Drilling For Drills
Drilling for Drills
All too often I see shooters at the range repeating the same set of drills over and over and over. Usually there is a cell phone or camera involved, I’m sure some footage from the range session makes it to social media eventually. With enough practice and reps, it becomes easy to burn down just about any drill and look like a Rockstar on the internet.
The problem with that is that most drills only test a few specific skillsets at a time. Constantly shooting the same drills will lead to the shooter becoming a very one-dimensional shooter. Drills should be used to evaluate skillsets, not to hone them. I thoroughly enjoy shooting the Half-And-Half drill, it is simple to setup and always a crowd pleaser when I’m with a group of new shooters. However, the drill loses a lot of its value after a run or two. I don’t allow my students to shoot it more than twice in a day, and I try to break those two runs up with instruction in between.
If you want to improve your performance in these drills, you need to analyze and breakdown the drill into each skillset that it tests, and work on those skillsets individually. Vary the drills up regularly. I like to pick three drills if I’m shooting a personal range session. One drill will focus on recoil control and speed, one drill will focus on movement, and one drill will focus on weapon manipulation. Shoot the drills on the front end of the range session, evaluate what you need to work on, and focus the remainder of the range session on developing those specific skill sets.
Mixing your drills up keeps you fresh and focused on the gun. Shooting the same drill over and over leads to you shooting on “autopilot” and at that point you are just wasting ammunition. The same applies for your students. Keep the drills varied, and teach the skillsets that will allow your students to burn the drills down.
Jeremy is an active duty LEO in the Southwest US with over ten years experience. He is currently working as a full time firearms instructor for a major metropolitan agency.
His instructor certifications include firearms (patrol carbine/pistol/shotgun/SPR), defensive tactics, less-lethal, and MACTAC. He holds a Master classification in USPSA Single Stack, and has also competed in IDPA, Steel Challenge, 3-gun/Multigun/3GN, and various other outlaw events. Jeremy is currently concentrating on precision rifle matches and has earned several Top-LE awards at national-level events.