For years I have heard trainers use some version of the quote, “You will not rise to the occasion, you will sink to the level of your training.” This bothers me for two reasons.
- It is a broad condemnation of all training and trainers.
- It fails to acknowledge all the cases where people have risen to the occasion, and afterwards credited their training.
As a trainer, if you believe the statement that you will not rise to the occasion, but sink to the level of your training to be true, then that is on you, so what are you doing to change your training? We can’t continue to use and accept this statement, then turn around and blame the individual officer when he or she fails to perform at a high level in a tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving event. Every trainer must step up and ask, “What piece of this do I own?”
Your goal as a trainer should be to design and deliver training in a manner that allows the men and women you train to rise to the occasion because they rise to the level of their training. To accomplish that you need to train both the mind and the body for where they may have to go.
You need to ask yourself if you are training your people to perform under pressure in real world environments or are you simply training them to perform on a test in a static environment. It is not enough to teach to the test in training. You need to teach and coach in a manner that is evidence informed and is designed to facilitate understanding, learning, retention, and the ability to recall and apply the material that was taught in the real world, post training. You need to facilitate training in a manner that will help the men and women you train become dextrous, adaptive, resilient problem solvers. You also need to help them understand how to train to “Be Fit To Be Useful” for their entire career.
It is not enough to just train tactics and techniques and fail to train the mind. It is not enough to pay lip service to mental skills training. Mental skills training needs to be integrated and embedded into all your training. This requires that you provide people with a range of options for them to experiment with, and use, before, during and after training and real-world events. You also need to provide them with tools they can use outside of work. You to provide mental skills training focused on performance, not just mental health. It also requires that your entire training cadre develop an understanding of the mental skills training provided so they can support and encourage the use of those tools in their training.
Being a trainer is a tough and demanding job. If you are going to accept the title of trainer you need to accept the responsibilities that come along with that title. Those responsibilities include continually learning to improve your knowledge, understanding, skills and your craft. What you do is too important now to.
Winning Mind Training – Providing practical training to law enforcement professionals in the areas of instructor development, Performance Enhancement Imagery, leadership and mindset.