Your Evolution of Training Part 2

Posted: June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Yesterday we covered the difference in Shooting vs. Training. If you missed it you can go back and read it to catch up. Today I want to add to what we covered and lay out the groundwork on how to move toward making the switch from just shooting to a more effective way of training.

The range to most people is a getaway, a stress reliever that is anywhere but stuck in traffic, work, or home. Most people are so excited to get to the range that they never think ahead about what they intend to do when they get there. As I said yesterday, I used to be that guy. I would show up at the range with no idea what I wanted to do other than pull the trigger on my gun. Most people need structure. I have found that showing up with a plan is the best way to maximize your time. If you have a plan there is no standing around asking our buddies what drill they want to shoot and waiting for someone to make a decision.

Before you leave the house make a list. It can be a mental list or even a written out plan of what you want to accomplish. For instance, you have a new rifle and you have no idea if it is zeroed in or if it will work with your ammo. You should make a metal note to make sure you zero in the rifle. Another example is you have 200 rounds and your pistol. Instead of just tossing 200 rounds down range have a list of drills you want to try.

When I head out the range I have a group of drills that I make sure I run through each time. Some are more difficult than other. I have found that only running drills you are good at doesn’t make you any better, you need to step outside of your comfort zone. If you have trouble transitioning between targets, focus on drills that have multiple targets involved.

The whole goal of practice is to push yourself and make yourself better, whether you are shooting free throws or pistols, you want to do better than the last time. A shot timer is going to be one of the most valuable items in your range bag for telling you if you are improving or wasting time. There are mobile apps for smart phones that do a decent job, and that are free but they are nowhere near as good as the real thing. If you plan on using the app make sure you follow the directions on how to calibrate it. If you don’t, it will pick up the echoes and count one shot as 3 or 4. I have had experience with two different timers, Competition Electronics Pocket Pro 2 and Competitive Edge Dynamic 7000, both worked great and are just over $100. Either will serve you perfectly.

Combining the drills you have laid out in your plan and the shot timer you are well on your way to putting action into numbers. Now, we need to start tracking numbers to see our progress and there are a few different ways to do this. You can have an actual book that you take to the range every time or log the times onto paper and apply them to a spreadsheet when you get home. I actually do both. I keep a little notebook with the drills printed out on it so I don’t forget distances and the course of fires. I also keep a record of the times inside the note-book too. The depth of records you keep is totally up to you. I like to keep an eye on my first shot time (draw time), split times between shots, total time of drill, and of course shots outside of the desired target area. (most of my drills require shots in A-zone) The shots outside and the total time of drill are most important. If you shoot a drill 5 seconds faster than your previous best but miss half your shots, you cannot call that run better–HITS COUNT. Once I get home I take my times and apply them to a spreadsheet so I can see a good side by side comparison, especially if I graph them out.

Now you have the plan and drills, the timer, and the records to track your progress. All you need to do now is hit the range and move from just shooting to training. Tomorrow I will finish up the series with a little more on how to utilize your drills and I put up some of the drills I like to do. Until then head over to Facebook or Shooters Legion and let me know what your favorite drill is. Be sure to share this series with your friends and shooting buddies so they too know how to make each range visit a worthwhile experience.

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  1. […] Your Evolution of Training Part 2 […]

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