Last month when I took Defensive Handgun Level 1 for the second time I approached the class differently than the year before. The first time, I came into the class as a shooter. I wanted to learn ways to shoot better either through new techniques, or mastering techniques I already used. This second time I came with an entirely different goal, and that was to learn new or better ways to teach. Unbeknownst to me at the time, but Mike is planning the release of a book on firearms instruction later this year. It is on my short list of books to read now.
While I was working through a progression drill as part of the class, Mike stepped up beside me on the line and started shooting. My movement to draw, would signal his start. I called it playing chase. He then explained the purpose of the exercise and its use to motivate skilled students in a class to push their shooting ability. Thinking back on my past two classes with Mike, he used this technique in both of them. I even secured "grandmaster of the day" on one drill, only to lose it later.
I am a very competitive shooter, so for me this instructional technique works well. I think the key to using it is to identify the skilled and/or competitive shooters in the class and target it towards those people. I could see it not working so well with students who might be intimidated by the competitiveness of the technique. It just goes to show that there is more to putting on a good class than knowing how to shoot a gun well. I would say there is even more to it than knowing how to transfer information from yourself, the teacher, to the student. You have to be able to identify where the student is and meet them where they are at in order to pull the most out of them from a performance standpoint. This is just a tool to do that.