Posts Tagged ‘focus’

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In the majority of my articles I discuss the importance of training, reasons why you need to train regularly, and how to find quality trainers. While taking a course from a local certified instructor is very important, as is practicing what you learn on the range, this week I’m going to give you a couple of tried and true methods for improving your firearms skills on your own through the Stare, Study & Steal methodology.

While this method focuses on your visual side of learning, it will help all types of learners since your brain will capture and store the images and what you see you can practice for the tactile learners and usually when watching there is an explanation which will help my auditory learners as well.

The first step is to select a highly skilled source to stare at. I like to watch professional shooters on TV, Youtube and even some of their instructional DVDs because these guys and gals are at the top of their game and have solid foundations that make them successful shooters. Some of my favorites you can watch and glean knowledge from are Max Michel, Jerry Miculek, Pat Rogers, Travis Haley, Jessie Abbate Keith Garcia and Chris Costa.

When I say stare that is exactly what I mean… Watch them closely with a critical eye so you can pick out small details and movements that make them successful in their craft. Hit the pause button and look at how they grip the gun. Observe the direction their feet are pointed, how they bend their knees and how they walk. Watch in slow motion how they manage the recoil of the gun, and look into their eyes as they fixate on the front site. Watch how they lean and how much of a bend is in their elbows. Stare and take mental photos of what you are seeing.

Study each individual movement and if you have to, make notes in a notebook so when it is time for you to practice later when you do not have a video player. Deep, focused and intense staring and studying is a great way for you to lay the basic mental foundations of good habits.

Like boxers and football players watching films of how other perform and how you perform gives you a valuable insight into strengths and weaknesses. Teams watch hours of footage of how other teams play looking for gaps in their defensive line, looking for weaker players they can exploit and stronger players to cover or avoid.

Boxers and UFC fighters study themselves looking for ways to deliver more effective strikes, how to spot weaknesses in their own defenses.
Once you have watched, analyzed and made notes it is time to steal! Take the stance, grip, lean, run, focus and whatever else you see that can make you a better shooter and make it your own. There is no shame in stealing a technique or style that works for you. Find the critical pieces that you are missing or are not performing and add them to your training. Compare what you are doing to what the professionals are doing and see if their methods or techniques can improve yours.

If you have the opportunity film yourself when you go to the range and then use the same critical eye. Look for how you grip and stand versus the professionals. Find the subtle differences between how you do things and make notes. Then do some dry practice and then some live practice on your next trip to the range and correct those errors you are making and build good strong neural pathways.

There are a plethora of techniques and instructors so make sure you also apply a critical eye to the methods and techniques you choose to practice. Some techniques will work better for you than others due to your hand size, height, weight, etc.

This is one reason I also study female shooters because they typically have small frames and hands yet outshoot most men. Their methods of movement, how they set up their equipment and how they fight with a gun can give you a fresh perspective or technique guys wouldn’t normally consider. To be a great shooter you have to be willing stow your pride. You have to be willing to consider new ideas and be able to change your mind.

During the course of my career in being a shooter, and training shooters I’ve had to discard and pick up a lot of what was taught as “doctrine.” Having an open mind and being willing to stare, study and steal will give you marked improvement in a short amount of time.

Till next time, be safe and train hard!
Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool Firearms Training – Your mind is the weapon, everything else is a tool.
http://www.oneweaponanytool.com You can also find us on Facebook.

August 24th is Riflecraft: AR-15 Sign up today, space is limited.

October 18th Bob Mayne from Suarez International is coming to Northern California. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to meet and train with Bob. To register visit: http://www.handgunworld.com

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hard work ahead

 

 

As a teacher / trainer I cannot emphasize enough the differences between these two common words. When you go to the range, hang your target and fire a hundred rounds through the paper into the berm, it is easy to get into the mindset that you are “training.” I would disagree with that assessment of your time by calling it “practice,” and here is why.

When I’m looking to learn something new, or improve on a skill, I seek out an instructor who can teach me that skill, hone a skill I have, or push me to my failure point so I know where to work from. Training requires a knowledgeable, subject matter expert who can break down a complex task into a series of steps a student can comprehend and work on. During training, the instructor monitors progress, corrects the errors students make, fine tune your performance, offer criticisms, encouragements and then push you to excel beyond your comfort zone. Training is an evolution where the learner comes out better and more knowledgeable and capable of performing a skillset. Good training is a struggle for the student and should challenge you. You cannot learn inside your comfort zone and there is no amount time you can spend on your own that will truly push you towards excellence.

When your training is over, you take the new knowledge or skillset and “practice” it on your own. Practice reinforces the training. Practice will take those newly formed neural connections and start insulating them until the little invisible thread becomes a super highway, a solid pathway you built up in your subconscious through repetitive, meaningful, challenging work.

While I have drawn a bit of a distinction between training and practice, they really are symbiotic. In order to practice you have to have good training as a foundation to work from. Without training and guidance, you can practice a lot and get really good at the wrong thing or make a superhighway sized neural connection of bad habits. The old saying, “Perfect practice makes perfect,” is very true.

When you do take time to practice, make your sessions short and meaningful. A mere 20 minutes of good slow, methodical practice the right way is far better than 60 minutes of sloppy techniques and imprecise movements. During practice sessions focus on technique and speed will come. Remember, smooth is fast. Practice until the last piece of training you had is smooth and then start looking for the next opportunity to train so you’ll have more good techniques to continue to practice.

Take a moment now and analyze the last few practice sessions you’ve had and evaluate yourself honestly. Is it time for you to seek some training to make sure you are practicing the right things, the right way? If you haven’t been to a training course recently… maybe it is time to take one.

 

Until next time, stay safe, practice hard and seek training.

Scott S – One Weapon, Any Tool

www.oneweaponanytool.com You can also find us on Facebook!