Instructor Development

Time Not Wasted


Michael Warren

April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

I figure now is as good a time as any to make it official – I am a HUGE John Wooden fan. I was able to finish his book on leadership while on a plane today. If you haven’t read it, you should. The book is filled with incredible leadership tips and training tips that are applicable in the world of law enforcement.

Take for instance the way he ran his practices. Every single minute was accounted for. Every. Single. Minute. There was no wasted time.

He gave an example of making practices more efficient. Coach Wooden was a stickler for rebounding. Specifically, he was a stickler for everyone getting after a missed shot and using proper technique to do so.

One of the things that bothered him for a long time was the time wasted on rebounding drills when the shooter actually made the shot. When the shot was made, the entire drill had to be reset. Reset = wasted time.

Coach Wooden found a solution. He found a company that sold a cover that went over the basket. This way every shot was a miss. Therefore, every shot was an opportunity for a rebound.

Raised hand here again, folks, because I am guilty of this as well. How much time has been wasted in our training sessions on “resets”? Failing to properly design a drill causes a reset. Not having the proper equipment, another reset. Reset after reset takes away from the valuable time resource that we have been given.

Every morning after a practice session there was an all-hands meeting of coaches. Before that day’s practice was covered a review was conducted of the previous training. It was expected that everyone identify areas for improvement. It was through the collective efforts that each practice was better than the day before.

With trainers struggling in many agencies to find enough training time we must make every effort to avoid the reset. We must be intentional in our design so that these resets are significantly reduced or even eliminated. We must do reviews after each training session to identify what worked and what didn’t work. The latest training session should be the best ever because of the refinements that have been implemented.

Time is a limited resource. And in many cases, it is becoming even more scarce. Be good stewards so that time is not wasted.