You hear the word “attitude” all the time. It can apply to our personal relationships with our spouse, family members, friends and everyone we meet and interact with. It can even apply to your firearms training as a student or to your firearms instructor training. Your attitude can and will determine your success or failure in life.
A bad attitude is a magnet for bad experiences. It will do nothing but attract negative results and people. A great attitude is a magnet for positive experiences. It has a way of attracting positive and successful people and results. In other words, “you sow what you reap.” The world is a mirror and it reflects back what you give it. You determine your life’s course by your attitude towards it – cause and effect.
Attitude applies to training and being a quality instructor in a variety of manners. Eddie Rongey of Iron Gall Firearms in Kiefer, Oklahoma, was recently quoted as saying, “Never be so arrogant as to think you know everything. Never be so naïve as to believe everything you hear. Never be so self-impressed as to believe that everything you think is right.”
Those are wise words from a wise – and very successful – man. Let that sink in when you train or instruct. Are you arrogant? Do you know everything? Are you always right? Can you be taught and can you learn a different way? We all have the capacity to learn, but do we have the attitude to accept that there are other ways?
A world-class instructor in his own right, Wade Rorich of Bushido Tactical in Orlando, Florida, makes a point of saying, “What I am going to teach you is a way, it does not mean it is the only way. Take what you like and discard the rest.” People are different and they learn in different ways.
Be coachable and keep an open mind. Once your mind is closed, that is the day you will be the very best you will ever be. Every day after, time will march on and your knowledge base will not keep up. Eventually you will be outdated and irrelevant; you will be the wheel gun in a world of semi-automatics.
Each generation learns from the last and then improves on it. This is how society advances – are you? If you are reading this and then saying to yourself, “I learned this 30 years ago and it works well for me,” it just might. But will it work for the next 30 years?
Perfect practice is actual, meaningful practice. Throwing rounds down the shooting range just to hear the bang! bang! bang! is fun, but it is not making you a better marksman. Perfect practice is mastering the fundamentals and being able to call your shots when the trigger is pressed. It is being cognizant of the correct way of doing things and then doing those things with each purposeful shot. Perfect practice is then self-correcting between shots. It is the understanding of where you failed and then making a conscious, purposeful effort for the next drill.
The point of this post is just to get you thinking about how you can improve as firearms instructor or a student. You might already have a great, open attitude, train with a variety of people, and are always willing to learn. If you do, then you are in the top tier. If not, there’s always room grow.
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