Establishing Realistic Personal Performance Standards

Developing realistic personal performance standards is an important (and recurring) part of growing as a shooter. Your goals should be just barely out of reach… and you should revise the goals you are chasing as you consistently perform at new levels.

But… where to start?

Well, first off, let’s consider a real-world example. I developed this standard for the Security Team where I work. It was adapted from a variety of sources and may serve as a starting point for your own adaptation.

Please note: this particular standard was developed for shooters with a fairly high level of skill – our goal here, however, is to develop personal standards so you may need to adjust the times listed to suit your current skill level for these stages to serve as your goals. Remember: just barely out of reach…

Standards Example (PDF)

Second, here is a target you can print out for use with the F.A.S.T. drill. The target is courtesy of – an excellent place for serious students of the gun to lurk and learn.

F.A.S.T. Target (PDF)

More information is available on the F.A.S.T. drill, if you are not already familiar with it. I think it is a great all-around benchmark for concealed carriers.

Finally, you can’t gauge progress unless you measure your performances. That requires a shot timer! Here is an Amazon link to the particular shot timer I have had the best luck with:

Pocket Pro II Shot Timer

Be aware that shot timers are designed as a tool for a particular task – they are not the be all/end all. There is a real danger in trying to extrapolate too much significance from too little data. Your practices should incorporate both timed and untimed drills and the focus should ALWAYS be on accuracy and whatever speed you can perform. Shot timers help you track progress over time.

Speed comes with time and repetition (and, honestly, pushing yourself gradually) but speed alone is worthless if you do not make the hits!


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