Today as Greg and I were teaching a USPSA Basic Skills class we told the shooters something I want to remind all of you: The basic skills are the foundation of all the shooting we do. We all need to maintain these most elementary fundamentals and we do so only by practicing them diligently.
It may not seem sexy to practice the draw or reload dozens of times. You may think you're above repetitive movement exercises. Maybe transition drills bore you. Strong hand, weak hand, movers, the list of these basics goes on and on. But even the most complex stages are nothing more than a series of these simple skill tests strung together. A basic skill mastered is a tool. Whe you have enough tools in your tool box you can do anything. Start collecting these tools and when a stage requires a certain thing you'll have what you need.
Instead of spending your time practicing stages because they are more fun use your time to actually MASTER some of the basics. The very best in our sport aren't there because they know some secret tricks you don't. They are the best because they have mastered every imaginable basic skill. When it comes time to shoot a stage they use these very basic skill sets and weave them together like a composer does an symphony. They have practiced the simple things until they become AUTOMATIC. That is where the magic is.