How Good Are You Now? How Good Do You Want To Be?

And, most importantly, how do you know?

I love this article over at Lucky Gunner on competing with your everyday carry gear.

I’m sure you’ve seen it at your local indoor range: the person in the stall next to you blasting away at a full-sized silhouette. Rounds are all over the target in no discernible group, and at some fairly modest distances. What makes this even more frustrating is I see the same people, week after week, duplicating the exact same session. These individuals, like many, go to the range with no clear training goals and no metric of improvement. Competition will change that by giving you some very definitive goals to work toward.

I tried it a few days ago, and I found out how bad I am and how far I need to go. I’m ok with that, because I’m ok with failing when it doesn’t matter so I don’t fail when it does.

What disturbs me, though, is how many trainers don’t include measurable standards as part of their training process. How do they know if their students are qualified for their more advanced classes if they can’t judge their progress? Is having the check clear for a Tactical Shooting 101 class all the requirements for entrance into the Tactical Shooting 202 class? If so, what is the purpose of that first: To improve the student’s skills, or to provide more opportunities for the student to spend time (and money) with the trainer?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kevin,

    If a trainer cannot see, with his own two eyes, the improvement of the student during class, he’s in the wrong profession.

    Measurable standards are for the student — either for the student’s knowledge base (“What do I need to work on most?”) or for his ego (“Look what I can do!”)

    They aren’t particularly informative for the experienced trainer who watches the student perform (or fail to perform) the skills in real time during every drill.

  2. Measurable standards are for the student — either for the student’s knowledge base (“What do I need to work on most?”

    But isn’t that also the instructor’s role, to guide the training of the student? If running a standards drill helps the student learn his/her weaknesses, how much more would it help a neutral observer like the instructor?

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