[CQ-Contest] CW Sprint Self-Simulation

Eric Hilding b38 at hilding.com
Thu Feb 12 12:27:02 EST 2009

(A re-tweak of my recent post to the NCCC)


If it were not for the kind assistance of N6RO, K6XX & W0YK a few years ago,
I probably would have never made it over the hump of 'intimidation' about
the Sprint format.  My personal opinion is that there are many, many
potential CW Sprint operators (who we REALLY need on-the-air) still
'intimidated' by the format like I was.


Here are some ideas to possibly help those still struggling.


Try 'Self-Simulation'  (seriously, but be careful how you say this) in
slowwwww motion.  Do  this over and over and over while sitting very quietly
with your eyes closed.


First fully memorize the two different Sprint exchange formats, and then
SLOWLY practice using these in your mind until they are firmly imprinted.
Use familiar callsigns.  Include a mental note after each exchange that
reminds you what to do next (either 'inherit' the frequency or QSY).


You could also put the exchanges on two 3x5 file cards (including the
reminder note in red pen), and with your eyes open, manually move them on
your kitchen table in front of your imaginary radio(s) depending upon
whether it is a CQ/Run QSO or an S&P QSO.


Most importantly, do this as SLOW as necessary to begin with and the
increase the speed as you begin to feel more confident (which you WILL with


Programming two F-Keys with the two different Sprint exchange formats will
make everything work like a dream once you fully assimilate the basics of
how the Sprint format works.


For those also still struggling with getting your CW speed up, MOUTH the
exchanges with VERBAL Dits & Dahs and FEEL what you are doing while you HEAR
yourself VERBALLY sending CW.


As you practice via Self-Simulation, start to VISUALIZE and FEEL yourself
becoming a competent Sprint operator in spite of any negative garbage
thoughts that may keep trying to get in the way.


I know, I know - this sounds bizarre, but it can work.  Remember, mastering
the simplistic elegance of the Sprint format will improve your skills in all
your Contesting!!!


The Sprint format provides more of a 'level playing field' for Little Pistol
Contest Station ops, because no 'Big Guns' can just sit on a Run frequency
for the duration of the contest.  If you operate on the fringes of the pack,
you might be amazed at how well you can do.




FWIW & 73.


Rick, K6VVA * The Locust

"The boredom of unanswered CQ's has become almost unbearable"





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