Training isn’t always a Good Thing – good training is a Good Thing, and good record keeping makes it better. Today Jared Ross is gonna help you maximize the time, energy, effort and money you put into training.
This article originally ran on May 16, 2014.
Helpful Training Tip – Keep a Record
A helpful training tool, and one that won’t cost you a lot of money, is to keep a record of your training. If you don’t keep a record of how many sit-ups or push-ups you do, you have no baseline to compare to, and see if any progress has been made. The same is true with firearms training. There are some commercially-available notebooks or journals specifically designed for firearms training, but a simple notebook from Walmart will do just as well.
This notebook can be used in a few different ways. The first is to keep it as a training log. Every time you attend a class, record the date, the name of the class, the length of the class. Also, record the instructors’ names and affiliation. Have the instructor sign and date the page. Whenever you do any training on your own, whether it’s going to the range, or simple dry-fire practice in your home, record the drills, date, length of time, and number of rounds. If a record is kept consistently, and if you ever have to use lethal force, it can be used to demonstrate that you have trained responsibly.
Another way to use your notebook is to record the results of the actual drills as you do them. This is not to be confused with a dope log. Record your speeds of specific drills, such as when you run El Presidente or the Chase Drill, using an RTG1 or RTG2 target. Record hits and misses for different drills. You can then use this data to track any trends that you would otherwise miss by not keeping a record. A lot of our students have found this useful. They will record the drills and their results in their notebook during the class. Then they will use the notebook as a reference and guide to training on their own.
Another useful way to keep a record is through pictures and video. We are using this more and more as a tool in our classes. For some people, they don’t realize they are making mistakes until they see themselves on video. It’s not about looking cool, it’s about pushing yourself till you fail, then observing yourself fail, so you will know how correct your mistakes.
One of the things we like to do in some of our classes is the Half & Half Drill. After the students warm up, we will shoot this drill to establish a baseline. Then, each student can take a snapshot of their target as a record. Near the end of the day, they shoot the same drill again, and are able to see any improvement they have made in comparison with their earlier run.
So, it doesn’t matter if you use old tech or new tech; keep a record of your training. You will then know for sure where your weaknesses are, and where you are improving.
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Disclaimer: We are not endorsing Nancy’s Squat & Gobble, nor do the opinions therein reflect those of the entire Breach-Bang-Clear staff. That said, while Nancy’s is indeed a shady place, only a few people have actually gotten food poisoning there, and most of the girls have all their teeth. The one-legged bartender really does make a mean Old Fashioned, and if you ask nicely she’ll even do it with burnt rosemary smoke.