The idea of being challenged is scary to some people who take firearms training. Many would rather look the part than put in the hard work. Others are what I call “high performers” . . .
I define a high performer as someone who strives for superior results through calm, calculated effort. I have one or more in every firearm training class, and over the years I have been able to recognize them fairly quickly.
While some students associate failing as a negative, a high performer sees it as the key to their success. They recognize the road towards their goal will be littered with failures. [Click here to read more about failure and training.]
They’re okay with failure because they don’t let it define who they are as a person.
Make no mistake: self-doubt is insidious. It can wreck your confidence and destroy your performance. When a shooter ties their identity to their performance they undermine what’s really important: the process of learning.
A high performer recognizes that learning how to shoot quickly, efficiently and effectively in a variety of situations requires a high level of dispassionate objectivity.
In other words, they embrace the suck They know they have to suck at a shooting skill before they can become good at it.
Equally important, a high performer doesn’t worry about competing with an other shooter during the learning process. They recognize and accept the fact that people — including themselves — learn how to shoot at different speeds, in different ways.
A high performer also stays “in the moment.” They know there’s a goal: a level of shooting proficiency that they and the instructor want to achieve. They stay calm by focusing on the specific task set out for them and let the chips fall where they may.
We’ve been here before. We’ll be here again. If you want to get the most out of a firearms training class you have to check your ego at the door. Do that and you’re well on your way to being a high performer.