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Thread: world benchrest TEAM competition

  1. #1
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    world benchrest TEAM competition

    In the title of this post i capitalized the word TEAM for a reason! In the past few days i have had several conversations with members of the teams that recently returned from St Louis. Their experiences there was disturbing to say the least!

    I may be wrong but i think when the World Benchrest Championships was first introduced, it was first and foremost, a Team competition. The USA seems to have lost sight of this. The dissension and constant bickering that has went on at the past several WBC's is not only a black eye for the rest of the world to see, (and trust me when i tell you, the other countries have seen it and have commented on it) it is also a cancer that is causing the USA teams to have very poor performances. Some of the shooters that i have recently spoken with are so disgusted that they are considering never attempting to qualify or attending future WBC events. Our qualification process is in my opinion, perfect. It assures us that we send the best teams we can each and every year, and to have some of the best shooters in this country, now contemplating never going back, is truly sad.

    I truly understand the desire of wanting to do well in the individual two gun at any match, much less a world championship. I also understand that when that is your sole reason for being there, more times then not your team will suffer. I feel we would be better served as individuals and as teams if we were to focus first and foremost on the team concept and not so much on the "ME" factor. I also understand the sport of benchrest well enough to know that mistakes happen and sometimes we all shoot poorly. If it were an individual 2-gun, the only person hurt is the shooter himself, in a team competition you have 3 other shooters who have spent time, money and resources to be there with you! If you happen to simply be shooting poorly, dont look at it as, im letting down my team. Look at it as, i have 3 very capable and competent teammates who are picking up the slack for me today, just like i will attempt to do for them tomorrow! As a team you are more than capable of overcoming adversity! What cannot be overcome are crossfires, DQ's and mechanical failures that cause a shooter to not get the required number of shots on target. You eliminate those factors by operating as a TEAM!

    You may be thinking right now, it cant be all bad, the USA just won the team gold. Thats true, but in the last two World Championships we have also had two teams each that for one reason or another failed to medal. In my opinion the reason for that was because they were not shooting as a team. If you dont think shooting as a team makes a difference, look who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the team competition. Australia takes team shooting to a new level and you could even see it during practice before the nationals. The USA was one mistake or one mechanical malfunction away from having Australia sweep the medals!

    I hope in the very near future we see a set of rules, regulations and guidelines on how you will conduct yourself if you are a member of the USA World Benchrest TEAM! And if you are fortunate enough to qualify, i promise you if you go into it with the mindset that my team comes first and my individual goals second, your experience while there, will be one you never forget. And if you happen to shoot well in the individual 2 gun then you have certainly helped your team along the way!

    As a side note: I want to thank Wayne Campbell for being the USA Representative and commend him on shooting so well while being constantly bombarded with so much petty adversity.

    AS
    Last edited by A Shifflett; 09-29-2015 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you Andy!
    Well spoken.

  3. #3
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    Andy,

    Thank you for this post as I agree with you and TEAM must be the only goal of a TEAM member for the WBC. I am sure I will never be on a team as I am not serious enough to do it, but I have been to the WBC four times and the USA teams with problems were due to no TEAMWORK. Watch the Australians work as team and you will see how a TEAM should work. And that is how USA lost the gold to Australia was due to no TEAM work. I was at St Louis and the winning USA TEAM worked as a TEAM the whole week.

    Jim

  4. #4
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    Thanks Andy.

    You had the courage to say what a lot of guys who have participated in this program in the past are probably thinking.

    And thanks to Wayne for managing the team; as well as his fine performance this time. What Wayne did was not quit, plain and simple. For those of you who don't know or remember, Wayne had to be taken to the hospital in Phoenix during the first qualifier last year. And he just worked harder to make the team from that point. Good on you, buddy.

    And it is a fitting tribute to the "not quiting" concept for Wayne to have come back from the incident that he suffered through in Australia two years ago. Redemption for oneself is the highest tribute.

    And to those guys who are all great benchrest shooters and have suffered through something like this (and most of the great ones have had this happen at one time or another) please use Wayne's inspiration to come back and make the US World Team better in the future.

  5. #5
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    Well said Andy , the Australians certainly did show us all how a "team "should work , hopefully we can learn from it and better our standings in future worlds .
    H.W
    Team 1 Canada
    Congrats again to team 2 USA , well done

  6. #6
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    Andy I to will

    Agree with what you have said.

