Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What are you? really?

As I work on my rowing without a boat at the YMCA, my rowing machine overlooks the two basketball courts and I can see through far windows the gymnastics floor area. A very nice distraction from the little computer screen counting the strokes, the pace and the calories. Today they will have the Zumba class and then the Get RIPPED class with loud rhythmic beat and bounce. Normally, I am only watching basketball players - making shot after shot from all distances. They will never talk me down on the court, they are all too good.

Periodically, they allow me to peek into their preparation to be better players. They drill. Yes, I have seen them play pick up games, and full or half court - they are fast. But what I mostly see is the drills. Only dribbling, passing, shooting. They are started young, in twos and threes - each with a ball, and sharing one basket and some older guy coaching. By the time they reach their teenage years they will have had more time moving the ball on the floor than I will have ever wanted to - that means LOTS.

As I looked at the young girls doing gymnastics I see them all walking on their hands, cool. I don't do that either. But they make it look simple, easy and fun. And it is part of their drill, and they roll out of it gracefully. I would just collapse into a heap.

I was reminded of the years in the military - doing drill to perfect the operations and tactics, so fewer orders are needed, so the right actions happen in sequence - so we can impress the Soviet Defense Minister - making him think we hid lots of officers in paratroopers uniforms so an airborne assault would look professional.  Made me wonder a little about the Soviets, but I knew it was all good training and DRILL, over and over the same stuff and finally they would give us some live ammunition and make our day.

Could you imagine how perfect you could be in music, dance, sports, grammar, shooting, in love and life - if you do the drill? If you knew the skill set?

Now you can see why dry fire, and drill is good. But also know why this foolishness about money and training value for the dollar is critical for the military. And our service members don't want to sit in the barracks talking about the good old days. They like to train as they will fight.


  1. Now, if I could just get that idea into my math students!

  2. All our drills had a significantly different planned outcome, and that was for US to come home. I'm happy with the drills "I" did, even if they never got me the big $$...

    1. That is the point, can you send them out next time without the drills and the practice? Roman Legions don't work without them.