Quantifiable improvement is my favorite kind of improvement. I like to be able to see what that improvement is and track why it has occurred. Part of my past frustration has been an inability to track concrete progress in my shooting, until this week.
Most of the recommendations I have received in the past have involved starting a notebook and doing everything with a timer then tracking my times. I have two problems with this, the first of which is that I lose notebooks. The second is that my training is so accuracy focused and my ability level so novice that I’m not yet at the point where I spend a lot of time with a shot timer practicing live fire.
I had a really good day at the range on Wednesday. I was able to land some nice 20 yard shots, hit over 40 on both my Dot Torture drills and run my fastest FAST drill (haha) yet. This really pushed me to find a way to track my progress, so with the help of Caleb and another shooting buddy of mine I was able to put together three spreadsheets:
The first tracks my shooting in general. Date, gun, ammo, number of shots, number of malfunctions, and the drill run. This way I can see which guns work best with what ammo, when I was running what drill and how many shots total I’ve put through each firearm.
My second spreadsheet is a very simple sheet designed to monitor my times with the FAST drill. It has the date, the gun, the ammo (things I consider it important to track at all times given that I will shoot differently with different firearms and ammunition types) and my time on the FAST drill.
The final spreadsheet came from a friend and is specifically designed for Dot Torture. I edited it a little to add the gun and ammo, but it includes the date and tracks my hits on each dot as well as my overall score. This allows me to track which dots I am occasionally throwing shots on and which ones consistently require improvement.
It’s important to track your progress, however you choose to do it. It not only shows you what you need to work on but also can act as a confidence booster. It’s great to see proof that you’re getting better rather than just assuming all this practice ought to be doing something.