Gotta Go Fast to Get Fast
Pushing speed beyond what is comfortable is the fastest way to get faster.
The definition of “Fast” is a relative term.
Sub one second draw is fast for some people, sub second fifth shot is fast for others.
Meet Isaac Lockwood, the inventor of the Lockwood 4×4 drill. Four shots at four yards in under a second. He also holds the record for the fastest Bill Drill – 1.23 seconds.
Now he’s pushing to the Lockwood 5×5 – five shots in under a second at five yards.
“But it takes him a bunch of tries to do that! So it doesn’t count!”
Well yes… but also no – it totally does count.
Push speed to get new levels of speed
Sure, it takes Isaac multiple tries to pull off five shots in under a second.
But getting one shot off in under a second is going to be mind numbingly boring since Isaac can draw in under half a second.
By pushing the upper ends of speed, you’re teaching the body, mind, and eyes what it looks like and feels like to go fast. Get comfortable with the new speed and old levels of speed become boringly slow.
Steve Anderson loves to call this type of training “Speed Mode.”
Tim Herron loves to compare it to driving a car for the first time. Getting behind the wheel with a learner’s permit and 35mph feels uncomfortably fast. But eventually it becomes comfortable. First time going 45mph and it again, feels way too fast. But after maintaining that speed for a while… it becomes comfortable. Repeat for each new level of faster speeds.
Many instructors teach this concept with different terminology and different examples – but the concept remains the same. It even shows up in other skills, like hitting a baseball by trying to hit faster and faster pitches, or trying to play a guitar faster and faster.
Getting comfortable with going faster comes from pushing speed to levels that are uncomfortable and maintaining that new level of speed until it becomes comfortable. Then the old levels of speed feel slow and boring.
Peak performance vs consistent performance
Pushing speed is raising our level of peak performance, which in turn will help raise our consistent range of performance.
Written by Brian Purkiss - always a student, sometimes a teacher.
I don't consider myself a competition shooter - I think of myself as a performance pistol shooter. I am all about performing at as high of a level as possible. Towards that end, I am obsessive about learning how to perform. I spend a lot of my life learning from the best across the entire firearms world and even into other areas of performance and other sports. I am a USPSA Carry Optics Grandmaster, currently working towards my second GM title in the Open division.