Saturday, February 23, 2008

The step back drill.

When the weather isn't great and the footing is treacherous at the ranges and you want something to practice by yourself or with a friend and don't want to do a lot of set-up here's something you can do. I call it the step back drill. You can use this drill as a basis to practice the draw, or the reload, or just about any basic skill or combination of skills. Remember it is good to isolate the elements, but it does get boring at some point. You may or may not use a timer. You can run your own timer at practice but it's better if you have a buddy do it for you.

In this example we're going to practice the draw on metric targets, but you can twist this up anyway you like. Set up one target all the way against the backstop. You may need some distance for this if you're good. 50 yards is possible, though not likely at first. So make ready at 2 yards from the target. Yes, 6 feet. Do 6 draws. do them perfectly. If you have 6 A's step back one step. If not repeat it at 2 yards until you get 6 A's. Every time you get the 6 A's you can step back one step. It's really pretty simple, but it will teach you so much through the repetition and testing you're doing. It also reinforces something else that's very important. Only A's are acceptable.

With two people this drill can be fun too. Ben and I put up a target for each of us. We run timer for each other and play by the same rules, but what happens is one of you move back at some point but the other does not. Then you have to bear down and hope they make a mistake so you can catch them and maybe even pass them.

Variations can include all different kinds of draws, reloads, strong and weak hand, upper a/b zones only, hard cover targets, no-shoot obscured targets etc. The possiblites are endless. Just remember A's only. A simple drill like this is really a great technique for learning the basics and is fun and challenging (sometimes frustrating).

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