Training Under Physical Stress
In the 'Physical' thread, Warped and Buck commented on training while under physical stress.
In that thread, Warped stated: "I recently volunteered to train a few police officers, unfortunately they did not appreciate me making them run around a car until their hearts were in their throats and then to pick up a rifle and shoot."
OK guys -- look at this type of training and offer your comments about such things as points you would emphasize, conditions, standards, etc. I think good comments would probably assist guys who are sitting on a range wondering what else they can do aside from sitting on a bench and sand bagging a rifle.
Gene I am sure you and others are aware why I made them shoot while their hearts were trying to beat their way out of the chest.
When adrenaline hits, they will be experiencing that same difficulty in controlling a weapon and hitting the intended target.
Many of them shoot fairly often, without stress fire they may well not be able to perform while under fire.
You are spot on about physical induced stress to try and imitate the physiological stress that occurs in real life. Sometimes the whining is just a way to deal with the fact that they are not in shape and don't want to admit it, in other cases it's a way the ones in shape try to encourage the others to deal with it and move on.
The military and the more experienced civilian tactical units I have had the chance to train with all use physical stress as a training tool, and as training is expensive, they would not stick with something that was not working.
Keep up the good work, and the ones that get into the training will improve faster than the ones who don't. What some of these officers don't understand is that it is alot easier for the instructor to stand at a static line and point than it is to run around with the shooters and keep them motivated.
We had an exercise that started officers at the fifty yard line, behind misc. pieces of cover that required them to shoot from uncomfortable positions. After firing 5 rounds on paper targets we made sure the line was safe and rifles were onsafe then the group runs down to their targets to check and tape them. The group runs back to the firing line and shifts to the next piece of cover in line. A range officers confirms the range is clear and the next shooting position/ cover is used. This continues until every officer fires from all positions. We used roll over prone, firing through small openings, unlevel ground etc. and whatever cover you can imagine or pull from on the job experience to shoot from over or around. The instructors get a good workout themselves and with a couple of groups it can get tiring.
We got alot of bitching but overall the end feedback was great. We called it the Gauntlet.
Originally Posted by rkflorey
What did you learn that you know you can repeat on demand, no matter the conditions, and have confidence that you will be successful? If anything, how was it trained and how did the drills contribute to your success -- or failure?
Originally Posted by warped
What did you train them to do right and how did you evaluate them in terms of performance and confidence?
I think the ones who would listen, will be able to cope with an adrenaline dump, understand how to deal with increased breathing and how to break the shot on the ebb.
I looked for increased ability to hit the targets under stress, I truly did not care how well they were shooting at rest, that is too easy.
Attitudes for some of them changed and I saw that the ones without the superiority complex were the ones that benefited.
We previously had grabbed them by the back of the vests and moved them to simulate a situation where they could not get stable (pistol) it would work for offhand rifle as well.
BTW I was not alone that day as instructor, I had the course materials and plan but I did get a few assistants from my group of friends.
It is not easy to get enough 1 on 1 time and the extra hands and eyes help me a great deal, I don't have your vast experience working with people outside military or indigenous personnel while OCONUS.
The other thing that I tried to impart is that when shooting through a barrier or near an object, is to not get up on it or project the muzzle through, that gets you identified and shot or has the object creating a hazard when it gets hit by return fire, loopholes are not weapon ports.
They need area to maneuver and being that close does not leave room to move, stacking up on a corner is not good either when facing strong opposition, it makes the stack an easy target. It is merely the old drill of slicing the pie and not bunching up like they got taught elsewhere. Sometimes the bad guys have training too.
Last edited by warped; 04-01-2011 at 01:32 AM.
Originally Posted by warped
Roger -- you and your crew trained some common tasks such as stand off from barricades etc.
I was getting at skills. Did you guys train on any skills? For example, did you guys provide any training on stress control to enhance their performance? How about focused training on Situational Awareness with exercises where you could evaluate them?
If you guys did any skills training, can you comment on the techniques you guys instilled how did you guys evaluated them?
Last edited by LR1955; 04-01-2011 at 12:23 PM.
Controlled breathing, how to inhale for two, let out for a four count, break the shot at the bottom of four but without hesitation.
This way they do not break the shot high, if there is a miss you can get the lower extremities, the high miss could be a bystander or other.
The common lesson was to be able to control the adrenaline and breathing in order to be able to perform as required.
This is something we all learned when guys like you made us run in full gear and then shoot, shoot and shoot more.
Push-ups and then shoot is another good stress drill.
Anything that takes them out of the comfort zone and can simulate the worst of conditions is a good lesson.
We also taught weak side and transition, using strong side on the opposite side of a object exposes far too much, your strong side can be injured or worse.
I will dig out the lesson plan and email you if I can find the hard copies that were left over.
Warped / Guys:
Originally Posted by warped
I believe doctrine has changed from weak / strong side transition to using the strong side -- even if more of the body is exposed. The reason is simple, a right handed shooter has a higher chance of a hit if he shoots right handed and is also faster in his movements under these conditions so although he may expose more of his body shooting around a barricade, it is exposed for less time.
Here is a training point that may be of value and it isn't a hit on Warped. He said that they emphasized the LEA shooting when their breath was out totally in order to ensure shots stayed low due to collateral damage risks.
What assumptions are being made and are they valid?
Also, how does this focus on taking a shot when the breath is totally exhaled affect attentional focus and situational awareness?
Think about it in terms of guys who have just done some sort of hard exercise such as sprinting around police cars and doing push ups.
Again -- no hit on Warped but the scenario brings up excellent points on focus and training.
I have tried both when it come's to controlled breathing under physical stress. For me the half way out exhale before my shot work's better. But that's more than likely my fault for not being in top physical condition!