Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Are You Good Enough?

I’ve always believed in a little external motivation, so now and then I take to YouTube and look at motivational speeches.  One person in particular I enjoy listening to is Eric Thomas.  He has some speeches where he talks about being “allergic to average” and hating “good”. Click here to see one video where ET talks about this.  I love this because I’ve always believed you should strive for better than just average, but he takes it a step further by basically saying good isn’t good enough.  So what I’m talking about could apply in all aspects of life, but I’m going to focus on shooting.  

I’ve never been one to just rest on my laurels with most things when I felt like I was good.  I always wanted to be better.  This goes back to when I was a young Infantry squad leader wanting to learn how other squad leaders ran certain drills.  Even though I was confident in my techniques, I wanted to know how others did it.  I went out of my way to build a relationship with the range control guys who ran the shoot house on Fort Bragg just so I could weasel my way up on the catwalk to see other squads run the shoot house.  For those of you unfamiliar, you’re typically only allowed a certain amount of people on the catwalk during live fire as per safety regulations.  Even years later when I was deployed with some higher tier units, I was so excited just to get the opportunity to work with them in a close quarters environment just to see how they did it.  Just as I suspected, it wasn’t very different from what I had done all those years ago as an Infantry squad leader in 2 Panther.  

Now here I am with a little over two years left in the Army until I can retire.  I’ve served my whole career in Infantry and Special Operations.  I’ve been a student of marksmanship and tactics both on and off duty.  One might think I know most of what there is to know.  Wrong.  Especially with the explosion of “instructors” out there and the competition world getting stronger, there are more and more folks learning and teaching different things.  I want to know it.  Fortunately I do have enough experience  to filter what works and what doesn’t, or what works for me specifically.  

Most of what I’m going to speak about here comes from DVDs and books, and I realize they aren’t the optimal way to learn tactics or to shoot.  Sometimes they may be your best or only option.  I am a believer that if you have a solid base you can absolutely get better from them.  As it relates to shooting though, just don’t expect to only read or watch material and get that much better without taking some action.  

I’ve been forcing Mike Seeklander to be my mentor for some time now.  Mike has several books and DVDs on his website Shooting Performance.  I recently had the opportunity to review his “Your Defensive Rifle Training Program” book.  Again, this is a topic I should know all about.  The issue is, I want to know more.  If I can read his book and 95% of it is stuff I know, but I can pull 5% of it out as useful knowledge that will make me better then I’m winning.  Don’t get me wrong, Mike Seeklander has an impressive background that I should be able to learn from (except for that Marine thing).  So choosing him as a source to learn from is easy with his depth of tactical and competition experience.  

JJ Racaza is a competitive shooter that has also recently released a DVD titled “Speed Shooting” from Paladin Press.  I downloaded it as well.  This DVD is an awesome start at mastering the basics and I would recommend it to anyone.  Another example of something that I knew probably 90% of the material, but with that extra 10% I gained……..”winning!” 

I liken this to competition shooters that will shave every ounce off their guns they can just to make them lighter.  They know the smallest details will give them the edge in competition.  I want to know those small details that will give me the edge either in a tactical environment or a competitive environment.  So my recommendation to you is to get off your high-horse if you’re on one and try to learn more.  Don’t always take for granted knowledge you might gain by saying to yourself, “ehh….I already know that stuff”.  Get out there and don't let good be good enough.

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