Standards and tests are a part of everyday life. There are performance standards in school, driving, work, fitness and many other aspects of life. These tests measure skill, knowledge and ability. The benefits are numerous, and more importantly, they develop confidence when tested. Shooting should be no different.
I had the honor of teaching a class with the Tactical Professor, Claude Werner. He is a master of his craft. It is a privilege to watch him teach and simplify the lesson to its core fundamentals and essentials. We have titled it Personal Performance and it focuses on the NRA’s Defensive Pistol Qualification’s first levels named Pro-Marksman, Marksman and Marksman 1st class. This class is for ladies only.
Each shooter earns a rocker with each successful course of fire. We did some basic coaching on the fundamentals at the beginning of class, which was some of the first professional instruction that some of the shooters have received. Then immediately to the course of fire, and having to execute the fundamentals on each course. Check the targets, and shoot it again. Fatigue, stress, and pressure all play a role in each shooter’s ability to perform the task. Having a goal to reach really helps each shooter focus on the task at hand. In a matter of 3 hours, I watched these ladies learn the fundamentals, cheer for each other, and celebrate the small victories of improved performance. Never underestimate the power of having a written standard and a system that recognizes performance.
I am often mystified by shooters that argue against performance standards. How do you know if your training works if you have nothing to measure? The most important benefit is the confidence built by ever increasing difficulty in the standards. If you carry a gun, understanding what you are truly capable of doing under pressure, leads to making better decisions and understanding your true capabilities.
It was a great pleasure to watch these ladies improve and build their confidence. I always enjoy working with Claude and I am looking forward to the next Personal Performance on October 7th, 2018. Several ladies have continued to practice and have earned another rocker. This is the nature of teaching, to clarify the basics, and to help others learn how to improve through proper practice.