I met a friend of mine to the range yesterday, he has been shooting for twice as long as I have, taken numerous tactical courses, etc. He was looking for a little update, not really expecting to learn anything. We started out with a review of the safety rules, and then on to carry laws in our state. His eyes got a little wider with each question.
Then we went out onto the range...we started out with warm ups at 8 feet. Then up went the silhouette and we started the real fun. He has never done unsighted fire, and was surprised that he was shooting low. We talked about anticipation, and fixed that, and he was in the area he intended to be. We focused on Combat Accurate, or as I think of Defensively accurate, spreading the shots our over high center chest. Then we incorporated scanning, fire a couple shots, come back into high ready and scan 360 degrees, my hand was behind him holding up fingers to tell him how many shots to take on the next fire. That forces him to really see what was behind him. In talking after, he admitted that was new, his first scan was a quick glance left and right, not really taking in any information, but he recognized the value of really processing information. We shot for nearly an hour, I took a turn to demonstrate what I could do at 20 feet unsighted, slowing once to take a head shot, then back to emptying the magazine and showing him a quick reload.
It was fun, and for him a little humbling. The sport of shooting is ever evolving and if you aren't training, you aren't learning the new techniques and tricks. If you are a plinker, that is fine. However, if, like my friend, you have made the decision to start to carry, that is something else.
He was feeling a little humbled, not my intent, but left with a lot of information to process and things to practice. I mostly work with new shooters and it was a treat to work with an experienced shooter, and watch the minor tweaks cause very noticeable improvements.
So, not to call me friend an old dog, but no matter how long you have been shooting, it is a good idea to freshen your skills from time to time and take a class or work with an instructor. Find out what is new, take away what works for you.