Having no plan for your training program is like going to the gym and winging it. Yes, you may lift weights, but there is no purpose behind it and you wonder why you are not seeing results.

Learning how to read a map

I was talking with my good friend Paul Gardner and he mentioned how important it was to go to the range with an actual plan, which does not include just blasting away ammunition. I couldn’t agree more with him and surprised how many folks don’t see the same thing. Surprisingly, it’s not too difficult to develop a training plan. Here is what you’re training plan needs in order to be effective. You have to realize nothing is going to happen overnight, it is going to take time and your training plan is your roadmap.

Knowing is half the battle

Before you get too wrapped around the axle with your training plan you need to figure out where you stand regarding your abilities. What is your current skill level, without understanding that you are going to be spinning your wheels. Again, going back to the weight room analogy if you start out with too little or too much weight your effectiveness is going to be severely degraded. You need to run through a comprehensive skills assessment to fully evaluate what you are good at that you need to sustain and what you are not good at that you need to improve. Once you have figured that out, half the battle is over.

Good to the last round

My recommendation to all those who are working on developing a training plan is take a moment before you even leave the house and write out exactly what you intend on accomplishing. Developing a goal for your range sessions

is incredibly important, start with figuring out how much time you have to spend on the range. Once you have an idea of how much time and it doesn’t have to be from sun up to sun down the next step is to figure out how much ammunition you have available to expend. Since ammunition can be expensive and scarce you have to make sure that every round counts.

Hold yourself to a standard

If you have 100 rounds to expend for your training session then every single round you fire has to have a score assigned to it. That means you have to have a target with an acceptable target zone and grade your performance. When you make scoring every round a habit somehow or another the training value for the day is going to be so much more effective. Without scoring or grading you have no way of knowing if you are sustaining or improving. Standards are an integral part of success so start figuring out how to make your own. If you don’t know what would be a good standard for yourself always default to marksmanship.

Doing more with less

Marksmanship as a standard will set you on the correct path, speed is a by product of effective technique. Once you have your marksmanship technique mastered you will be surprised with your speed. Set your standards in increments, you don’t have to become the world’s leader on one drill, there are so many other skill sets to practice so spread the wealth. I find it good to focus on a few core competency skills like a one round drill from the holster as an example. Spend a few range sessions working towards the standard, your standard could be to achieve 60%, then 70% on a 10-inch target at first. Move on to another skill even if you haven’t quite meet the standard, it will be good to take a break and come back a little later down the road. Plus, you don’t want to just practice a “test”, you want to be well rounded.

Of course, you could spend a lot of time developing an extensive training plan. I strongly encourage you consider it if you really want to hone your skills, that or you could purchase a set of our TACOST Training Cards and let us do the work for you.

"To be prepared is half the victory." Miguel De Cervantes, Spanish Novelist


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