Back in January, ISOtunes Sport introduced a new blog post series- Andrew Hyder: Off the Range. Once every few months, we catch up with Andrew to hear how the competition is going, learn about his training secrets, and get a sneak peek into his everyday life. Read on to learn how Andrew has made the most of 2023 thus far.
It’s been a quarter of a year since we last spoke. How has training been going?
- It’s been very cold in Ohio, which means I’m shooting a little bit indoors. I try to shoot at least 100 rounds three days a week before the stores open. It’s less about volume and more about consistency.
How are you preparing?
- Every athlete will peak each season. You should always continue to push yourself, but I want to peak at the right time: at Nationals. I’m shooting two matches in late April, then the Buckeye Blast in early May, so I’m preparing a lot now. If I burn myself out now, I won’t want to touch a gun come summer. I focused on taking a few months off at the end of last year, and I didn’t touch a gun until earlier this year. This increased my motivation, and I was eager to get back into the swing of things in January. I’ll strategically increase my round count each week as competitions approach.
What sort of drills do you practice?
- I don’t have a specific drill; I try to find and focus on my weaknesses. This entails a variety of drills, and I document it with footage. I bought an INSTA-360 Camera that goes on my hat to film my drills and watch again later. I introduce the drill by explaining what I’m focusing on and how the drill will benefit me.
What’s been the most significant challenge in your training so far in 2023?
- Starting in January, I’ve been practicing dot Occlusion by covering the front lens of my red dot-aiming device with a 3D-printed cover. The cover is cut out in the back but covers the lens. This prevents me from seeing the dot as it would be presented on the target. I can still see the dot, and the target, just not together, forcing me to focus on the target. Initially I was skeptical that this tactic would help, but I quickly learned it greatly enhanced my performance.
How do you mentally prepare when you go into these elite competitions?
- The mental game is crucial; I use a lot of positive affirmations. I hang index cards on my bathroom mirror with positive affirmations. Every morning I’ll read them out loud to myself three times. It allows me to start that day, every day, on a positive note. When I’m at the office, I keep the same affirmations on index cards at my desk. I have alarms set for three times during work hours to read those affirmations to myself.
Last time we spoke, we asked you this question: “What are your goals for the 2023 season?” Are there any updates?
- Yes! My son just turned a year old, so he’s now growing into the little man I can’t wait to see. Regarding training, keeping and maintaining a consistent schedule has been my major priority in 2023. I used to think two hours a day behind a gun was necessary, but I’ve learned that even 15 minutes of training at a more consistent pace yields higher results.