How I train when I’m by myself and how I train when shooting with my training buddies is often quite different because we’re all rotating into the shooter’s box for our turn at the drill, but it often brings along some additional insight into your shooting because the other shooters know what you’re good at and where you need improvement and can often change up the whole dynamic of practice. Recently we were practicing and I was creating my typical insidious drills and noticed that I was getting really sloppy on the three 8in steel plates, just running them as hard as I could, listening for the “ding” and not calling my shots. All the while my times are getting longer since I’m having to take follow up shots, so I’m basically training in the wrong skills, as we all were doing. So I took a step back as the three of us were shooting and said, “new rule!” If you missed any of the plates your turn was over and you went back to the end of the line. After only firing one or two shots and losing my turn I begrudgingly unloaded, showed clear and went to the back of the line. It only took a few times before I slowed down enough to get my hits and my times were actually lower. I also noticed myself calling my shots and not listening for the ring since I knew I’d already hit it.

Reflecting back, that little modification of the drill made all of the difference in the world and I improved my training instead of just wasting ammo. Now I have to find a way of doing this when I’m training alone. Maybe I’ll make myself wait two minutes before running the drill again if I rush the shot and miss. Now, if I can only find a way to deal with those pesky barricades.

Smart Steel
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