If your range trips lack any kind of planning, performance standards, or measurable and repeatable processes, you aren’t training to your full potential. This is part of why instruction from a professional trainer is so invaluable. They don’t just teach you how to shoot. They teach you how to train.
Unfortunately, you can’t always have a noted professional trainer, like Jeff Gonzales, on the range with you to cook up effective drills and enforce humbling standards. You can, however, keep a little bit of the wisdom that Jeff has gained over years of service as a Navy SEAL and training countless trigger pullers along with 52 of his drills tucked away in your back pocket.
TACOST, at its simplest, is a deck of cards. You can play War, Poker, Go Fish or whatever. It is an actual deck of cards. However, instead of girly pictures or cats doing ridiculous things, these cards have an efficient, standalone drill printed on each one (a total of 52 drills in all). The drills are broken down into 4 disciplines, one for each suit: Marksmanship, Speed , Baseline , and Dry Fire.
The purpose of the Marksmanship and Speed drills is obvious. The Baseline drills are sort of like diagnostic drills. They combine elements of all the other groups and provide a measuring stick for performance improvement over time. The Dry Fire drills actually include some live fire so they are really intended to be completed on the range.
Observations from Use
I have used the TACOST deck on the range a couple of times now and it is tremendous. It is hard to imagine a more portable way to carry around drills like this other than maybe a smart phone app (hint, hint). I typically don’t carry the entire deck. I like to shuffle the deck as I prepare for a range trip and pick a few cards randomly. Picking the cards at home as I prep for the range trip ensures that I can gather everything I need for the drills and choosing them randomly ensures that I am not cherry picking the drills that I am good at (you know, the fun ones).
The drills generally have low round counts. You could get 3 or 4 drills out of 2 boxes of ammo and probably have some left over. The round counts are low but the training value is high. You can really get a lot of training in few rounds.
The best thing about TACOST is the intuitive approach to training that it offers. By breaking the drills into 4 fundamental groups, Jeff has built in structure and instilled a clear idea of what you are working toward in each drill. The standards for each drill at listed on the card which makes enforcing those standards and tracking progress over time very easy. Everything you need to get the most out of each round sent down range is laid out on the cards and organized in an intuitive way. The Baseline drills give you an overall sense that the Speed and Marksmanship units don’t exist in a vacuum by tying them all together.
You are about to start hearing a lot about “perfect stocking stuffers.” Well, forget all the other stuff you hear, TACOST is the perfect stocking stuffer. It is an easy way to bring structure, focus, variety, measurability, and repeatability to your training. It also happens to be pretty challenging at times. I like to call it “The Deck of Humility.”
Check out TACOST at Trident Concepts.