How do you know if you are practicing right, practicing for success? A good place to start is to attend a training class from a reputable instructor. Once you got that under your belt you will need to come up with a training plan.
So, what is a training plan? I’m surprised to hear so many people who don’t know what a training plan is much less have one. Why don’t we start by explaining what a training plan is not. It is not heading to the range and just winging it, it is not shooting a bunch of drills you watched on YouTube, it’s not specializing in one area, it’s not doing only what you like. A training plan is much like any other plan, it starts with an objective.
Before you can define the objective you have to know where you are through some sort of comprehensive assessment. I see so many times folks get wrapped up in trying to perfect one drill; that is so narrow in vision hopefully you can recognize all you are doing is training to pass a qualification. That is a major pet peeve of mine, where instead of having a comprehensive training curriculum all folks do is focus on one aspect to the overall collection of skill sets. In so doing, they become lopsided. Sort of like the picture I posted a few blogs back of the guy in the gym who only did upper body…you are unbalanced. More importantly you fall short of reaching your potential.
Everybody wants to be cool, but few really understand the hard work that goes into being a cool guy. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, effort and that well thought out plan.
After you have completed a comprehensive assessment you have to work at filling in the gaps. Contrary to what we see a lot you cannot specialize. You cannot afford to place all your effort into one skill. You will not know with absolute certainly when your gunfight will occur, much less what kind it will be. Up close, down a hallway or across a street. You have to be prepared or better yet balanced.
Once you have a balanced training plan, you will need to periodically circle back to determine if you are making progress, maintaining skill or failing to perform to your expectations. How will you know you are making progress, you will have to collect and compare data. That data is used to evaluate and at times adjust your plan. It should be easy to determine if you are maintaining your skills, if you are struggling sometimes the goal is too lofty. Time, resources and ego can curtail your goal, so make sure you set out to achieve a realistic one. The great thing about setting a goal, is if you do it right you stair step your way to stardom.
To summarize; practicing right means taking the time to do a good assessment. Then developing a well thought out plan that looks at the micro and macro view. Collect as much data as you can and track your progress or failures. Sometimes the path isn’t always straight, but a good plan is your map towards your destination.