If any of y'all are ever in the Montgomery, Alabama area, I encourage y'all to come shoot a match at Central Alabama Gun Cub. These guys are so nice, and so inviting and helpful to new shooters. We had three guys this morning that had never shot IDPA before, including me. We all had a blast and want to come back and shoot another one next month.
I am glad that before shooting my first IDPA match, I had shot a GSSF match, which, I am told, is like NRA Bullseye. Even though there's no drawing, running around, cover, etc., like in IDPA, a lot of the "match management" logistics are very much the same, like safety, and squadding and pasting and scoring. It was a good introduction to those things.
All the dry fire and live fire practice I've done up to this point definitely helped, too. While shooting, I was putting a lot of conscious thought into the courses of fire and rules and cover, but I didn't have to worry about "how to run the gun" or draw or do reloads. Muscle memory and my unconscious mind took care of it, because I'd practiced these things. I just tried to see my sights and call every shot, like Steve Anderson says.
I had some successes. One of the stages had a very fast left-to-right motorized target and "no-shoot", moving together, triggered by crossing a doorway. I was pretty jazzed when I saw that I shot an "alpha" and a down-1 on that fast moving target, and didn't hit the no-shoot, like some of the guys did!
On the other hand, I had trouble on some of the stages; I had never shot from retention before, and I definitely need more weak-hand practice. As the day wore on, and it was so blazing hot here (heat index > 100F), my shooting suffered. But like Ben Berry of Triangle Tactical says to do, I shook it off and pressed on; I didn't mentally beat myself up about what I'd done wrong.
In fact, I was so "into it" that I didn't even realize I'd finished all 6 stages. After my run, I was thinking about what the next stage might be like, but then I heard the the SO say, "OK that's the last shooter, tear down the stage!" Wait, what? It's over? It can't be!
In closing, I just want to say thanks to Luke and Ben at Triangle Tactical for encouraging their listeners to get out to an IDPA or USPSA match. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to "get to work", as Mr. Anderson says at the end of every show, on getting better at shooting IDPA.