View Full Version : Shot cadence as evaluation/improvement tool
Can you advise how shot cadence is used to evaluate/improve shooting, particularly pistol shooting. Thanks for contributing so much to the knowledge base of this forum.
Shot cadence is all about the shooter shooting the gun to a rhythm and a timing and in combination with a shot timer, the shooter can use cadence drills to measure performance and ability to produce fast accurate fire on high percentage targets.
In order to produce fast and accurate fire, the shooter needs to understand and be able to apply the marksmanship fundamentals required for accuracy together with the fundamentals that assist in the management of recoil.
The intent of cadence drills is for the shooter to attempt to decrease the split times between each shot and keep them consistent in terms of time and accuracy.
What I have noticed is that there is a direct correlation between cadence and accuracy. If cadence is off, typically accuracy will suffer.
The shooter should attempt to make the gun as predictable as possible when shooting. The gun should do the same thing every time the trigger is pressed. When there is a change in grip, sight alignment, trigger control, eye focus or even stance, accuracy is typically affected. The more consistent you can be as a shooter the more accurate you will be.
Remember that the shot starts and finishes with take up of the trigger slack. You must attempt to minimize all 'Up' recoil as quickly as possible and acquire sight package while concurrently resetting trigger and taking up slack. The shooter should choose a cadence that allows him to achieve this with enough time. The shot group will tell the story.
Once you have mastered that particular cadence (small shot group achieved!), it is time to reduce the split time.
Until you have the ability to judge time accurately, the shooter should call the time out loud in order to stay in cadence. If not, you will race the time and the cadence and potentially compromise accuracy.
I will bracket a shooter to establish a left and right of arc of capability. I want the shooter to fail, to shoot too fast, so he can realize that he can't do it. This is important because in a close range gun flight you are not going to shoot slow! You need to get good at shooting fast and accurate.
The end state of cadence drills is to be able to shoot accurately as fast as possible without inducing trigger stall and drive the required number of round deep into the incapacitation zones of the human body. The intent of shooting someone is to switch them off as quickly as possible. This can only be achieved by striking some part of the CNS and rapidly decrease motor function. Shooting fast cadence drills can give the shooter a decisive advantage during a lethal force encounter.
Thank you for the very informative response. I often find myself experiencing trigger freeze when trying to shot drills like the bill drill when I'm going for maximum speed on a relatively high probability target. I hope something like this can help me with that. Is there a particular combination of target size and distance this should be conducted at?
Thank you again.
Edited to add:
I re-read your post and noticed the part where you said there is a correlation between cadence and accuracy. I can say that almost without exception when I experience trigger freeze I throw the next shot. I never thought about the cadence aspect of it. Thank you very much!
Your problem lays in the words of your last post! You are trying to go for 'max-speed'! Going at 100% of capability will only end badly. Consider running your daily activities at 100% of your capability, you will no doubt fail somewhere. You will either crash the car, get fatigued from running flat out, break a dish etc. Shooting fast is all about balancing the mental output with physical capability. You need to set realistic mental goals that match your physical abilities.
I 'think' that I can beat Ussain Bolt in a 100m sprint. But in reality, I am going to get smoked off the blocks. I think that I can run sub ten 100's but really I can only run 13's.
Thinking that you are going to produce the world's fasted splits will induce trigger stall because your mind is sending signals via neural pathways to press the trigger faster than you can physically. During the shooting process, your mind is saying fire and your muscles are trying to reset the trigger and the neural pathway becomes polluted and you experience trigger stall.
This is the importance of calling the time out loud during the training phase. Keeping in time and keeping the mind actively in check using conscious thought so that the subconscious mind doesn't take over and race ahead.
Everytime you get all amped up ready to break records you will fail. It's all about being relaxed and focused, visualizing what needs to be done.
Our mantra here is this: 90% Speed, 100% accuracy.
If you back the speed off by 10%, increase efficiency as high as possible and maintain 100% accuracy of the skill, you will find that you will be able to shoot much faster splits, be more accurate and achieve faster overall times.
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