Is there a direct correlation to how fast you can perform a certain drill in a controlled environment versus how authentically you will perform said technique in the real world.

Be the Best, or At Least the First

There is a drive by many to perform certain drills in an effort to set personal records. I am all about PR’s, I am a firm believer in pushing yourself and your skills. To use limitations as mile markers along your journey, but is there a point of diminishing returns. If you are not tracking your progress, how do you know you are improving, how can you speak with any degree of objectivity. There are many drills that do a good job of evaluating skills, but and this is a definitive but, there is not a single drill that will evaluate how well you will perform in a real gunfight.

Skill Development

These drills serve an incredibly important purpose and that is to build skill, to push your abilities to their limitations. To help evaluate performance, so you can work to sustain performance or remediate your deficiencies. It is no different from the fitness world, how do you know if you truly are physically fit unless you have the ability to track your progress, compare it over time and compare it with your peers. If you are trying to improve your performance for the explicit purpose of getting better, then you are on the right track. If however, you are trying to pursue these drills so you can be better than the next guy doing the same thing then you are making a big mistake.

Check Your Ego At The Door

Having re-invented myself in the strength and conditioning world this holds true and is very relative, albeit slightly different. You cannot go into the gym and try to compete against another athlete just because you want to beat them. You run the risk of exposing your ego to a rawness that will lead you to injury or worse. One of the results I have enjoyed is the awareness of my shortcomings. I literally have learned what I am strong at and what I am weak at. I choose to work on my weak areas, I choose to make them a priority. However, I don’t walk into the gym and spend the whole time working on deadlift. If I were to make the deadlift my primary focus,  the rest of the lifts will suffer. If I am only concerned with having big numbers, I sacrifice the rest of my lifts. I find it way more beneficial to have good numbers on the major lifts. It is more productive than spending every waking moment working on just one so I can say I have a big number. Now here is the real kicker, in the grand scheme of things that one lift turns out to be no big deal. Then you realize how much time and resources you expended at the cost of the other lifts..

Cheating and Failure

Here is an unintended consequence I see. It becomes easier and easier or more convenient to “take shortcuts” or in other words, to cheat. Cheating is just failing to perform. Failing…let that sink in real good. There are all sorts of cute phrases that try to justify your failure. Too many to list, but the bottom line is you failed. You can try to color it however you wanted, but the truth is you were not able to perform to the standards and you know it. You know you cannot make the standards so you do anything to cover the gap. The problem with this mindset is it will only continue to lead to failure. It will lead to more shortcuts, more shoulder shrugs and more apathy. You can’t have that as your mindset and expect to be at the top of your game. There is a reason why winners are winners, it is because they put in the hard work to be winners.

The Cost of Cheating

There have been several examples of famous cheaters, everything from deflating footballs, to doping for enhance performance to paying off referees. All of these represent a fundamental problem within our society, the need to win at all costs. Sure, that can be twisted to sound like a good thing, but think of it from this perspective. Would you want the surgeon working on your loved ones to cut corners on the operating table or the airline pilot to cheat on the final approach.

There are no shortcuts to greatness and there will never be…

"A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at." Bruce Lee

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