I’m a retired Navy SEAL firearms instructor and I currently provide food for my family by running a business that teaches firearms and tactics. So what I’m about to tell you may come as a bit of surprise – You do not need a firearms instructor to improve your shooting. Hopefully by the end of this you’ll be on your way to mastering marksmanship; and I’ll still be able to feed my wife and kids. Either way, if you’re looking to improve your performance with firearms, hear me out.
Now Hiring Instructors
I’ve been a firearms instructor for quite some time now and I have taught at every skill level. After I retired from the Navy and started my own training company I started getting resumes from people who wanted to come on as instructors. I’d read through their resumes and although they may have had operational experience or been to some great shooting schools, only a select few had any actual experience as an instructor – the job they were applying for…
I thought this was a little odd. I mean, if I was hiring people to start an overseas security company or wanted someone who could win a shooting competition they had great credentials, but what I really needed was people who knew how to teach – and so do you!
You Need A Coach
Chances are pretty good if you’re reading this article you know how to shoot. Maybe you grew up around firearms, took a few shooting courses or just read a great book on how to shoot. Either way I’m sure you want to get better, but you can’t find the time or money to attend one of the many great shooting schools across the country. So what can you do? Get yourself a coach! If you already know how to shoot and your goal is to get better, you need someone who is trained at making people better – a coach.
When a sports team wants to win championships, do they hire the best player? No, the hire the best…say it with me now…COACH. OK, yes if they were shooters as well that would be great, but sometimes outsides looking in can see things with fresh eyes and catch things others may have missed. The point is that someone who’s talent is getting the best out of others is exactly what you need to improve and it cuts down on your excuses for not training!
Tell your newfound coach what your current skill level is and where you want to be. Show them the skills or drills you want to improve on and then let them come up with a plan to get you there. Just having someone watch you train is a great asset. You can tell them, “Watch my trigger finger and see if it comes off the trigger when I’m shooting.” They can see things we don’t from a different angle or our own inattentional blindness. Either way, you’re getting better.
Will Work For Food
My point of this is not that there is no place for firearms instructors or that people who know how to shoot well can’t also be great instructors. Finding a coach is just great tool that most people don’t think about. Obviously if you don’t know how to shoot and are still leaning the fundamentals you need a qualified firearms instructor to teach you. Also, when you want to learn new skills or techniques, you’ll need someone specifically trained to do that. But if your goal is to get better, then use the right tool for the job.
And here’s a bonus tip: Even if you can’t find a coach, find someone who you can tell your training plan to that will keep you accountable. Studies have shown that you are 3-times more likely to stick to a training plan just by telling someone and knowing you need to give them regular updates on your training.
What’s your secret to better training? Share your training tips or ask me a question in the comments area below. Failing to train is training to fail. Hooyah
About the Author
Chris “Snowman” Sajnog is a retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer, bestselling author, speaker and owner of Center Mass Group, LLC – a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business in San Diego, CA. Chris commands an unparalleled level of respect when it comes to weapons and tactical training. He was hand selected by Navy Special Warfare Command to develop the curriculum for the current US Navy SEAL Sniper training program. As a Navy SEAL he was the senior sniper instructor, a certified Master Training Specialist (MTS), BUD/S and advanced training marksmanship instructor. He is currently a DOD and DHS certified Counter-Terrorism, Law Enforcement and Advanced Marksmanship Instructor. Chris has trained DOD, DHS, FBI, CIA, Law Enforcement and multiple foreign allies in all aspects of combat weapons handling, marksmanship and tactics.