Here’s an observation, at a certain point your cup fills up with new material and you reach an overload condition. It’s not that you are not paying attention or applying the material, it’s just that it didn’t stick with you.
A full plate
There are a lot of reasons for this, the most common is that you are tackling several changes to your technique or programming. Then the next time you have the same exposure you come across something that seems so simple and you are blown away why you didn’t pick that up on the first go around. All to common, so how do you deal with training overload.
Prioritizing your learning
Honestly, you really can’t. You can only take on so much material. So, the best strategy is to acknowledge you are not going to take away every bit of new material, but you are going to take away the most important to your development. That means you have to prioritize what are the most important things for you to take away, which means you have to know what you are looking to improve or sustain. Back to that skill’s assessment and training plan thing.
Focus on the front sight
We break things down into essential and enhancing to your skill development. If something is essential, you cannot progress to the next level until you have gained some level of proficiency as it is tied to the overall program. If it is enhancing, then it will only enhance your overall technique without diminishing the essential components. From there, you concentrate your learning and attention on any of the lessons, drills or briefs that have to deal with the material you have predefined as essential to your goals. If they support or are part of your overall goals then you make it a point to step it up a notch. Everything else that is going to enhance your overall skills are nice, but subordinate to those that are essential.
That is one of the huge benefits to repeating classes as opposed to trying to ascend some sort of training hierarchy. There is always that nugget of knowledge that seems so simple or as plain as the nose on your face, you missed the first time that jumps out at you. Don’t get me wrong, at some point you must continue to progress in the training hierarchy, but before you do, you should make sure that you have reached the minimum level of proficiency. Then the progression is much more valuable and what we consider to be true saturation training.
Simple is good
So back to the student’s observation, he was blown away by the simple concept of elevating the pistol up to his sight line early and extending it out through the centerline. His comment was he was able to get on his sights so much quicker and produce more reliable hits consistently. That is what it is all about, consistently hitting the target under as many different conditions as possible. This is a common experience for many new shooters, they are so overwhelmed with the newness to shooting it makes it hard to focus on what is important. It might seem difficult at the time, but the more more exposure opens up a smoother pathway for your development. The real hard part as someone new is trying to figure out what is enhancing. Spending time evaluating your skills so you know what works and what doesn’t is important, but the first step is defining your goal and that is for another blog.
Our training programs have as a center piece a focus on the essential skills, then we add enhancing skills to round out the student. Make sure you don’t focus so much of your training on the enhancing skills and overlook the essential ones.