Setting yourself up for failure is easy, but setting yourself up for success is always a challenge. We tend to stay in our comfort zone rather than push the boundaries.

The push towards improvement

I have observed over the years so much chest beating in the community, but few step up to the plate on a consistent basis. I am not saying there are not those who can’t do it, I’m saying most don’t put forth the effort. I make a standard practice to push the limits from our curriculum, performance and standards so I expect the same from our students. Learning, growth and improvement are the by products to being challenged, pushed to your limits. Many times, we all need that push to get us to the next level.

Next level training

Those who have trained with us are well aware of our performance standards. We are the only organization within this industry who first off collects metrics on performance and second holds students accountable to standards. I find it mind boggling we are the only ones and while some have their own system the integrity of our standards has not been compromised nor will it on my watch. It is the key why so many hard shooters continue to train with us, they can be evaluated versus observable, measurable and repeatable standards. Once we see a student reach a certain level, usually passing in the high 90% the next step is to lay the gauntlet at their feet.

Do work

You see,  most who train with us have no idea the scoring conditions they must meet are our junior varsity standards. Long ago when we first released our Target Enhancement Training Program or TETP the feedback we were getting showed us many were not ready for the scoring standards so when we developed our first target it was released with the 8″/4″ scoring standard zones. As we continued to use this target for all of our classes we were able to see the performance improvement. It finally paid off with solid, well rounded and resilient shooters. There is no secret, you just have to do hard work.

Patience, not at all

If you know me, you know I am not a patient man. Like not at all. However, I had to learn patience as we worked to build shooters in our image. During this time we saw so many advanced their skills and continue to push their own limits without our assistance. As these shooters came back to our classes their technique was more refined, honed to a nice edge and displayed in their scores. For those we felt would benefit the option to shoot the class versus the Varsity targets of 6″/3″ was made. Much to my delight all have stepped up to the plate. It is rewarding seeing these capable shooters push themselves even harder. We don’t make it public, so most students are not aware. The benefit go further than most realize; my strong shooters continue to hone their edge even finer. The up and coming shooters realize they have much work to do and those who sometimes become complacent realize they are not as good as they thought.

Pushing the limits should be part of any training program. Failure should not be feared, but embraced in your quest for the prize.

2 thoughts on “Varsity versus Junior Varsity

  1. Mike says:

    I took your 3 day course in St Augustine this year. I knew after a couple of hours on the firing line that I was out of my league, way over my head. At the end of the day, I was contemplating finishing the day and then going home. Although I was failing marksmanship, I was learning CCW tactics, so I decided to stay. I had a terrible second day and felt so bad and i was miserable. Once aging I was thinking about going home in the morning. I have never been a quitter, so I talked myself into staying for the last day. I am glad I did as I learned so much the last day. Although my marksmanship was still a failure, I was getting better. I am currently practicing the grip, aiming, and trigger techniques I learned that last day, and yes I am getting better, and I am grading my shooting 80%, 100% of the time. I believe I will get there.

    • Jeff Gonzales says:

      Thank you Mike; for your honesty and determination. You put in hard work and it paid off, this is a huge lesson to learn for many new shooters. There will be ups/downs and you must stay focused on your goal. The lesson you learned in the class applies to life in general, you sat down before class and focused on what you wanted to accomplish. You put in hard work in the class even if you struggled. Your take away was huge and created momentum to help you sustain. You did it right and we wish more students would follow your lead. Thank you for sharing Mike, keep up the hard work. Bravo Zulu! Jeff

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