With more and more “firearms instructors” popping up I’m starting to get concerned about the aspect of marksmanship. Do instructors provide a service or disservice regarding modern firearms training?

What Defines You

Based off the fact I end up spending a large majority correcting bad habits rather than educating I’m going to go with disservice. Don’t get me wrong, we have perfected our corrective strategies, but I would prefer not having to correct so many bad habits. It seems a novelty to training is provide training that is “cool” rather than straight up training. If the cool factor is not there then enrollment can be low and we wouldn’t want that now would we. If you truly are an educator then the performance of your students is the most important aspect, it’s really the basis for your existence.

What Is Your Goal

If you’re a prospective student you better know what you’re getting yourself involved in and more importantly how do you gauge your improvement. If you don’t have a means of monitoring your progress it’s kind of hard to blame the instructor. I’d love more students who were interested in meeting standards, whether you met them or not, just the fact you care about them is huge. To those who are more interested in looking cool rather than being cool, make no mistake it takes hard work and the difference is obvious. You’ve got to put the effort in, nothing is free no matter how creative the marketing.

That’s What We Call A Clue

As for the instructors out there, are you putting your students first or are you more interested in your own cool factor. When I have a student attend class with major deficiencies that should have been picked up sooner it’s frustrating. Add to the equation the names of those instructors and it’s down right disappointing. We have all (myself included) got to take our game to the next level. If you are having problems dealing with the basics ask yourself if you have any business teaching “advanced” stuff. Of course, I realize we cannot be held accountable for every student listening and following our instructions, but patterns of poor performance can also be what we call a clue.

The Short List

So, what are some of the major issues we see in classes. How about sights, knowing how to correctly use your sights and then be able to precisely place a shot on demand. It’s pretty funny I bring this up, but I can’t tell you how many times I see this issue. Trigger management is another one. If I hear someone else say to place the pad of the finger on the trigger I’m going to loose my little of my mind I still possess. You’ve got to work with each student individually to perfect their technique, there is no default except to go deeper than you think. Stance is another one, if you can’t teach a bio mechanically superior position you better learn one quick and yes it’s okay to tell your student they need to get STRONGER because that really is the unspoken area of improvement within the industry.

Your Excuse Is Invalid

Speaking of getting stronger I look at the industry and question if manufactures are helping or hurting. When I see gadgets or gizmos that are suppose to help, what I see is a manufacturer that promotes weakness. Weakness in the sense it makes folks more reliant on gear than on technique or skill. Just like fad diet pills, there is no substitute for the hard work you have to put in to be good at something. In the end, that is the difference. There are some who want to put in the hard work and I absolutely love working with them. It is my dream come true. Then, there are those who want it, but want it overnight. I get that, but this is a skill you will have to invest in to see results, real results. I consider it a pleasure to interact with this type of student because you don’t know what you don’t know. If I can help them understand first and foremost, what they see in their head is achievable then all we have to do is put in the work together. Those who lack the discipline or motivation I still try to reach. I want to inspire them to be better, no matter by how much, just be better.

Again, are we as an industry doing a service by holding our students to a higher standard or are we doing a disservice when we let them skate through training. Yes, that was my RANT MODE on full auto, but every now and then I have to release the demons.

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." Vince Lombardi, Greenbay Packers Head Coach

4 thoughts on “Instructional Disservice

  1. Rcraigjohn says:

    Good blog, Jeff. Lousy to be sick on Vet’s day… After taking a couple of your excellent classes, I revised a lot about how I instruct as well as how I shoot. I do a lot of instructing women who have never held and are often terrified of guns, but who want to learn for a lot of different reasons. My primary goal now is to instruct them in the basics, get them comfortable with the firearm, and move them to the point where they are ready to attend one of your combat pistol classes — with the solid basics you have taught on sights, stance, trigger manipulation, etc. so you DON’T have to break bad habits once they show up….. So far, so good. Gotta get you up here to run a full class…. Still working on finding a suitable range. Also, as a range officer on one of the local ranges, I can’t believe the junk I see that has been taught — often by people who should know better. I spend half my time just trying to keep people from hurting themselves (thumb behind the slide with semi, etc..) One good sign. Folks at work (law firm) have asked that I please have a firearm AT work. Blew me away. So, working on finding a secure place in the office — probably go with some sort of easy access safe. SQUIRREL>>>>>>>

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