Recently I had a student finally earn his class certificate after several attempts. Probably not a big deal to some, but in this case it marked the culmination of hard work and dedication.
You cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs so if you are serious about training you are going to have fail before you can succeed. We have all been there at some point and while some can be discourage others will percivere. I have to say I was quite proud the moment the student figured it out and was able to consistently perform.
So, how did it happen? Well, it started out by working on his equipment. He was shooting a double action pistol at first and it was incredibly difficult to overcome the challenges inherent with a double action trigger for a new shooter. Part of the problem was the training scars that were be created as a result. Each round was only reinforcing the bad things that we were trying to correct. It is kind of hard to see where you want to go when you can barely keep your head above water.
Once he was able to invest in a striker-fired pistol we started to see some progress, but the training scars were deep. The benefit was in the consistency of the same type of action with each round fired. Not having to deal with the double action was a big step. There was also some mental issues he was dealing with or expectations. While we might all expect ourselves to do well, that is not often the case. We often perform below our expectations, which boils down to managing expectations. That requires some serious assessments of current skill coupled with realistic performance goals. That’s the real secret, you have to know where you are and where you want to go. As the ego takes hit after hit you have to keep your eye on the prize. Fortunately, he had a group of friends that kept encouraging him despite how pissed off he might have been. Now, we are able to keep our head above water and see the shoreline.
I literally had to shock his system, rewire his brain to think about things from a different perspective. We used various physical drills that forced him to stop thinking and start doing. Getting him out of his own head was critical to his success and then it all fell into place literally like a light switch. And now, he can kick, stoke and glide to shore.
Why the data dump? While it might haven taken him several classes to accomplish what he did the road he took is the key and what I wanted to share.
You can easily get discouraged when things are not going your way. Another way of looking at it is taking short cuts, sure they may be a short term solution, but eventually you will pay the man. You have to put in the hard work; the blood, sweat and yes tears. Nothing is free in this world. But when you do the reward is that much sweeter.