Well . . . first instructor course of the year is now under my belt – what a good weekend.
First, actually having nothing to do with the course, we finally broke our “colder than crap” weather pattern. Last week our highs were in the mid –teens F. Today, mid-upper 30s. Can summer be far behind? And, it made the range work today a very nice change from my post a while ago regarding shooting in cold weather. Yep, definitely headed in the right direction!
Had four candidates today – the guys from Canine Tactical and a CJ instructor from Indian Hills CC. Tough crowd . . . no, not really – but experienced trainers and shooters. That can be a mixed bag but for this particular course, it was a solid group of guys that jelled quickly and worked their butts off!
There are always a few things that differentiate one course from another. Otherwise I could just comment something like “ditto course such and such” and my AAR would be done.
Anytime you have candidates that are ex-military . . . and one a team member at that . . . there are “adjustments” that need to be worked through. For those of us who learned the majority of our shooting skills at the hands of military training officers, there is always some effort needed to move to a “gentler” civilian market. That adjustment came easily this weekend. And, as for the CJ instructor and retired LEO of 28 years, learning the NRA method of teaching and presentation came very easily. Their program actually offers a full shooting component so the weekend was more polish than anything else.
The first day – Saturday was, as always, the Basic Instructor Training. For the Canine Tactical crew learning a skill set better suited for the civilian market than their typical LEO SWAT students was an interesting process to watch. And, as is typical, presentations made first were rough and unpolished. By mid-afternoon today a 5 minute prep garnered a solid presentation. I am always fascinated by that whole process.
Sunday was used to cover the majority of the Basic Pistol Instructor portion and the range time. This presented a second difference that set today apart from other BP Instructor courses. One of the Candidates struggled with the qualification requirement for the course. Not unusual really, but it was an interesting mix of a physical tremor the candidate has and a training habit of essentially shooting controlled pairs. It gave the class an opportunity to see how to work a shooter through multiple issues, a benefit to all. I finally dialed him in to the shooting rotation on the range as each candidate took their turn running the range for a 10-round course of fire and by the time his rotation came up, he qualified just fine.
As instructors, instances like this are opportunities to demonstrate how to bring a shooter who is working through some issues up to speed. It was a great opportunity.
The day finished with exams, grading and . . . we were done.
Thanks to Eli, Truman, Joshua and Tim for coming and spending the weekend and all your hard work. I’m looking forward to the next time with some of you guys.