    I am looking at it from outside the USA. So first of all it is probably not fair for me to reply but for myself I see pros and cons.

    The Pro, many of the members of team USA are mentors and idols in my eyes. I am 49 and consider myself still a newbie to this game after approx eight years of shooting. What that means is I look up to those men and listen to what they say or may do to make me a better shooter.

    In regards to events that have happened this year or in the past I can see how the team aspect of the sport can go by the way side. When you have that many TOP shooters on 3 teams who have been there and done that how do you coach them into being part of the team first? They all have there way of playing the game. A way that got them into the Hall of Fame or even a World Championship. Some of them there first time on team USA. I know for some of the new members, many of them have learned from the King of the sport Tony Boyer. I think most if not all of us would like to bath in a glimmer of what he has done.

    So how does one coach for example team USA 1????

    I am just asking this question to maybe help other countries as well in this quest for team unity.

    How do we prevent an ill fated cross fire on a stage like this? How does say the team captain or coach walk up and ask the members of the team ready on the firing line if they are on the correct target?

    Is it getting to the point in this age of the Worlds that the teams need to understand or be made to understand the concept of being a team? Being there to support when one is struggling?

    It is all to easy to get angry and blow up when things go unpredictably wrong.

    I feel it is more than busting ones butt the qualifying year to make the team. It is making a commitment I feel the year before the qualifying year, the qualifying year, and the year of the world's. Putting the work into giving yourself the best opportunity to possibly make the team and the best possible effort to make your team and your country proud.

    I have issues with some of our program for the World team back home which I may not like. Maybe in time that may change.

    I think if we want to be a part of a team to represent our countries the attitude needs to be checked at the door. Maybe that is why we shoot. We are not meant to be part of a team. We are individuals who are always looking for an edge....

    I can go on and on but this is just a small take of the way I see it.

    Calvin

  7. #7
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    Calvin

    I think your final paragraph may be a great starting point! Check the attitudes at the door. If every shooter had the mindset of team first, ME second I fully believe the problem will take care of itself.

    I have the utmost respect for "most" of the shooters who have in the past, represented the USA. Would I attempt to tell Gene Bucky's, Tony Boyer, Wayne Campbell, or Larry Costa how to shoot their group or tune their rifles? Of course not! They are all HOF'ers, World Champions and Super Shoot winners! Does that make them incapable of a cross fire or an equipment failure? No! Tony Boyer once told me he crossfired while leading the 3 gun at the nationals. Would these four guys think it was beneath them to have a teammate walk up to them and ask, are you on the right target prior to a commence fire? I would be willing to bet they wouldn't. Would they appreciate the fact that a teammate was standing behind them with a rifle and loaded ammo in case they suddenly found themselves with a rifle that was suddenly out of commission? I can assure you they would be the first ones to say thank you!

    Making the team a priority first in my opinion will help all the shooters, shoot better.

    AS

  8. #8
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    Andy, I don't know any of the dysfunction you reference,,,, did hear about the crossfire,,,, but must commend you for having the nads to very effectively articulate what you see as an opportunity.

    Mark

  9. #9
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    as an outsider looking in,
    any chance of having them compete as teams BEFORE they go rep the USA ??

  10. #10
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    World Team USA Australia

    I would like to say that as far as I am concerned in Australia as far as I could tell it was a great bunch of shooters that jelled very well; even Tony smiled at least 3 times. All the shooters except me (8208) shot VV powder and they were all communicating on the loads and what was going on. The only thing that I felt we could have done was check our team mates to make sure they were set up on the correct target. When were at our rotations sometimes you did not have any shooters for several benches from you, so not help their. When our team member shot on the wrong target several of our shooters and even one form New Zealand were watching through the spotting scopes but the mirage was very thick and they were looking for the bullet holes and by the time they saw that he had shot on the wrong target with at least 3 shots and we yelled at him he was done. But as his team member and the other members we still tried to make the best of it.

    As far as a shooter not having power in his cases, I am not sure how you fix that other than when reloading other shooters at random yell out Check your powder. In this case the time was almost up when this happen and no time to get another gun and ammo.

    Yes I feel different personalities can make a difference on how well the team works and maybe when the qualifying is done and you have your top 12 members that made the USA Team, maybe you donít put the team together by how they finish but separate them in to Teams that might be more even in strengths.

