for me to work things up, but my goal is to be able to close #2 pretty easily.

In an effort to track how the grip strength effects my shooting I am going to go a few simple drills. I will be doing the accuracy tests every six months, and will be testing the speed tests monthly (with exception of April and May due to Bianchi).

  • 25 Yards bullseye from prone
  • 10 yards weak hand only bullseye
  • Pistol-Training FAST Drill
  • Pistol-Training Dot Torture
  • El Presidentie

These drills should track the variety of skills that I need to work on, and will be working on during my off season. In addition to that I have a year of Steel Challenge scores, along with a year of NRA Action pistol scores. All of this should get me an accurate picture of how my shooting improves as my fitness and grip strength improves. I will mention that I won’t be doing the intial testing for at least another week or two as my calendar clears up, but I’ve already started using the CoC grip trainers.

Now granted this won’t be a scientific comparison as at the same time I will be practicing my weak shooting areas, and will be doing Mike Seeklander’s Competition Shooting program. But it will be some evidence on whether or not grip training helps or hurts your shooting.