Anticipating recoil is an issue that plagues new shooters. This short video shows a method of training a new shooter numerous skillsets in an immersion type teaching method.
This was quick impromptu video on the range capturing the concept of immersive learning to get the student aware of what she need to be aware of and let go of uncecessary reactions to recoil.
1.shooter learns muzzle awareness (via sight alignment-picture). Namely sight alignment in this drill (can have variations with Natural Point of Aim).
2.Trigger control on demand. Meaning, breaking the shot with a short time window.
3.Occupying the brain so it does not worry about boom...no shot anticipation flinch.
To properly train a new shooter not to flinch is an objective that plagues trainers. "Don't Flinch!" I am not saying this is "the" solution, but it is a training tool and it certainly provides food for thought. It is critical to use a SIRT Training Pistol first and make sure the shooter understands sight alignment and has cleaned up their trigger control. Otherwise when the student jumps into the drill they just send rounds without knowing what to look for. It is common to see new shooters just pull the trigger and have shots (or laser pulses) go everywhere.
Resist the temptation of training them how to shoot on the move. In other words don't say shoot in between strides, heal toe.... all good points, but 1) they can learn these implicitly and 2) this is a great opportunity for them to learn acceptable sight picture/alignment and on demand trigger control. In fact the worse their movement technique is the better, their sight picture will be bouncing all over the place making the demands higher on executing trigger control on demand.
Disturbed Sight Picture:
I love the fact that the sights bobble around in this drill. It provides natural movement and forces the eyes to track the sights and understand when the sights are sufficiently aligned to hit in the acceptable accuracy zone (AAZ) (target). Now the shooter is seeing the hits (laser hits with SIRTs) and building the intuitive database of feel of the gun and sight alignment and where it hit. Draw out the AAZ so they clearly know what is in and what is out*.
Breaking a shot clean without disturbing the muzzle is one thing in ideal conditions, but now when we have to break the shot while the muzzle is only in the AAZ for a brief moment... that requires even better trigger control. Its like going from mastering free throws to mastering jump shots with the defender in your face. Is this too much for a new shooter? I would argue no. I think the methodology of getting the shooter to break the shot on demand is teaching them running form when in the end they need to be running. Yes in the "crawl, walk, run" learning model students start with crawl...but what do crawling mechanics have to do with running mechanics. In the end, we need to break shots on demand not with a slow prep, pause, surprise break**. With the SIRT in the first phase (not shown in video but same drill in lower right picture but with a SIRT) the student learns quickly that the dashes (laser sweeps) are not desirable, "bad", and clean dots (breaking shots without disturbing muzzle) is "good". So implicit learning begins. If the student is struggling on getting dots not dashes, there are cueing points for trigger control shown in other videos.
Teaching "Rationalized Apathy" for the boom (...Oxymoronic??)
We have to teach students to not give the boom (recoil) excessive focus. A 12,000 psi explosion in a new shooters hand is not "natural" ***, but the shooter can be put in a position to get "rationalized apathy" on recoil in 2 steps. First get their grip and stance dialed in. I have a few videos on grip with emphasis on the cueing points of c clamp grip and chest squeeze (like a chest fly). Secondly, occupy the shooters brain so they aren't concerned about things they shouldn't be concerned about. Meaning the massive stimulus of moving and shooting, tracking sights, breaking shots on demand, the coach pushing you to move faster and not "shoot on the pause", interjected cueing points from instructor such as chest squeeze,... this immersive learning occupies a lot of neurons... hence no grey matter left for worrying about the 12k explosion. The theory is that 1) we want recoil management to be subconscience 2) recoil management is simple, we don't contract more muscles or less muscles during recoil, 3)the brain wants to control! The brain wants to "do something". The blast from the gun and stark force on the hands creates a response to react to it. It normally takes time to get apathetic to this explosion and simply let our grip and stance take care of the recoil without additional reactive effort. However, if we don't let the brain react to the boom because it is occupied with all of the other things going on...now we are
There is much more to explore here. Like everything, a module whether it be a drill, a technique, a concept, cueing point, a methodology,... must all be in context, what is the objective, what are the deficiencies, where is the module placed amongst other modules for a proper progression, what is the cost (time) for implementation, what are the gains... All this considerations should be addressed at some level without being tied down to the point where no action or experimentation is taken.
One major negative of this technique is that it is very resource intensive. We have to have one shooter on the line, it requires a 1:1 instructor:student for that block of training. On way manage resources is to have the dedicated dry fire location on range that students rotate through. That way they are always active, engaged and getting in training.
Follow up Training:
What is next after this drill? More of the same? Is there a progression? Is there a layer where now slow aimed fire is better? Do we progress and provide cueing points for teaching shooting on the move? I am not sure but I will continue this lane where I am going to maintain a regimen on Angie (wife) of having her shoot in a manner where she is mentally overloaded so any mental instincts to control recoil is pushed down the list to the point of not taking motor neuron action. My methodology is to give cueing points that are most relevant for the particular drill/module. For example right now she has issues with a constant grip so I provide my array of verbal and tactile grip cueing points her conscience is placed on those critical mechanics grinding them in with repetition to the goal of unconcience competence.
Unconscience competence. The shooter has chunked in the most robust, fungible, streamlined, mechanics that are are as natural as possible and pulled to the most coordinated, explosive motor neuron patterns. The techniques have to be robust and work well in any environmental, mental and physical states. In this module block we are down stream from the grip module and getting the shooter to maintain follow through post recoil so the muzzle comes back down in a predictable location. Our methodology of accomplishing that is not recruiting unnecessary muscles post "boom".
*the skill of defining a AAZ from clothing on targets etc can be layered on later. To start out with give a clear AAZ with boundaries.
**this requires more dialog. There is a place for these progressions but a shooter should not leave with only being able to break shots with a super controlled trigger that takes a lot of time and is executed under no time constraints.
*** I think we can have arguments a fired shot can feel natural. With a solid grip and proper upper triangle (shoulders, arms), the recoil pulse is no more than someone hitting the front of your palms with a medium swing.
NLT Performance conducted its first SIRTification course 7/16- 7/18. The course filled to capacity with a short two week notice. The 16 trainers that attended were a fantastic group. The course consisted of a first day of lecture and practical exercises. The second day followed up on the range with live fire. Although the course is geared for instructors, the information is valuable for any shooter. We received fantastic feedback from the course participants. The next course is at the NLT Facility and NLT range on 8/13 and we are signing up trainers to sponsor a courses at their location. The second video is a final test on day two. All the shooters had a blast finishing this stage. This is a 500 m run with targets along the way. The test is not previewed by the shooter. The student holsters the pistol between shooting positions. The Top Shooter was George Williams of CuttingEdgeTraining.org. This video is courtesy of Butch Sapp of http://www.arrestling.com/index.htm