Originally Posted by Yorkshiretea
1. Average shooter, just going up the curve
There's your mistake right there - you still believe that FT performance fits a curve - it doesn't.
You're not the first person to make that mistake and you probably won't be the last one either. We have a tendency to look at a graph of performance and assume incorrectly that the graph fits a gaussian curve, and in some cases it looks like it does retrospectively. But then something unexpected happens and throws all of that out of the window.
It's the same mistake that inexperienced traders make when looking at stock performance, it's also the same mistake some 'professional' gamblers make when trying to predict the outcome of a horserace.
There are a couple of good books on the subject that I recommend you read :-
The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb - I've got a copy somewhere I can lend you, it's a bit hard going at times and there are some maths chapters in it that are hard to read but it's an excellent book to explain your mistake.
Here's a summary of the book - "The book focuses on the extreme impact of certain kinds of rare and unpredictable events (outliers) and humans' tendency to find simplistic explanations for these events retrospectively"
Another good book to read is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, in fact I'd recommend any of the Gladwell books, they're all very good.
In short... I think you're using the wrong metric to gauge performance, and even worse than that, you're trying to fit that metric to a linear gaussian model to predict future performance.
Here's what we use (and you might be surprised to know there are some very clever mathematicians and engineers taking part in this sport, don't assume you're among idiots here)
For a single event, the metric of performance is your score (number of targets hit, not percentage) - it's the fairest metric
For a League the metric of performance is your combined percentages - not perfect, but it's a simple and fair method.
Overall performance over multiple events and leagues.. there isn't a good metric for this, people will make sudden jumps in performance and there are so many variables it's a chaotic mess. The Grading system is a long way from being perfect, but it's simple, people understand it and most importantly we have the option of electing a higher grade so we can fix the system when it breaks.
My measure of success (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is whether I've enjoyed the shoot and feel that I've shot well, ultimately I don't care how many targets I've hit or missed.
I've had good scores but shot badly and I've had bad scores but shot very well - so on a personal level I just don't correlate how many killzones I've hit with how well I'm shooting.
Here's some simple proof for you though. NEFTA has the best attended Winter League in the World - we must be doing something right. NEFTA has turned out National, European and World champions who have progressed from C grade despite only having 30 targets in the winter league.
Changing a winning formula on a whim and some dodgy maths is a terrible idea.