Author Topic: another flying crossover post  (Read 128 times)

Offline BrotherPilot

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another flying crossover post
« on: January 22, 2019, 09:09:18 AM »
Another great article on code7700.com.  Here's the part that I think has the real bearing on Appleseed:

Why practice itself is not enough
The problem with grabbing some stick time whenever the time permits is that it doesn't push you to improve and there may not be an adequate feedback mechanism.

[Ericsson, pp. 12-13]

We all follow pretty much the same pattern with any skill we learn, from baking a pie to writing a descriptive paragraph. We start off with a general idea of what we want to do, get some instruction from a teacher or a coach or a book or a website, practice until we reach an acceptable level, and then let it become automatic. And there's nothing wrong with that. For much of what we do in life, it's perfectly fine to reach a middling level of performance and just leave it like that. If all you want to do is to safely drive your car from point A to point B or to play the piano well enough to plink out "Fur Elise;" then this approach to learning is all you need.
But there is one very important thing to understand here: once you have reached this satisfactory skill level and automated your performance — your driving, your tennis playing, your baking of pies — you have stopped improving. People often misunderstand this because they assume that the continued driving or tennis playing or pie baking is a form of practice and that if they keep doing it they are bound to get better at it, slowly perhaps, but better nonetheless. They assume that someone who has been driving for twenty years must be a better driver than someone who has been driving for five, that a doctor who has been practicing medicine for twenty years must be a better doctor than one who has been practicing for five, that a teacher who has been teaching for twenty years must be better than one who has been teaching for five.
But no. Research has shown that, generally speaking, once a person reaches that level of "acceptable" performance and automaticity, the additional years of "practice" don't lead to improvement. If anything, the doctor or the teacher or the driver who's been at it for twenty years is likely to be a bit worse than the one who's been doing it for only five, and the reason is that these automated abilities gradually deteriorate in the absence of deliberate efforts to improve.
Introducing Purposeful Practice
Dr. Ericsson calls the efforts many of us employ to get better at something "naive practice." It is doing something repeatedly expecting the repetition alone will improve one's performance. He offers instead what he calls purposeful practice.

Purposeful practice has well-defined, specific goals.
Purposeful practice is all about putting a bunch of baby steps together to reach a longer-term goal.
Purposeful practice is focused.
Purposeful practice involves feedback.
Purposeful practice involves getting out of one's comfort zone.
Dr. Ericsson's book, Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise, further develops this idea into "Deliberate Practice" and is certainly worth reading. But the idea of "purposeful practice" is what we need to improve our stick and rudder skills in an age of ones and zeros. So let's do that.


The whole article is here:  http://code7700.com/stick_and_rudder_ones_and_zeros.htm 

So the two questions I asked myself when reading this are:  1.  How can I apply this to practice on my own?  Dry fire, etc.  2.  How can I apply this at an event to help students?  Might have to go get that book.

Offline Laredo

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Re: another flying crossover post
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 09:48:34 AM »
Interesting.

I go to a range with friends or family fairly regularly throughout the year.  Like you wrote... I am not really practicing.  Sure, its trigger time.  But I am not pushing myself.

However.....

For myself, I make sure and do a few AQT's during an AS a couple times a year.  I find that doing an AQT is a very competitive.  Not sure why or how...  But, I feel the same way standing on the line waiting for the fire command as I did as a youngster waiting for the ref to blow the whistle to start the game or match.  Man, I love that feeling!

I am forced to put everything I spent the weekend teaching others, into practice for myself.  The time limit amps me up.... and I am forced to calm myself down and breath.  I will usually score rifleman or, at worst, a few points below.  However, by the third AQT, I am usually hitting the wings off a gnat.  Last year, I scored above 240 for the first time.  It was on the third AQT.  I am purposefully practicing in order to:  improve, test myself, prove to the students we, as instructors, are worth our salt, and I admit, I love the feeling of a high score!

