View Full Version : Do you keep a training log?

December 6, 2011, 10:46 AM
Someone recommended this to me on another post and it seemed like a really good idea.
I just started one and am tracking; what gun/cal., type of practice (sa/da, draw and fire, etc.), whether it was a dry-fire or live-fire session, and how many rounds fired/repetitions. Since I don't hunt anymore my shooting is mostly SD oriented at 10yds for handguns, shotguns, and 25yds for rifles.

Can you guys give me any ideas about anything else I could be keeping track of?

Thanks, Bill

December 6, 2011, 11:07 AM
I'm assuming your talking about a score or data book for shooting.

If that's the case I'd say YES. When I was coaching I demanded a data book be kept and kept propertly.

I think Mae West said it best, "keep a diary and it will keep you".

December 6, 2011, 11:46 AM
Many of the top shooters are big advocates of a performance journal. Lanny Bassham (http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Mind-Mental-Management-System/dp/1885221479/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323189746&sr=8-1) goes into it in his book. Mike Seeklander (http://www.amazon.com/Your-Competition-Handgun-Training-Program/dp/144996642X/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323189791&sr=1-1-spell) also goes into it in his book, and has forms that can be photocopied and put in a notebook. Or, you can buy them already in logbook form (http://www.amazon.com/Your-Performance-Logbook-Correct-Execution/dp/1453797947/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b). For action shooting, I can highly recommend the Seeklander book.

BTW, Lanny's adamant - it's a Performance Journal, not a lack-of-performance journal, and not a diary: It focuses on the positive. Negatives are avoided, as they leave a bad mental imprint.

December 6, 2011, 12:11 PM
Lanny's adamant - it's a Performance Journal, not a lack-of-performance journal, and not a diary: It focuses on the positive. Negatives are avoided, as they leave a bad mental imprint.

I totally DISAGREE with that concept. What does it accomplish to only plot good calls? How can you correct a problem by failing to address it?

How can you determine if the shooter or the rifle is going south if you only record the good?

If you "blew a shot" was it because of a loose position, flinch, missed a wind call, etc etc.? You'll never now if you don't record the good with the bad.

In studying your Zero, you look at the plotted shots and compare them to the plotted calls. How can you do this if you only record the good shots and good calls?

I'm a huge fan of mental discipline in shooting (and everything else), but not to the point of lying to yourself. Omission is lying.

Record EVERYTHING, the good, the bad and the ugly.

December 6, 2011, 01:37 PM
Yea, I have to agree with Kraig here. I had a history teacher that said the reason we study the past is to predict the future ... so you can change it and prevent the bad things or at least fix them better next time. If you leave half of the history out, what can you learn and what can you do to improve? I say don't forget the bad experiences, remember them and learn from them.

That said, I don't have a log book but that's a good idea. It would sure clean up my stacks of old targets each with little notes scrawled on them. I log book would be so much neater and take up less space.

December 6, 2011, 02:00 PM
I keep my targets. I make notes on them about what I was trying to do and whether it worked or not.

I tend to learn more from bad days than good.

December 6, 2011, 02:13 PM
You'd have to read Lanny's reasoning for a more complete explanation, but his point is that in talking about, or writing down bad shots, you're creating a mental imprint, and are increasing the likelihood of repeating the mistake. So powerful is the mental imprinting from this, that every journal entry starts with your own positive goal statement - an achievable goal, written in the 1st person, future tense, as though you've already achieved it.

None of this is about ignoring problems or lying to yourself. But if you've got a tendency to jerk the trigger, the solution isn't to tell yourself to stop jerking the trigger - the brain doesn't do "don'ts". The solution is to pull correctly, and your good shots, recorded in the Journal, teach you how to do that. Why waste time studying how to do something wrong? If you generally have good trigger control, but happen to jerk a shot, forget it and move on. It shouldn't cause you to look for a solution to a problem that doesn't exit, so it doesn't go in the Performance Journal. Otherwise, it's an unnecessary distraction.

In his book, Bassham recalls he was talking to a group of shooters about his gold medal win. One person asked him what made him miss that one single 10-ring. Surprised, Lanny asked "aren't you more interested in how I got all the others in the 10-ring?".

The Performance Journal does contain all your data - # of shots, scores, equipment used, etc. But it's data. Not diary entries.

December 6, 2011, 10:13 PM
If you don't know where you are, how are you suppose to know where you are going.

December 7, 2011, 10:54 AM
Yea MrB, I can see where you're coming from there (especially with the mental imprints).

I'd still be one of those asking though ... ok so 9 perfect hits and 1 off, why did that one shot miss? I think it's the engineer in me that is more interested in when things go bad then when they go right (after all, if they're designed right, they should work right all the time, when they don't, ok now I'm interested :cool:). But yea, I see where you're coming from.

December 8, 2011, 09:00 PM
I never even considered keeping a training log for shooting. It makes sense. I keep a fitness log and I couldn't imagine not doing so.

I'll start one.

December 8, 2011, 09:09 PM
The Army keeps track of my training for them.

When I went and trained with the German Army I noticed that they did a much better job of it. They also gave everyone a little book with your marksmanship stuff in it.

Personally I don't keep track of it. I can see some benefit to it however.