My goal for this contest? One-hundred QSOs and an average hourly rate of 25-QSOs. How did I measure against my goal and standards? Turn the dial and hit the RIT.
- Achieved 43% of overall QSO goal.
- Averaged 10.75 QSOs per hour.
- Averaged 4.75 multipliers per hour.
I'm satisfied but like any other sport there is plenty of room for improvement but first let's look at successes then cover needed improvements.
- Operated 4-hours in the RadioSport chair.
- Experienced moving between VFO-A and VFO-B.
- Followed band and time chart with reasonable success.
- Called CQ more times than not.
- Submitted contest log to National Contest Journal.
Needed Improvement at KA3DRR.
- Improve cw listening/copying skills. I'm not satisfied with my skill level at this time.
- Function keys and my memory proved problematic. I did not label function keys prior to the contest and this slowed my response time. Secondly, function keys were not organized e.g. group accordingly such as RPT NAME, RPT QTH, and RPT Number. Also, pressed the wrong function key when asked for repeat information.
- Modifed function key memories during the contest. I needed a little more delay in the exchange.
- Did not move up and down the band using VFO A = VFO B as I wanted.
I'm using the following models to measure self-standards in order to improve my performance. First, Bernard Weiner's attribution theory and his common athletic attributions; 1). Ability, 2). Effort, 3). Task Difficulty and 4). Luck. Additionally, Solomon and Becker (2004) Four-Step process that helps athletes work through performance errors as cited in (Solomon, 2007).
The process is much like a feedback loop. For example, I have benchmarks to build from going into the next NA CW Sprint using Weiner's attributions as well as Solomon and Becker's Four-Step Performance Process while replacing emotional subjectivity with objective observation.
Solomon and Becker's Four-Step Performance Process.
- Acknowledge the error and the frustration it caused.
- Review and determine how and why the error occurred.
- Strategize a plan to make the necessary corrections for the future.
- Execute and prepare for the next contest.
Solomon stated, "All athletes make mistakes; it is a natural part of learning to be competent at any activity. Since mistakes are normal, it is beneficial to help athletes accept that errors will occur in sport." (2007, paragraph 1)
I did experience pre-contest butterflies moments before the official start. Interestingly, 20-meters sounded a lot like a symphony warming up prior to its actual performance. I added a little more code to the cacophony and received a 559 in Tennessee. Then the official clock turned zero-zero-zero-zero point oh-one!
My first contact went into the log approximately 19-minutes later. I wasn't surprised based on previous experience. It's either search and pounce or call CQ. However the first -Q is the ice breaker for me. It gets me into sync with the rhythm of the contest. It is not unlike any other sport where an athlete achieves a sense of flow.
The third hour on 40-meters really generated adrenaline. It was my best hour with 15-Qs in the log. The best moment -- working K3UA in Western Pennsylvania on forty. The contact brought back memories of a younger KA3DRR sitting in the fold-out, operating chair running a crystal controlled Heathkit DX-60. Eighty meters belonged to California.
Overall, I had a blast operating this intense and highly satisfying contest. The NA Sprint really tested my operating skills to the maximum. Likewise, I'm happy with my station's performance especially the center fed inverted-L doublet. Next one on KA3DRR's RadioSport schedule is the California QSO Party.
73 from the shack.
Peak Performance, (n.d.). The importance of attributions - or how to learn from success and failure alike. Retrieved on September 12, 2007 from http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/attribution.html