Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Drill of the Week #3: "Blake Drill"

Today's drill of the week is a simple but powerful drill to be used in your practice arsenal. The Blake Drill (named after Blake Miguez) is a transition drill where you simply shoot two shots on each of 3 targets. The goal is to have your splits and transitions be the same. This will help get you away from the tendency to hammer on your splits and be lazy on your transitions.  I'm sure all of you reading this have gone to matches and seen shooters (or been one of these shooters yourself) than shoot with a cadence that sounds like this... BANGBANG.... BANGBANG... BANGBANG.  What shooters sometimes don't realize is how much time is lost during that transition. Sure it's great to shoot sub-.20 second splits, but if your transitions between targets are .50 or .60 you're gonna have a bad time.  The goal of this drill is to make you aware of this lost time, and to work on eliminating it!

Another thing to consider with this drill is what your eyes are doing as you transition between targets. Some shooters have a habit of sort of locking their neck and eyes in one position and transitioning through the targets like a tank turret. You do not want to keep your eyes focused on the sights for this entire drill!  What you want to do is to snap your eyes to the next A zone each time, and the gun will follow, then reacquire your sights and break the shot.  If you have a tough time doing that, start SLOW (a second or more between shots if necessary) and think (or say out loud) eyes, sights, trigger. This will help you remember to snap your eyes to the next target.  It may even be easier to accomplish this if you move the targets much further apart.  Think about it this way..If I were to tell you to point  your finger at a light switch on the wall, how would you do it? Go ahead and do it now if you want, I promise not to laugh.  Did you find the switch with your eyes, then your body knew how to just make your finger sort of appear there?  You didn't focus on your finger tip and then maintain that focus as you try to move your finger to the switch..  Shooting transitions is the same. You find your spot on the target and then your hands just move the gun there. After the gun "appears" on target, acquire your sights and break the shot.  Again, this will probably be much easier to do if you move the targets 3 or more yards apart.

Be sure to try different variations of this setup. For example, use three targets instead of two, shoot the targets in a different order, or increase the space between the targets.  As always, be sure to use your timer to verify what you are doing and be sure to push yourself.

Remember, this is only a drill for practice. You shouldn't usually try to shoot a specific cadence in a match.  We also want to see you really pushing yourself here.  Turn up the wick until you get those split/transition times down into the low 20s or better, then remember to back it off some so you can find your comfortable "All A's" pace.  The more you work on it, the faster that comfortable pace will get. I like to always end the drill with that comfortable pace so I can see my progress over time, and so I don't get caught in a trap of just spraying mindlessly into brown. The goal is to get faster, but all A's should be your goal too.

We'd love to hear some suggestions for what to do on future dril of the week videos, so feel free to post them below or in the comments on youtube.  Thanks for watching.

(direct link to video here )


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