As a firearm instructor, I’ve started working with new shooters who want to transition into the competitive shooting sports. While at the range with a student one evening, I developed a drill with two goals. I wanted to illustrate to the student the importance of developing and strengthening the muscles needed to hold the firearm for long periods of time (such as during an extended practice session) so that fatigue would not set in so quickly. I also wanted the student to get used to the idea of firing on command and not waiting for a perfect sight picture, particularly when the target was close. I nicknamed the drill “Ever Ready.”
With a single magazine loaded with 10 rounds, the student acquires and holds a sight picture. The student is instructed to fire the gun immediately when I tap them on the shoulder. The shoulder taps are at varying intervals so the student can’t anticipate the next tap. Between shots, the student is expected to analyze their shooting stance, sight alignment and grip, while remaining ready for the next tap.
The benefits of this drill include: Improved accuracy at speed, reduced flinching (can’t anticipate the shot) and less concern for a perfect sight picture. My students enjoy the “Ever Ready Drill” because it feels like a game, even though they’re working hard on the fundamentals.
About the Author: Tracy Hughes (League City, TX) began shooting in 2008. Since then, she has obtained a concealed handgun permit, earned certification as an NRA instructor and RSO and teaches others to shoot. When not teaching others, Hughes competes in handgun matches. She recently won the Top Shooter Award at her Citizen’s Police Academy and now competes regularly in IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) events. Apparently, Hughes has been bitten hard by the shooting bug, having become a Chapter Facilitator for the Greater Houston area A Girl and A Gun Club. To add some bling to your gun, go to her website at: www.brilliantbackstraps.com.