Avoiding the Pitfalls of Specialization

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Specialization

Posted by Sean Hynds on Jan 31st 2018

I believe we are witnessing a phenomenon that is taking hold in the United States at an alarming rate. It is the idea of excessive specialization. Somewhere along the road, the idea that playing different sports or participating in a variety of activities would take valuable training time away from your focal interest as opposed to complimenting it. Gone are the days of the multi-sport professional athlete and in its place, you have young children playing and training for the same sport year-round with no off-season in sight. This desire to become the best at one particular skill has unfortunately engrained itself in almost all aspects of modern society to include all ages. The skill of pistol shooting has not remained immune.

One has to look no further than the rift between "competitive shooters" and "tactical shooters" to see exactly what I am referring to. The idea of specialization is so rooted in our society that we have to make the notion of "cross training" as opposed to just "training." When it comes to pistol shooting I believe this is a huge mistake.

As a law enforcement officer (LEO), my only concern in a deadly force situation is stopping the threat as quickly as possible. This is simply accomplished with fast and accurate shooting. As an action pistol competitive shooter my only goal, when shooting a stage, is shooting accurate rounds as quickly as possible. If the goal of both competitive and tactical shooters is the same (fast and accurate rounds down range) why has the training historically been so different? Why is it common place for LEOs to have draw times that resemble the speed of molasses in January when a quick reliable draw may the one thing that saves your life? Why does the mention of the use of cover to competitive shooters lose their attention before you can make your argument? Simple... the pitfalls of specialization.