4 Simple Steps to Get to the Range When You’re too Busy to Get to the Range
Balance in life is an ever elusive goal. Adding another demand for your time like concealed carry practice and training can be a challenge. Time for training is important, but here I just want to focus on how to get to the range to practice when you are too busy to get to the range.
Even though I write a lot about practicing handgun skills and have created some tools to help myself and others improve at it, I still consistently struggle to find enough time get to the range to practice. The bottom line is, I want to practice more than I actually do. I’m sure you can relate.
Balancing work and family.
Like most people, I like to think of myself as an organized, disciplined, hard working guy that makes things happen when I set my mind to it. And I think it’s reasonably true in some areas of my life. But my life doesn’t always cooperate. It is busy, demanding, and keeps changing. I am a husband, father, grandfather, son, and engineer. I’m a consultant that is running two companies, helping at church, and doing all of the normal and important family and friend activities.
How in the world do I fit range practice into my already busy life?
Well the bad news is there is no magic answer that materializes a range in your basement. Although that would be cool. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to get to the range consistently using basic organizing skills and tools in the Live Fire Drill Cards system.
Here is the approach I use. I create and follow a practice plan, with 4 simple steps, to try to make the most efficient use of the precious little time I have available. For me a practice plan is key to getting to the range consistently, and equally important, making the most of the time I have to invest. Try it out and see if it helps you too.
1. Schedule; Where priorities reinforce goals.
Schedule the type of practice and when to practice.
My priority for practice is very high because the purpose of my training and practice (and education) is to be ready to protect my family, with no mistakes, and prevail.
I use the LFDC goal cards to plan out my intentions to train and practice for the month. I can also list my performance improvement goals, with a defined measurement. Then, I will make more in depth notes in my log using log cards. This gives me a clear, short term plan to hit my target goals, and a way to check and measure progress to see how my plan is working.
However, with my schedule done I am only halfway there. Now I need to make sure I actually go. I use two ways to keep from me bagging the practice at the last minute for some urgent activity. First, I enter my practice schedule into my phone as an appointment with a reminder. And second, I find a shooting partner for as many practices as I can. It really helps.
2. Preparation; Where purpose reinforces goals.
Prepare ahead of time what you are going to practice, what you are going to practice with, where you are going to practice (space) and the materials you will need to bring, such as targets, ammo, timer, etc. Have everything on hand for the month.
I try to prepare for the month of practices instead of every single practice as a unique event. I do this by selecting 3-5 drill cards that are highly correlated to the skill or skills I am focusing on improving for the month. This way at each practice I have the flexibility to move between the drills in any order and level of difficulty as I see fit.
Ideally, my trainer will help me select the drills or at least concurs with the choices. I make sure I take the right stuff to the range for the drill I will shoot. A quick and easy to know what to take to practice is to review What You Will Need on the front of each drill card. It gives you the basic list for each drill. Also make sure to select Indoor Drills to shoot at indoor ranges, but also check the rules. All drills are good for outdoor ranges of course.
3. Shooting & Tracking; Where commitment reinforces goals.
Utilize the limited range time you have by shooting the pre-selected drills in a specific order for a specific number of times (or length of time.) All drill cards have clear standards with areas to record your results.
At the range, since I pre-selected the group of drills to shoot, I choose one from the group and go from there. I will shoot the drill slowly from the same distance as I was at last time. If I hit the accuracy standard I will increase speed to explore my accuracy and speed relationship, while trying very hard to watch my technique and look for breaks in form.
After shooting the drill a few times, I will shoot it for the record and record my results on the front of the drill card. I always decide to shoot it for the record ahead of the run and always write those results down, no matter what. This way I’m not writing down only good results. Then I move on to the next drill.
Another way I’m going to broaden my practice experience is to attend Tactical Tuesday at my local range, Premier Shooting & Training Center, and shoot with a small group that focuses on a different skill each week.
4. Review; Where performance reinforces goals.
Review allows you to evaluate current results and past performance to create conclusions about the effectiveness of your practices. Since I do this in light of my goals, I often implement adjustments to the next practice session.
After practice and before leaving the range I try to review my practice session and make notes in my log and mark my goal card. Entries include observations, conclusions, next steps and changes in my goals or plans if necessary. I have waited to do this after I got home or until the next day but usually regretted it. I usually felt I was missing some things that I had thought about during practice that I could no longer recall. Try to review your practice results and make your notes before you leave the range.
Leave the range encouraged.
To be honest, review can be the most encouraging part of the process. Shooting is fun but seeing that you actually improved in black and white to a clear standard is very encouraging. It always motivates me to practice more. On the flip side, if I get stuck, I don’t seem to get discouraged because I can talk to my trainer. He will watch me shoot the drill or drills and help get me unstuck. It also really helps to feel like I know what to ask my trainer, with a plan and drill results to show him.
Now sometimes my trainer will completely surprise me with an observation and demonstrate something that I was clueless about. So I’m always glad when I ask my trainer for help. And go home unstuck.
With Live Fire Drill Cards Training Log and Drill Cards you can… practice with a purpose, the way you’ve been trained, from where you are, in the time you have.
This is our passion and what we are about. Practice. After all, practice requires skills all its own. I hope these ideas and tools help you on your own personal journey to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to protect yourself and your family.
With Live Fire Drill Cards and help from a Professional Trainer you will... Never leave the range again wondering if you’ve improved.™