Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Evaluating Your Performance

ImageAsk a knowledgeable shooter to analyze a group on their target and you’ll likely hear about what they did wrong. “These shots that are low and left,” they reply – for a right-handed shooter – “are from anticipating the recoil, tensing up or flinching before the shot.” The shots that are scattered around the target they’ll explain indicate they were looking at the target instead of the front sight. And they will be correct, these are all the things that went wrong. But when you look at your target it’s far better to focus on the good shots and what you did to get the accurate hits. Reinforcing good habits, concentrating on proper technique, is always more productive than focusing on the negative aspects of your performance.

Self-criticism is one of the biggest issues I see with students. They may have made fourteen great shots, but will immediately hone in on the two bad ones on the target. When a mistake is made on an empty reload they dwell on what they wrong instead of simply acknowledging their mistake and then concentrating on how the correct technique for future reloads. Thinking about smoothly pressing the trigger, releasing an accurate shot, will always result in “more better” hits than focusing on not jerking or slapping the trigger.

From a learning standpoint you have to realize that not every shot will be good. Some will downright suck. When you’re training/practicing you’ll make mistakes. When I don’t have any bad shots that probably means I wasn’t pushing myself to the edge, and if you don’t discover the edge then you’re never be able to figure out how to get past it. The key is I’m not thinking about how I jerked the trigger on my last shot. That is history and there is nothing I can do about what has happened in the past except to learn from it. I’m concentrating about the sweet trigger press I’m going to achieve on the next five rounds I fire to make up for the one bad one. As long as the good hits outnumber the bad ones I’m on the right track. There will always be some bad hits, but when the total group size decreases then there is improvement.

Fighting is about making proper choices, and this is definitely true for what you choose to think about. If you’re thinking about not jerking the trigger then you can’t be thinking about smoothly pressing the trigger. Thinking about what may go wrong prevents you from thinking about what needs to be done. In a fight you don’t have time to think about anything except what to do in order to solve the problem facing you.

One of my professors in college explained that the reason we study history isn’t so we don’t repeat the same mistakes. We examine history in order to evaluate the present, assessing and making decisions on what needs to be done in the future. This is especially true when it comes to our fighting skills.

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August 2, 2012 - Posted by | General Training

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