Is there a minimum level of marksmanship to determine whether training is necessary? Can that level of marksmanship be subdivided into an appropriate level of training?
On command performance
I believe the answers to both of these questions is yes. Like any other measurement tool, it is designed to identify whether a skill has been obtained. The real question is what does this marksmanship skill look like and what do you call training? I will periodically ask this question in classes, what level of marksmanship do you as a student want to achieve. In particular, I’m curious as to whether their concept of marksmanship is commensurate with the class they choose to attend. Additionally, did they choose a class relative to their current skill level, above or below. The most difficult area to pinpoint is what do we call marksmanship. For our purposes it is the ability of the shooter to place a round exactly where they want repeatedly on command.
Why did you fail
We all have a somewhat embellished idea of our current skill level. It’s normal, it does make selecting the best class for our skills more difficult. On top of this is the difficulty in swallowing a “basic” class so as not to bruise the ego. If we fail to meet a marksmanship standard the degree of failure would ideally help answer what level of training would be necessary to address the failure. However, rarely does the student understand why they failed, making it even more difficult to determine what course of action to take. The best advise I could share is to reflect on your fundamentals, was the failure a result of a single task or worse multiple failures of multiple tasks. It’s hard to expect a student to have this depth of knowledge so working on isolation drills to help eliminate the task you perform to standard there by identifying what needs work.
Back to standards
There are several means to measure marksmanship skills, I am a big fan of being able to routinely check my skills. I use the TACOST Training Program regularly because all the drills produce observable, measurable and repeatable results. As long as your drills accomplish the same outcome then you’re probably on the right track. Whatever the drill you use I recommend it tests for a single task. Multiple task assessments are very difficult to set up with out biasses. The more streamlined the task the cleaner the results, however on the flip side the more limited in scope. One of the key components in evaluation is “repeatable”, that means you must repeat either the good or bad behavior for it to be valid. A rookie mistake is assuming a single occurrence defines your skills. When you make the same mistake over and over, growth can finally occur since your repeating the behavior even if it is less desirable.
So, what drill do you use to measure marksmanship skills and to what degree. What has the data suggested or how have you interpreted the data. Lastly, has it affected your training model in a positive or negative manner. Curious minds want to know???
"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure." Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America