You cannot force the horse to drink the water. When the horse values water, they will drink and drink in splendor.
What does water have to do with anything
Training is to us what water is to the horse. It is not until we value training we act. As an industry, we have to recognize the value of training and more importantly communicate that value to the masses. There is a infinitesimal fraction of folks who value training compared to gun owners in general. There are two major problems or barriers we must overcome. The first, is the group of students who currently value training need to recognize at one point did not. It is counter-productive to be condescending to this new group of students. Instead, we want to mentor them where we can and encourage them to learn from our experience. Next, is the instructors themselves. I can speak with personal experience here where I did not value teaching basic classes. I felt there were plenty of folks who could handle the classes, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This new group of students need exposure to the very best the industry has to offer. The adage basic instructor for a basic student is a poor formula. We need our best, brightest and proven instructors on the firing line with them.
Avoid the Fringe
Valuing training as a new student might not be as difficult when they can understand their strengths and weaknesses. To do so means you need a tool that measures strength & weaknesses. Our industry does a poor job with standards. To a certain extent it is not helping to create value in training. There are plenty of drills, but are they appropriate for a new student. Most were not designed with the new student in mind. Instead, there is this need to create drills so far on the fringe they barely have any relevancy. While there is no governing body, the National Rifle Association is the closest we have at this point. The pre-qualification tests is a good option for new students. It offers a good assessment and baseline for progress. These assessments, coupled with the experienced eye of a good instructor can provide incentive to seek out training, thereby helping to offer value.
Set the Ego Aside
Ego is another barrier. While some are eager to learn, there are those who do not value training because they associate training with exposing faults. It is much better to talk about this up front, to set expectations so students can manage their own. This is a subject that transcends all skill levels. We cannot let our own insecurities limit our capacity for growth. One of the reasons these drills are a terrible idea is they offer no pathway for success. Drills that can be scaled for the new student are an exception, but they are the exception and not the norm. The new student is putting at risk their time, resources and money. If they have a negative experience it is unlikely they will come to value training. If they can participate in a low risk environment with a sliding scale for opportunity to apply their ability they stand a better chance of a positive experience. Even if they have a negative outcome, the positive experience potentially could relay the value of training.
There is little you can do, little you can say until the student recognizes the value. The goal should then be to assist them in recognizing the value of training.
4 thoughts on “What is Value”
“There is a infantile fraction of folks who value training compared to gun owners in general. ”
I would tend to agree but… who you callin’ infantile?
Haha, thanks for catching the spelling error. That should have read “infinitesimal fraction” 😉
Great perspective! I agree, that the fear of failure and ridicule prevents many people from taking the opportunity to advance their learning. Quality learning opportunities are not inexpensive both from the standpoint of monetary and time costs. I am dying to take another class, but I struggle with the time cost—it does not seem to fit in my somewhat rigid schedule. I think it helps if the student is humble and has seen a need to learn more than they can accomplish on the range on their own. It is definitely a two-way street. I took a class from Jeff before, and I know he is a first-rate instructor. I know I will leave his class with an honest assessment of my successes and failures, but not at the expense of my ego!
Howdy Jeff, those are great points. It is a two street for sure and if more folks understood the value I’d bet it would be an easier decision when everything else is competing for your time and resources. Thanks.