I can honestly say that I had no idea what to expect from this year's Combat Focus Shooting Instructors' Conference. Last year was a more like friends getting together for a 4 day training session. This year we doubled the participants, ran 3-4 courses today (end-user and instructor development), and presented brand new material.
One word…AWESOME! It was a pure blast! As the Senior CFS instructor, I came in with a little more pressure than the last conference. I wanted to use this time to step my game up and provide mentorship, value, and an environment that fostered collaboration. It is important for leadership to set the tone.
I was asked earlier in the year to pass on some of the marketing knowledge I gained over the past year. Most people felt my class will help them boost their businesses, which was my goal. In listening to the various business models and systems I am sure I took away six figures worth of information.
The responsibility was great, pressure heavy, but I had to do my part to help every instructor leave the conference knowing they were better for attending.
Everyday was packed, but it there was an excitement in the air. Instructors were being challenged as well as the end-users.
I was able to put names with faces, re-connect with friends, and gain new ones. We worked HARD and played professionally (and Hard). I learned new ways of looking at instructor situations. Also, I was able to develop my program and instructor development skill sets.
To say I made some new friends would be an understatement. The highlight of my conference experience was finally meeting Matt DeVito (Down Range Firearms Training) and his crew. I was also able to provide some mentorship to the “Young Guns” of the industry. It is alway a joy for me when I can pass down the lessons I learned early in my teaching career. Watch out for some of the younger guys they have the potential to evolve the industry in a major way.
The lessons I learned were many. One that sticks out is that we make each other stronger by pointing out our shortcomings and providing guidance on how to get better. Just because I am the senior instructor doesn't mean I did'nt ask for feedback on my teaching or accept feedback as an attempt to make me a better instructor. Thank you to all the instructors that took the time to help me get better.
The final event was a team building evolution. We gathered in the dark, rain, and mud to build a tire shoot house for our host range. They say misery loves company….but it builds character and relationships. We had a BLAST! Like bees in a beehive, we buckled down and got to work. Now cops will have one more facility to sharpen their skills to protect the community.
It is my hope that every participant instructor and end-user left the conference with a sense of accomplishment.