Which is better; fast movement speed or fast task speed? The answer is going to be difficult for some to grasp, but it doesn’t make it less true.

Crashing into the walls

There is this urge by many to move fast, it somehow equals success. In a lot of cases it does, but the difficult part is realizing fast doesn’t equal accurate. So, you can go fast and miss at blazing speed and it is still a miss. Shooting is a complex series of small movements or tasks that equals a shot on target. We call them micro tasks and if you haven’t mastered them speed is irrelevant. Performing these micro tasks in their correct sequence one after the other is what produces a successful shot. You might be able to get away with sub-standard performance on a few of them, but that doesn’t discount each of them has a standard to achieve.

The series of actions

When a student struggles to meet the standards it’s not too difficult to figure out why. What’s difficult is breaking down their technique so we can isolate the issues. Many are taught shooting is an act, not a series of actions. What we discovered was window dressing of the fundamentals. It wasn’t such a terrible thing as we got really good at diagnosing the issues. The reasons why some failed were a result of not being able to see the tree within the woods.

Another serving of Kool-aide please

Regardless of the sport, the pro’s make it look easy and create an idea others can do the same thing if they just use the same gun, same sights or same clothes they wear. Whatever Kool-aide you’ve been drinking you need to recognize the failed thinking. Modern service weapons are more than capable of accomplishing the task, it’s never the arrow, always the Indian. What you’ve got to realize is many of the pro’s have spent countless hours perfecting their craft to make it look so easy. What they haven’t done is skip over fundamentals. They have broken them down and spent time perfecting the details then build speed from there.

Breaking it down

It’s different on the range, we seem to work from the mistakes backwards and when I say “we” I’m mean the industry at large. Take something as simple as firing one shot from the ready. It doesn’t matter the range or the size of the target. These factors do affect the outcome, but they don’t dictate the foundation. If we were to isolate this movement alone there are four distinct tasks, but we are going to focus on moving the gun to the target. While deceptively easy, many students struggle with this simple task. Each mistake made at the early stages of the task compound themselves as you progress forward. Struggling with this task equals substandard performance on the rest of the micro tasks.

Be precise

The goal of this micro task is to move the firearm to the target in the least amount of distance and time. The accuracy of your movement has a direct relationship to your success. If you move the firearm directly to your intended strike point instead of another location on the target you will see more success. I know that’s a major knowledge dump, but if you think about it, your brain knows when it’s doing it right and when it’s doing it wrong. If you move the firearm to the target, but not the strike point you will continue to adjust until the firearm is on the strike point. This extra time and movement compounds the rest of the micro tasks and thus begins the snowball.

Keep your sights set on the target, but pay attention to the ground your walking on at that moment. You can’t shoot fast enough to make up the miss.

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. Bruce Lee, legendary martial artist

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