The One Benefit of Competition Shooting No One Mentions

I think, as a gun community, we’ve gotten past the idea that competition shooters make you a worse defensive shooter. The idea that competition will get you killed in the streets seems to be a dying idea. Competition shooting makes you a faster, more accurate shooter who can act better under stress. There have been much better, much more experienced competition shooters who have shared the benefits of competition shooting. However, one benefit I’ve seen mentioned is how competition drives you to train.

The Unknown Benefit of Competition Shooting

I used to think I trained, but honestly, I had gotten lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I took classes, but if it wasn’t live fire practice, I really wasn’t training that often. I certainly wasn’t practicing every day. Prior to shooting in a competitive environment, I trained to be a defensive shooter. The thing is, I haven’t been in a fight for my life since 2010. I’m not in a gunfight every other month.

However, I can compete once every two weeks or at least once a month. This drives me to train more. It seems silly, and I know how it sounds. Training to defend your life seems incredibly important. Why would competition drive you to train harder versus defending yourself and your family? Because I’m actually doing one of those things once a month at a minimum.

I agree that one should have a higher priority, but it’s a lot easier to play COD MW2 for an extra half hour rather than dry-fire practice when it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be in a gunfight again. On the flip side, I will be out shooting some form of action shooting event next week. So I put the controller down and worked on my draw.

Do my defensive skills increase when I train for competition? Yeah. A draw from AIWB is different than an OWB, for sure, but drawing a gun is still drawing a gun. My AIWB concealment draw has gotten faster alongside my OWB draw. I’m even going to shoot my next match from concealment if the rules allow it.

Focus and Motivation

I am far from good at competition shooting, and for me, it’s a casual hobby I love to indulge in. However, it’s given me a drive, motivation, and reason to keep training and to train harder. Not only that, but it tests me every time I step up to shoot my course of fire. Is my training working? What do I need to tweak? What can I improve on?

That’s the untold benefit of competition shooting.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.