Intensity, And Taking Your Shooting To The Next Level

3-Gun Essentials
By: Chris Andersen, 3-Gun Nation Pro Shooter

Chris Andersen
Chris Andersen
3-Gun Nation
3-Gun Nation

USA –-( Starting a new sport is basically just an exercise in following the instructions. 3-Gun is a perfect example of that.

Lots of things to learn: Tons of equipment and techniques, and elaborate courses of fire to develop stage plans for.

The logistics of that can be a full time job for a while. It can take people quite a lot of time to get to the point where they feel like they can comfortably compete in this game. But once you’ve finally gotten there, the next level can get even more complicated.

Having your feet under you in this sport will allow for a new level of focus. That focus allows you to stay on stage plans, minimizes mistakes, and makes for a much more enjoyable match experience. Once you are there, getting to the next level takes INTENSITY. Focus allows you to complete a task. But intensity is the tool you need to take that perfection to the next level by being faster and more aggressive. It is the engine that drives you when you excel.

So how do you get there? What is the key that drives you to push harder? If have an athletic background, you probably already know what helps you up your intensity. But it is different for everyone, and that motivation to push harder comes from different places for different people, so recognizing where to go for it is important when you are attempting to that next level.

There are a few examples of personality types in competition shooting, so one size definitely does not fit all. But here some suggestions I have for adding intensity depending on your competitive personality:

Stay Calm.
A lot of shooters find that they have a problem pushing if they are uncomfortable. That discomfort can come from a couple of places: Outside stress, lack of preparation, second guessing equipment or stage plans. You are going to have a hard time finding that next gear if you don’t have your ducks in a row before the match. Get organized, have your equipment ready, and be thorough in your stage planning and walk-through so you aren’t second guessing yourself at the start line.

Get Happy.
There are a lot of really nice people in this sport, very happy individuals. At times stress can push someone like that out of their comfort zone and cause mistakes during a match or limit their ability to compete at their best. If there is a source of stress that you feel is affecting your ability to perform, do your best to correct it before it is time to shoot so you can be care free and push harder to excel!

Get Angry.
This one applies to me. I am very type-A and I like doing things well. I love winning, but I hate losing even more. Those who find that next gear by getting angry usually draw on a past failure, or life situation to motivate them to be more aggressive, push harder and do excel in present day. You had a bad stage and need to get some time back. Take that anger, and use it to focus for your next run and show yourself what you can really do!

Intensity comes from a different place for everyone. But using the keys I mention here I am betting you can find the one that works for you.

Once you do: Hit the gas! Those stage times will be faster than ever!

Chris Andersen
Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen is a 3 Gun Nation Pro Shooter for Team Vertx and regular contributor to and Look for his articles and videos every month in the ARFCOM Newsletter to help improve your performance in 3 gun competition.