One of the “go to” training aids for all the biggest sports is video playback. Take football, the first thing after a big game, the coaches watch the film and take apart every play to find out what they did well and what went wrong. What they learn then goes into plan for practice that week in preparation for the next game. This happens in every major sport.
There’s no reason why you couldn’t benefit from using the same method to improve your own shooting skills. With cell phone and tablet tech it’s now so easy and pretty affordable to record your own training sessions. There are a ton of benefits and almost no drawback to video playback. Take care, however, to realize that while this tool is very helpful, it can never fully replace a knowledgeable coach. To go back to the sports example, not a single great athlete goes without a coach. Someone who can help interpret video and data and relay it into a way that makes sense and help you formulate a plan for improvement. That said, let’s look at how you can use video to maximize your own training sessions.
One of the most valuable benefits is immediate feedback. It gives you a real account of what you’re actually doing—not just what you feel like you’re doing. Watching your playback can help you see some non-obvious errors, mistakes you didn’t know you were even committing. Maybe you weren’t moving as fast as you thought you were, or you aren’t using the optimal placement for your magazines.
Overall, you’ll make your training time more efficient, especially if you’re like most people and you don’t get as much time as you’d like. If you have the storage space available, you can keep record of your progress as you continue to build your skill sets. See how much smoother and efficient you are at your draw or reloading. Once you’ve identified your mistakes and corrected them you’ll be conducting more proper repetitions and develop correct muscle memory.
Set up is easy. You likely already have a cell phone and really, that’s all you need. There’s no need to get creative—this isn’t going to the Sundance Film Festival, stick to the simple side or front view. If you did want to catch a bit more action, you can consider setting the camera up at the front or rear three-quarter view to be able to see more of your body and multiple actions at once. The one thing you’ll definitely want to do in terms of setting up the set is making sure you’re in good lighting. No need to buy any fancy lights, just make sure you can clearly see what you’re doing. If you purchase anything at all, a cheap tripod could go a long way into making sure you can keep a consistent and steady frame.
There are a few apps available that can help you breakdown your video even further with the ability to draw on the screen or utilize slow motion. Apps like Coach My Video are available for download for free on Apple and Android platforms. Below are some screenshots of our own analysis using this app. Here’s a link to the website for more info.
That’s all there is to it. Simple, right? Give it a try and let us know how video playback has helped your training.
PRACTICE. PERFECT. PROTECT.