I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, you never rise to the occasion, you fall to your level of training. I believe this sends the wrong message. You never rise to the occasion, you fall to your level of proficiency. The level of your training is irrelevant if you aren’t proficient in what you’re trained in. If you want to rise to the occasion, become proficient in the skills you need for that occasion.
The video above is a personal story of when I failed to rise to the occasion because I wasn’t proficient in skills I needed.
Let that sink in.
Before we can discuss how to become proficient, we first need to establish what it is you are preparing for. As Marc MacYoung would say, “training is good, but training for what you are most likely to encounter is better.” The first step is to find out what your likely threats are. Start with a threat assessment of the areas that you spend the majority of your time in, then move outward to more general threats and areas.
Once you have identified the types of threats, you have to come up with a strategy and tactics to mitigate and counter those threats. Afterwards, you can create a training regimen to build the skills that you need for such an encounter. This is where proficiency is built.
We start by getting training. Training is “intended for use during introductory, learning, or transitional periods.” This is where we learn the fundamentals to build upon and learn what and how to practice them. Think of training like the down payment on your house, it’s just the start. After the down payment, there is still a monthly bill. This is your practice. Practice is “a repeated performance or systematic exercise for acquiring a skill or proficiency.”
If you fail to pay your monthly bill, your house is going to be foreclosed on. Meaning, if you don’t practice regularly, your skills will begin to diminish. Like foreclosure, you may not have to move out right away, so you may retain some degree of what you’ve already payed into it. However, the longer you go without paying, the closer you come to losing it completely.
All in all, the equation looks like: appropriate quality training + practice, builds skills, which = proficiency.
Get training, go practice, build skills, and stay safe.
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