You don’t really need to practice! You will be able to throw a rifle around in just a matter of weeks, especially if you sleep with your drill rifle under your pillow.
OK, enough sarcasm, you need to practice. Every day. For a couple of hours at least and then wake up and do it again. World-class Driller Sam Gozo and I spoke a while ago about a question I received. The question was, “How did Sam Gozo get to be so good?” Years of practice. I knew and judged Sam while he was still in high school and he was very good then. Now, Sam’s work in the box is absolutely stunning at times. How did he get that way? Well, he practiced a little bit here and there and lamented that he was not better and by him being concerned that he was not better, he magically started to get better at drill. NOT! He practiced for countless hours over the last several years- and still practices! It takes time.
The cadets I work with at Merritt Island High School here in Florida here me say “One more time” at every practice and they know that it’s not going to be just that one more time. You need to do the same thing over and over and over and then do it again. Learn a new skill, perfect it and then move on to another skill.
Are you new to the military drill world? Learn how to stand at Attention, execute facing movements, the rest positions, saluting, static dress and cover, perfect them and then start marching. Learn columns, flanks, dress and cover while marching, perfect them and then pick up a rifle. Learn the basics: Port, shoulder, Present, Order, Sling, perfect them and move on. Learn the Port Spin, single-hand spins, the single toss, double, triple toss. Perfect each and move to the next exhibition/fancy drill move. Learn and perfect. Learn and perfect. The cycle never stops. Do you know why Adam Jeup is so good at performing individual moves? Practice, practice, practice. How did Matt Wendling do so well when he was in high school? Practice! These Drillers didn’t have their skills handed to them on a platter and that moment start drilling with an amazing style and perfect execution, they practiced for years.
Have you been practicing for a year or so and can’t seem to better yourself? It could be that you need to do more than just practice with a rifle. Weights and aerobic exercise will help with general health and will also help you improve your drill? Are you winded after one intense sequence in your routine and have to stop and rest? Start running and some other aerobic exercise- running through that same sequence back-to-back is also a good way to increase stamina. Do you have shaky muscles or does the rifle jolt your body around? Work your core muscles so that they are nothing but solid.
The point is that it takes months of unending practice; constant repetition and more practice. It is true for the armed or unarmed JROTC Driller or the Olympic athlete.
exhibition drill, armed drill, drill team, drill meet, drill competition, drill team training, bayonet, m1 garand, m1903, daisy drill rifle, glendale drillamerica