I never thought of it as purposeful practice.  But, it is just that.  The only thing I am missing is feedback.  However, my targets don't lie and I am pretty good at figuring out what they are telling me and getting honest with myself about what I am doing wrong. 
April 21-22, 2012 - 1st
Oct      6-7, 2012 - 2nd
April 20-21, 2013 - 3rd
Sept     7-8, 2013 - 4th - Rifleman!!

"The cost of a thing is the amount of life required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. When one has obtained those essentials necessary for well-being — food, shelter, warmth, and clothing, there is an alternative to struggling through steel jungles for the luxuries. That’s to adventure on life itself, one’s vacation from humble toil having commenced.” -Townsend Whelen

Offline Mark Davis

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Re: another flying crossover post
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 10:26:01 AM »
You could attend a shooting competition.

There's a whole world of shooters out there doing different types of shooting, they were doing it before appleseed was founded.

In these little circles of shooters you will find a few who strive to be better, and many who have just been gliding and enjoying the camaradie. Go to a shoot, they will welcome a newcomer with open arms.
Identify the best, and the improving shooters. Watch what they do, and ask a few questions.

The ones that appeal to me the most right now are, rimfire schutzen, NRA rimfire silhouette, NRA highpower, and CMP.


Something likely going on at a range near you.

Offline Monkey

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Re: another flying crossover post
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 11:59:24 AM »
Another great article on code7700.com.  Here's the part that I think has the real bearing on Appleseed:

Why practice itself is not enough
The problem with grabbing some stick time whenever the time permits is that it doesn't push you to improve and there may not be an adequate feedback mechanism.

[Ericsson, pp. 12-13]

Dr. Ericsson calls the efforts many of us employ to get better at something "naive practice." It is doing something repeatedly expecting the repetition alone will improve one's performance. He offers instead what he calls purposeful practice.

Purposeful practice has well-defined, specific goals.
Purposeful practice is all about putting a bunch of baby steps together to reach a longer-term goal.
Purposeful practice is focused.
Purposeful practice involves feedback.
Purposeful practice involves getting out of one's comfort zone.
Dr. Ericsson's book, Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise, further develops this idea into "Deliberate Practice" and is certainly worth reading. But the idea of "purposeful practice" is what we need to improve our stick and rudder skills in an age of ones and zeros. So let's do that.


The whole article is here:  http://code7700.com/stick_and_rudder_ones_and_zeros.htm 

So the two questions I asked myself when reading this are:  1.  How can I apply this to practice on my own?  Dry fire, etc.  2.  How can I apply this at an event to help students?  Might have to go get that book.

On your questions:

1.  How can I apply this to practice on my own?  Dry fire, etc.

On marksmanship, dry fire can make all the difference.  No secret there; you've heard that said dozens of times.  The question really becomes, "Of what quality and focus should my dry fire practice be?"

- You can focus on a particular stage.  Personally, I tend to focus more on Stage 1, because it's my self-perceived area of greatest weakness.  There are other aspects of different stages you could work on.  For example, on Stage 1, you could work on trigger pull.  Not necessarily aiming, but concentrating on a smooth, consistent trigger pull on each and every shot - not always easy when you're working with the wobble.  For Stage 2, you could work on smooth transition, and time to first shot.  For Stage 3, you could focus on magazine change, and NPOA shift betwen targets.  There are a lot of nuances you on which you can focus your purposeful practice.

On history & heritage, you could focus on sprucing up your story - think about where tone and inflection could really drive the point home.  Somebody smarter than me once said, "You don't sell with facts and logic.  You sell from feeling and emotion."  We are a sales force, selling the message that all of us should get involved in our government.  From this perspective, I readily use Dangerous Cook's storytelling as the gold standard - First Person description, full of emotion and feeling.


2.  How can I apply this at an event to help students?[/i]

The marksmanship piece may help you be a better coach.  The H&H pracitce WILL make you a better advocate for our primary mission.
"5 minutes for this stage - that's like a week in people years!"

"Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.”
― Hyman G. Rickover

"Scoring is a function of great execution, and winning Is the result, but thinking about winning can pull your focus off of proper execution in a competition. Thinking about process is the answer."- Lanny Bassham