    Tom Libby
    Member of World Team 12 Australia
    AND PROUD OF IT

  11. #11
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    One of the problems with Benchrest is this fact......It IS a very singular endevour, and in reality, does not lend its self to a "team concept" in the traditional manner.

    If a particular team member makes a major mistake, such as a crossfire, or a DQ for a rule infraction, the entire team suffers, of course. But aside from other team members double checking each other at the line, I really don't have a clue as to what the members can do aside from simply saying, "do your best".

    Of course, there are things team members can do that is not shooting related. Just being polite, cordial, and acting like a gentleman can go a long way in helping everyone to get in the right frame of mind and be mentally prepared for the task at hand.

    Not being contrary to the team manager when something that the entire 12 members must abide by can sure be a big plus. I have never been on a World a Team, but like most, I have heard horror stories concerning particular shooters who simply make life miserable for the team manager.

    As for the equipment side......Let's say it is obvious that one particular team member's combination just isn't working. He is shooting .320 aggs while everybody else is shooting in the .200 range or better. Do they give him some of their bullets in the hopes he improves? Perhaps some powder. Maybe his cases are not right. Or heck, offer the loan of a Rifle that you know is dead on, even at the risk that he just might beat you with it.

    Even take it as far as, ( if there was enough space between relays), to let him shoot your Rifle.

    Do the Aussies do this sort of thing? Do any of the other Countries? I really don't know. But if Benchrest really was a serious team sport, each member of a team would do every thing possible to insure that each member's equipment and combination was up to the task.

    If you were on a team, and your combo just wasn't working, would you be insulted if a fellow team member offered up a Rifle and combo that would do the trick? Would you feel less of a competitor if yes, you did shoot a lot better with another Rifle.


    It's been my experience that in most Benchrest Shooters minds, their primary goal is to beat everybody else, including your own "team" members. Winning a Yardage, Grand Agg, or the Two Gun is the primary reason for being there. The whole "team" concept is, in reality, artificial. Just like in Golf. There are "team" competitions in Golf, but let's face it, if one member insist on visiting the bunkers on too many holes, there ain't a whole lot his team mates can do.
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 10-01-2015 at 07:05 PM.

  12. #12
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    I don't know, have been thinking

    about this alot. My thoughts are when you get to this point you are a pretty darn good shooter anyway.
    What more is to be gained? At this match you are shooting for the USA!! I take pride in that!! At this point it goes way beyond "self" Sure, you want to do well as an individual, but more importantly I would want the team to do well. No, I haven't "been there done that" but I would hope to be able to put my differences aside and truly be a team member.
    Yes, I know it is an individual sport and most have invested alot of time,effort,money and who knows what else. But really, are you willing to sacrifice the team for "me" I hope not.

    Richard Brensing

  13. #13
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    In the last 2 world competitions can anybody name anybody that won an individual award? The answer is no unless you were closely involved. But everybody remembers what country won gold, silver... World comp is a team effort. Like the olympics- if they let these billionaire athletes compete with their attitudes it just wouldnt be the same as the true olympics (yes i do remember the dream team). My point is everybody remembers what team won not the individual so if youre on the team you need to make sure your team wins even if it hurts your fragile ego a tad.

  14. #14
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    There is always personalities, and someone that has difficulty understanding the team concept, but those don't cause the unfortunate errors. Everyone is trying to do their best, and no one can whisper in you ear when the commence fire is given.

    Unless you've competed in the World Championships, you really don't know how you will react to the situation. Every one of those competitors will tell you that there is more pressure than a regular match. That pressure drives individuals to focus on shooting small, constantly tuning their loads and waiting a bit too long to find the best condition to start their group. Even the best shooters in the country when taken out of their comfort zone will loose some of their focus. Crossfires and mishaps in attention to detail (when loading or shooting) is part of the game and the situational pressures heighten these mishaps.

    I would like Congratulate the USA Team B for winning the Gold!
    Last edited by Lee Hachigian; 10-02-2015 at 07:58 AM.

  15. #15
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    Andy, for clarity and further understanding in this thread are you directing it to the General benchrest crowd or to one particular individual?

    And, no, we don't need to know who if it is an individual that has caused concern.


    .

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