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Breaking Through Common Barriers, What Holds us Back
By Travis Johnson | 10.27.2017
#Shooting
I know many people that shoot firearms and have grown up around them their entire life. Many believe they are well prepared to handle themselves appropriately in the event they encounter a lethal threat where they may be required use deadly force. It wasn’t that long ago, when I had the same belief. I had my carry permit, I had a few firearms, and I even went to the range now and then to “train”. The problem is, I had no idea what I was training for or what the purpose of my training each day was. I knew I wanted to improve as a shooter, and be competent in my ability to defend myself with a firearm should I ever need to, but I was naive to the fact that what I was doing, although it may have been better than nothing, wasn’t adequate training. I was likely reinforcing poor fundamentals and developing bad habits. Whether this sounds similar to your experiences or not, I hope we can agree on one thing; Adequate (and frequent) training, implemented consistently over time, is essential to becoming a proficient shooter. Many of us watch or read about guys like JJ Racaza, Ron Avery, Travis Haley, and Frank Proctor (or whoever it is you may idolize in the shooting community) and fail to stop and consider how these guys got to where they are now. All of these guys and many others like them have several things in common, they devoted a significant amount of time, money, and energy to get where they are now and they all have a growth focused mindset. Regardless of what your goals are and how proficient you are as a shooter; you will need to be prepared to make similar commitments in order to take your shooting to the next level. As with any major goals there are always going to be barriers standing between you and what you want to accomplish. What do you think some of the barriers you and many others likely encounter that prevent you from taking the actions needed to achieve your goals and improve as shooter? In the following paragraphs, I’d like to discuss a few of the primary barriers I believe are holding many of us back and present a few ideas on how to overcome them. The main barriers that come to mind are time, money, uncertainty of where to begin, and most importantly, Mindset.
What is Performance Psychology?
By Seth Haselhuhn | 10.3.2017
#Mindset
Performance or Sport Psychology is a field of study and application regarding optimal performance and well-being of athletes. It is also concerned with developmental and social aspects of participation in competitive environments. The interdisciplinary field draws from psychology, kinesiology, sociology, physiology, and philosophy to determine how psychological factors affect performance and conversely how performance can affect psychology. Like anything else, the practice of sport psychology has fundamentals. The four core fundamentals are (1) goal setting, (2) self-talk, (3) imagery, and (4) self-regulation. Mastering these fundamentals in the training and competitive environment are essential to optimal performance. Mastering the fundamentals leads to mental skills such as motivation, confidence, attentional control, stress management, energy management, and ultimately mental toughness and flow. Generally the best place to begin is goal setting. Just a basic understanding of goal setting can make a significant difference in your performance. Whether it’s learning to be more proficient with your weapon or just maintaining your daily attitude, understanding and setting effective goals will help you drive your focus, efforts, and motivation.
Training, Mindset, and Ability
By Ryan Johnson | 10.3.2017
#Mindset #Law Enforcement #Combatives
What value do you place on the qualities mentioned above. What order of importance do they fall in your daily, weekly or monthly instruction, or do they at all? These are hard and fast questions one should ask themselves when they take up arms in defense of others. I've trained with all types of individuals, some who's ability in the training environment far exceeded that of their ability in the live environment. Some whose mindset in the live environment far exceeded that of their mindset in the training environment. So the question one should ask them self is, "How balanced am I as a practitioner of gunfighting, tactics or defensive action?" Some of the glaring issues with a lot of today's Law Enforcement professionals, as well as the 2a community of weapons handlers is the balance, the balance between Training, Mindset and the actual Ability.
Target ID
By Drew Estell | 10.3.2017
#Shooting #Law Enforcement #Mindset
One thing that military and Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) share, as well as civilians who carry for personal defense, is the need for target discrimination. Considering the civilian perception of LEOs recently, it has never been more critical that an officer properly identifies his or her target. In the military, we train hard to ensure that non-threats are not engaged. Our operating environment is very different regarding threat assessment and rules of engagement. What constitutes a threat on deployment may not constitute a threat here in the states for our LEO brothers and sisters. Generally speaking, we are probably better trained in this regard, depending on the military specialty and due to the time we have to devote to it, but your actions are held to a much higher level of scrutiny by the public. Even when it is a good choice, which is 99% of the time. In the military we don’t have to worry about our actions being blasted all over the American media with every possible aspect analyzed by some arm chair expert sitting behind a desk with a microphone in their ear. I am no expert in how police forces train either. I have seen some of the training on the flat range by a few LEOs and it is only setting up the officer for failure. Hopefully some of the experience and insight I can provide will help explain how military Special Operations Forces (SOF) conduct training and allow us the time to assess a threat while still allowing us the ability to take the life of a bad guy before they can take ours. Before I moved into a more specialized assault role the majority of target ID was explained by saying, “if they are a threat, shoot them, if not, don’t.” Once I was fortunate enough to attend high level CQB training, it was explained much more in depth and broken down so that the mental process of identification could allow me to be successful. One of the things that our unit does well is incorporate a sports psychologist into our training section who shows us and our instructors how to do this effectively. A lot of our training cues incorporate three words that get us from threat to decision to action very well. The method that they came up with was the hands, aim, shoot (HAS) phrase. It’s very effective and literally as simple as it sounds. When you have a potential target one of the common mistakes is looking at “them” by means of the face or center mass. We do this because that’s how we normally train at the flat range. We step up to the line knowing that we are going to take a chest shot or a head shot ahead of time, and effectively cut out any decision making process that we could be using to train for the real world more effectively. There is a place for this in marksmanship training, but we have to remember that it is only training marksmanship and not target ID. In a job like ours, where this is a critical, no-fail component, it has to be incorporated into training once the marksmanship component has been established. When we conduct training on the flat range it should be to prepare us for the tasks we will be faced with when we leave it. A Team Sergeant of mine, who I look up to very much, told me one time, “the mission drives task org.” He was right, and it made me think. Mission does drive our task organization, but it also drives a lot more. It drives physical training, job training, range training, and anything else we do to prepare for our jobs and mission at hand. Our flat range training should incorporate some aspect that prepares us for what we will face when we are on mission or working our shift. To accomplish this, we use a lot of different types of cartoon/realistic targets on the range. When we start to remember which target is a threat and not one, we cover up the guns or paste something on them which make them a non-threat, which emphasizes our need to identify threats, not just recognize targets. In addition to using them in shoothouses, we use them in drills that incorporate target presentation. Pie-ing off windows, barriers, movement in width where they present around the corner of a barrier, or turning drills like the el-Prez.