After a decade of military service, I've found that there are infinite life lessons hidden in the art of marksmanship. There are the easy-to-spot ones like the demands for patience, confidence, and control that can fill a men's magazine advice column for years. But there are also the not-so-subtle ones that I picked up during my last annual rifle training.
Point of aim does not equate to point of impact.
What do I mean? It's possible to sight in perfectly on a target, squeeze the trigger and not hit the intended impact. How, you might ask? The problem is usually in the setup. I sighted in on my target to conduct the same course of fire I had done all week long. I was calm, cool, and collected. I aimed in the same manner as before. I had great trigger and breath control. When it was time to assess my impact, I was shocked to see that ALL of my shots were in a perfect grouping low and to the right of my target.
I missed the mark. Worst of all, I didn't know why! So, I walked away doubting my skills and my sights. I later realized that in my setup I had forgotten to extend my buttstock, which in turn changed my impact point.🤦 (Rookies exist at every point in the spectrum.)
Why is this important? Well, have you ever had a conversation where your words had the opposite effect of what you intended? Maybe you had good criticism or information that could genuinely help someone but when you shared it, fired off those rounds for the intended target, you found that you totally missed the mark. That's what I mean!
A message intended for good can be ruined by poor setup.
Feedback is a crucial part of hitting the mark.
What do I mean? Shooting a bunch of rounds can feel therapeutic for the soul, but without seeing where you are hitting you are just wasting bullets.
EVERY shot I fired at my target was marked by a shot spotter. This is how you see if what you are aiming at is actually what you are hitting. BOOM! Too low. Aim higher. BOOM! In the black. Hold it there.
This year I shot 527 rounds throughout my course of training. That means that I received feedback 527 times. That sort of feedback is invaluable to a Marine's success on the range and is a critical part of building lethality on the battlefield. You need feedback even when it sucks to see how far you are from hitting the mark.
No, especially when it sucks to see how far off you are.
But as you may have experienced once, twice, or thrice before, fools hate feedback. They hate seeing how far off target they are. Wise men, on the other hand, beg for feedback. They want to know where they can do better and then apply the feedback they received.
I've seen this principle play out in the men who've invited me to coach and mentor them. Feedback is critical to the growth of a man! We are not meant to grow in a vacuum. In fact, that's exactly how many good men have perished.
Men need feedback.
If you are looking for someone to walk alongside you on your masculine journey, then sign up for a free coaching call with me. You'll be surprised the see the difference it makes when you have someone in your corner.
Let's get you consistently hitting the mark.