Classical conditioning is the basis for any effective skill development program. With physical skills, the basis is neuromuscular programming, which effectively means myelination of the neuro-pathways that support movement of the appropriate muscle groups. In other words: repetition! That said, not all repetition is equal.
Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent. Never has there been a truer adage when it comes to shooting. A correct repetition is the basis for development of a more efficient neuromuscular pathway. An incorrect repetition is the basis for the development of a “Bad habit.” Bad habits are extremely hard to break once they become hardwired. The only way to break a bad habit is through neuromuscular “reprogramming” by extensive repetitions of the correct technique. Given a finite amount of time and ammunition for training, it is better to avoid bad habits and steer toward a path of learning and reinforcing proper techniques from the beginning.
If you push your pace beyond your ability to condition the correct response – you are not doing yourself any favors. Your speed is physically limited by the amount of fast twitch muscle fibers you have (genetically) and no matter how much you practice, you may never shoot like world champion speed shooter Jerry Miculek. My theory is that Jerry was sent here by aliens to make the rest of us feel inferior anyway. You’ll get closer to Jerry than most people ever will if you just slow down and ensure your practice repetitions are correct vice focusing on getting faster repetitions.
Eventually, you’ll have to apply some speed to a percentage of your repetitions. If you want to determine how much speed training it will take, compare firearm training to professional runners’ training programs. 70% of their training is in the low aerobic range (that means slow!). 20% in the mid range, and 10% at race pace. The mistake I see most shooters make in their training is that that the do the exactly opposite as they immediately push themselves to the fastest shooting pace they are capable of while skipping valuable slow-pace skill development… Ultimately, they build poor technique, which takes years to correct!
~ Aegis Academy