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When you get there, you get everything loaded, set up your choice of targets, and throw on your eye and ear protection. Now, what are you going to practice? Are you going to spend time sending rounds downrange for recreation, or are you serious about improving your performance? It makes us feel good about ourselves. This means when we do make time to practice, we need to work on polishing our skills and improving our weaknesses.
This is what training is all about. Training [trey-ning]: to develop or form habits, thoughts or behavior by discipline and instruction. This article is part confessional, part callout to every police officer who thinks they are prepared and part challenge to firearms instructors to do better. There are skills I need to commit to working on to be better than I was yesterday. Training discipline means each round we fire has intent and purpose. Each draw from the holster is done with the expectation that our life and the lives of our loved ones depend on it.
Training can be fun, but the primary purpose of training is not recreation or entertainment. The primary goal is performance improvement. The intent should be to enhance skills and perform to higher standards. A second set of eyes can help identify weaknesses and target those skills we need to work on to improve.
A quality firearms instructor can help diagnose and correct our mistakes so we can work on improving our skills outside of class. Instructors can help bring ly unknown weaknesses to light so we can work to turn them into strengths.
Instructors need to seek other professional instructors to help them improve as shooters and trainers. Another instructor can improve our shooting skill by observing what we do and how we do it. The feedback they provide will make us better, providing we can set aside our ego and accept their critique.
Quality training will help us out as shooters and provide us with additional ideas and tools to help build our own students. How frequently do you practice shooting with your strong hand only? How about with your support hand only? Therefore, I have made the commitment to practice at least some support-hand-only drills every time I train.
How often do you practice drawing and reloading using your support hand only? It was easier before we started wearing external vest carriers. It was also a lot easier before I hit the year mark of my career. Regardless of the reason, we better start practicing those skills on a regular basis, lest we let down the ones we love. Shooting from a variety of awkward positions is another skill set most of us need to improve. Instead of standing in front of a target in our best range ninja stance, how about drawing, shooting, reloading and clearing malfunctions from truly awkward positions?
These positions inhibit our ability to breathe easily, destabilize our shooting platform and challenge our ability to make accurate shots. Do you practice regularly under time duress? Time is a precious commodity and is in short supply when lives are in danger. For years, there have been law enforcement firearms instructors who fail to use a stopwatch or shot timer in training. There absolutely is a stopwatch and a shot timer in a gunfight, and they are being run by the threat! If your draw or presentation time is slow, it will tell you. Another skill set most of us could improve is shooting with a flashlight in our hands.
This is a good thing. However, when working in low light, officers almost always have a handheld flashlight in hand. Depending on context, being able to draw and fight with a flashlight in hand could be an important skill. Shooting and operating a handgun alongside a handheld flashlight is fundamentally like shooting with one hand. If you sincerely want to improve your skills, you need to get serious about training. But I do know that we owe it to our loved ones to be as prepared as possible. If we let our egos get in the way during training, we will fail those we love most.
Maintain your strengths, but own your weaknesses. Todd Fletcher is a retired sergeant from central Oregon with over 25 years of law enforcement experience. He presents firearms training, instructor certification and instructor development classes nationwide. He owns Combative Firearms Training, LLC, providing firearms training, handgun and patrol rifle instructor certification, and instructor development classes to law enforcement, military and private security.
He can be contacted at Todd CombativeFirearms. As seen in the June issue of American Police Beat magazine. Click below:. The power of teamwork. Stay awake and alert on the job. The worst rank in law enforcement. Firearms maintenance. Why fries need salt. Stand proud for our profession — be a leader. Keep your old friends. Tennessee police officer rescues unconscious man from burning vehicle United we stand, divided we are. Little Rock Police Department tallies nearly 50 vacant positions for Boston Police Department desperate for dispatchers.
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Barriers to obtaining supportive care and ways to overcome them. Developing multiple identities. Tough day at work? Indianapolis police host community events after violent summer. Ocala police unveil ice cream truck as latest community policing Hobbyist collects almost 6, first responder patches. National Night Out Double take. Man violates parole with Facebook post showing off guns, cash, and Drone drops off package full of drugs and contraband at school Las Vegas police encounter 30 boa constrictors in home during Missouri police officer receives kidney from slain Independence Missouri rookie police officer fatally shot after responding to call.
Widow of police officer who died by suicide following Capitol riot Defending the honor of the LE profession — finally! The dichotomy of the defund movement: reality setting in. Self-reform: making adjustments for career survival. Crowd control force options: a cacophony of mixed messages. Justice department reviews — the storm is on the horizon. Todd Fletcher.
View articles by Todd Fletcher. : info apbweb. Facebook Twitter Instagram. The power of teamwork July 23, Stay awake and alert on the job July 20, The worst rank in law enforcement July 19, Firearms maintenance July 04, Open Subscribe Close. Receive the latest news and updates from American Police Beat directly to your inbox!
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