The camera doesn’t lie.
If you have been to a shooting competition in the last year or two, you’ve seen shooters running around with cameras mounted everywhere. On their hats, ear pro, chests and sometimes even the gun itself. During the stage walk-through, some people will even plant a stationary camera or two to capture their run through the stage. They even have taken to flying drones over stages that cover large areas. They aren’t filming the next episode of “Top Shot” or a reality TV series. A lot of shooters use cameras to capture their runs for training and for posting to their blogs or YouTube later.
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When you think about it, when you are shooting, it’s really tough to see what you are doing wrong. Especially in competition. You are focused on the targets and your plan. You are paying attention to your reloads and counting shots. Trying to pay attention to what you are doing in the moment is the last thing on your mind. So taking video allows you to go back and watch what real-time movements you are making. It allows you to see why you fumbled that reload, or that you were up too far on cover. This allows you to make adjustments for the next time you shoot. It’s really good as a training aid when not in competition.
Watch Your Dry Fire
During dry fire practice sessions is a perfect time to take video. When practicing a technique, take video so you can look it over later and make adjustments. This is a great way to make those minor adjustments without a training buddy. Take the video during your practice session.
Doing it Live
When you go to the range, they usually allow you to film while you are on the lane. Set up your camera somehow so that it can see you and start to run through your live fire drills. Not only does this make fun video to share with friends later, but you are able to see how you are handling recoil or where your accuracy problems lie.
During your next competition, mount the camera to you. That way you can see how you move, where you are going and how you are handling reloads. As an added bonus, you can give a point of view angle on the stage to your shooting friends before they shoot the stage to see where problems may arise.
What to Do with It
When you are finished with dry fire or live fire or even the competition, clean up your gear and shut off the camera. Take a break for a few hours or a day and then come back to review the video. That way you can look at it with a fresh eye. Take notes as you watch. See where the areas you can improve are. Watch what you are doing right and repeat it. Dissect your performance with a critical eye, then make the improvements. Shoot more video and start over.
I have taken video for most of my competitions and during practice sessions. I share the video online with friends and use it to see where I can improve. I have used various style cameras and taken various angles of film footage. In the end, I found it to be a very practical and useful method to train and make changes.