A while back I was training with well-known instructor Louis Awerbuck. If you’re not familiar with Louis, he used to be the Chief Rangemaster at Gunsite and Colonel Jeff Cooper was his mentor. Well, on the day I was training with Louis I was shooting pretty well and after one of the drills I went up to him and asked him what I could do to improve my shooting.
His response was, “what do you mean? You’re shooting good.” I was. But I’m always looking for continuous improvement and I’ll be trying to improve my shooting until the day I die.
So I told him to give me a drill, something difficult to work on. And he says to me, “you want to know a murderous drill that will wreck your self-confidence?” Well, I couldn’t resist a proposal like that so obviously I said yes.
Here’s the drill that he gave me, which he said Colonel Cooper came up with…
From 25 yards, you have 2.5 seconds to get 1 shot into an 8-inch circle… drawing from concealment. If you ever find yourself getting too cocky and you want a humbling experience, I highly recommend you try this drill.
Just this past weekend I found myself at the NRA shooting range doing just that. It’s a great drill because your draw and your trigger control have to be almost perfect. There is very little room for error in this drill.
And if you do try this drill and don’t succeed the first few times, keep trying. As Louis stated, a huge part of shooting is psychological. Far too many people give up too easily and don’t have enough confidence in themselves.
I’m very fortunate to see just how psychological shooting is every time I teach a defensive pistol course. I’ll have a brand new shooter who’s only picked up a gun once or twice in their lives. When they arrive at the course I can see their nervousness and their face is basically saying, “please don’t let this class be scary and intimidating.”
But by the time the day is over they’re often shooting amazingly well and it’s great to see the grin on their face and the huge boost of confidence they have, knowing that they’re better prepared to protect themselves and their loved ones.
So, if you have a free moment this weekend, head down to the shooting range, wreck your self-confidence for a bit, and become a better shooter in the process.