When training individually we often find things we can improve on. Slight adjustments to technique or perhaps better methods altogether may occur to you as you train. One key to maximizing your success in training is to make sure that these new ideas don’t get washed out with the tide every time you end your training session.
In dry-fire I might notice that I’m not picking up the front sight fast enough… and then make an effort to improve that. But if I forget about this effort, the next time I start dry-firing, I’m right back at square one.
Fortunately there are some tricks to help you keep your current focus points front and center.
Make use of your training notebook
If you use a training notebook, then half the job is done for you. As you make new discoveries in your training you should try to note them in the entry for that session. For example, you might note things like hand position during a reload or the discovery that you need to work on picking up the front sight sooner.
When it’s time to start the next session, go right back to the notes from your previous session. If you noted areas of difficulty or things you were working on, this is the perfect chance to make them conscious before starting back into your training.
If you end the session totally confident with this new skill or area for improvement you can note your success or just leave it out of the log. If you aren’t confident, however, note that too so you remember to keep working at it. Remember that the key to making this work is checking the last session’s log before starting.
Write your plan for the next session at the end of the current one
Oftentimes I finish a dry-fire session or even a day in the dojo knowing I wasn’t happy with some aspect of my performance. These are good days to do some pre-planning for the next session.
You can do the same, and write a plan for each training session. Don’t wait until right before the session to write this plan, instead make it part of your training routine. Write down the drills and plan of attack for your next session at the end of the current one. This way you can capture what needs work and where you want to focus next time.
Note cards or sticky notes on your gear
If you have trouble using a training notebook, or continually forget to open your notebook before starting, then get some sticky notes or note cards. You can write your plan or areas for improvement on these cards or sticky notes and stick them right to your training gear, whether that be a dry-fire pistol, empty mags for training, or your gym bag.
Placing these front and center will help keep your areas for improvement from falling out of focus.
The most important thing to remember about any of these ideas is that the key is keeping some continuity between sessions. Disjointed, spastic training tends to have less of a positive impact than coordinated effort.
These are a few methods for keeping continuity between training sessions. Now it’s your turn. How do you build from session to session?