Students benefit from being put under pressure when shooting. One very common approach is the “man on man” exercise in which two shooters compete against one another. Here’s an example of Ernest Langdon and me shooting a drill I call “Action vs Reaction” in West Virginia a couple years ago. Each of us is trying to knock down the three plates on our respective side of the plate rack.
There are some negatives to running man on man drills, however. They often rely on reactive targets and are designed primarily around just two shooters. In a class with 10-20 students, there is a lot of down time while waiting for your turn.
One outstanding idea comes from Tom Givens of Rangemaster. It doesn’t add time or complexity to running students through a drill, but it makes every rep count. It puts pressure on every student every time he engages the targets. Fail on accuracy or speed and you’re done; succeed and move on to the next run. You can think of it as Last Man Out. For simplicity’s sake, let’s suppose the exercise is to draw and hit an 8″ target at seven yards.
- Instructor gives the start signal.
- Students draw and fire.
- Anyone who doesn’t hit the target is out for the rest of the drill.
- The last person to fire a shot is out for the rest of the drill.
So every run at least one person (the guy who fires the last shot) is out. Anyone who didn’t score a hit is out, too. That means there is pressure to succeed on every run of the drill. Go too fast and miss, you’re out. Go too slow and hit last, you’re out. As the playing field gets smaller, the fastest and most accurate shooters rise to the top. The competition keeps getting harder.
It’s an excellent way to add student-vs-student pressure to drills without any special equipment or slowing down the class.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG