Part one of a four-part series looking at ways to minimize cost (both time and money) to not only maintain skills, but further proficiency in certain technical and even fundamental skill sets.
Training Efficiency Part 1 of 4:
Three common excuses encountered when asking a student why they haven't maintained a proficiency level achieved in a previous course is that the student didn’t have enough money, time or motivation to maintain the level achieved. I believe the majority of you reading this article have felt the influence of all three.
Money is a major limiting factor of training for a large portion of the LEOs and responsible firearm carrying civilians alike. LEOs, even SWAT members, have very strict budgets for training, and in order to maintain proficiency in certain technical and even fundamental skill sets, they are required pony up their own cash for ammo and gear. With LEO pay, this can be a very difficult thing to do. For civilians, there is no other training than what one pays for. Training is expensive but as you will come to know in the following articles, maintaining or even enhancing skills doesn’t have to be.
Time is another limiting factor, and besides money, the factor our significant others are most likely to gripe about. Unlike money, however, we can’t earn more time. No matter what employment option we choose, we are seldom home enough to satisfy ourselves or our loved ones. Time away from home is a sacrifice for everyone and therefore it is critical that we make the most of it.
Motivation is a more abstract limiting factor and one that’s importance is rarely acknowledged. Thinking back on my time as a single Marine in 29 Palms, the last thing I wanted to do after work was practice the skills I had worked on that day, or the weeks and months prior, that I knew were fading with time. Now having a wife and kids of my own, I hold a great deal of respect for the married LEOs and military personnel who can find the motivation to do work on their own time and dime.
There is always a cost associated with maintaining or sharpening skills, but I would argue that the cost of diminished or lost skills due to neglect is much costlier indeed. I think we all understand why, and it’s not the overused but true statement that “It may cost your life”, but that we have at the very least invested non-refundable time to acquire these skills. Few things feel better than taking a higher level class and being able to hit the ground running. No wasted time trying to catch up with the rest of the class, no wasted rounds trying to remember how to operate your weapon, and no frustration from being behind the curve.
By: Cory Mince