Protocol for Testing and Tracking Progress
The best practice when conducting this course is to administer a baseline incoming test in order to generally evaluate and measure a baseline competency of speed and accuracy for each new individual.. This testing procedure is discussed in detail on Day One modules below.
Before talking about any testing further, it is extremely important to put the word "test" in context. To do very well at a test does not necessarily mean the student has a great aptitude to be a pistol handler/defensive shooter. There's a plurality of additional context to have the proper mindset and skills to be effective in self-defense. Again, this course primarily focuses on the fundamentals of pistol handling, but of course has a strong foundation to put people on a glide path to safely utilize a firearm for a plurality of reasons. One core reason is self-defense in a critical incident; therefore, testing and tracking is important to maintain motivation and see an increase in skills. Simultaneously, we want to keep in mind that the skills that are trained in this course are directed to be robust and broad for a myriad of context and practical application, and we want to be sure we're not mastering a drill as opposed to a skill. In other words, the course is not directed to just ace a test but rather, employ a pistol safely and effectively in the broadest practical context as possible. Nonetheless, having baseline tracking with some follow-up testing to measure progress and possibly illuminate deficiencies is a great tool and aspect to have in your course. This will make it more enjoyable and provide meaningful feedback and motivation to your students.
Ideally, the testing should have progressions to vary and broaden the context of the tests in order to expand the skill sets. For example, a baseline test could be a simple draw to first shot on target at a given distance. The progressions on this test can be a further target where more sights are required, movement and drawing such as turning and drawing, lateral movement and drawing, etc. Depending on your situation, you may want to continue and test these various derivatives and progressions, time permitting. Alternatively, stick with some base testing and focus on a lot of the skill and skill development without a rigorous measurement protocol. This is really more up to the idiosyncrasies of your clientele where, generally speaking, Type A personalities may like the tracking and measurement a little bit better than other personalities. Either way, the testing can be more scalable than just a few handful of baseline tests.
For testing speed and accuracy, a very effective tool is the LASR system sold with the SIRT pistols. LASR re-purposes existing computers, tablets, etc., to track the hits to record the shot placement accuracy as well as the time. Oftentimes you have to finesse the indoor lighting a little bit to make the system work robustly. You would definitely want to test it before each class to make sure it is reliably working and make any necessary adjustments to the ambient light. Please refer to the LASR tutorials for setup and protocol for using the LASR app in your training environment. LASR is generally very inexpensive, ranging between $120.00 and $180.00 depending on your options. You can re-purpose your existing laptops, tablets, and even phones which makes it very accessible and cost effective.
LASR can further be viewed as an assistant instructor, meaning you can have some students doing a LASR-based drill while you are hands-on instructing an individual student.
Video of Sample Class Related to This Block
The sample videos below are to help you see how this instruction is actually taught. Now, this is not the only way to instruct, but it is shown to give you an example.