Making the rounds on email in the past several weeks has been a pair of publications put out by the U.S. Fire Administration on the “10 Common Indicators of Deception” (yes, I sometimes read fire service training materials — please don’t hate).
Those 10 deception indicators are well known to cops — for a nice little refresher, check out part one here and part two here — but the specific content of the two PDFs is not the central point of today’s discussion.
The title of the series under which these two documents were produced — Coffee Break Training — immediately reminded me of sage advice from my friend and PoliceOne colleague Brian Willis that I thought would be useful to pass along in this space.
I first heard Willis talk about the concept of 10-minute training during a seminar he presented at Southeast Regional Warrior Symposium back in early 2012. He repeated at this year’s ILEETA Conference in April.
I’ll paraphrase him, because although I don’t have my notes from either conference readily available at this moment, his fundamental message affects my daily thoughts and deeds.
Do 10 minutes of training a day, every day you work the job.
Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is.
Assuming you work a four-day week, and you do 10 minutes of training each day you work, you will have done 40 minutes of training per week. Easy math, right?
Assuming you have four weeks off (vacations, holidays, etc.), leaving you with 48 work weeks in a year, and you do the prescribed 10 daily minutes, you will have done 1,920 minutes of training annually.
That’s 32 hours of training.
Someone might ask, “What kind of training can I do in ten minutes?”
Belay the jokes please, but, “What CAN’T you do in ten minutes?”
Solo, Pairs, and Groups
If you’re by yourself, ensure that your duty weapon is clear and you’re in a safe environment. You can practice draws, dry-fire skills, malfunction clears (using snap caps / dummy rounds), as well as de-escalation / re-holster techniques.
Or you could simply close your eyes and do visualizations and positive self-talk that sharpen your mindset before hitting the streets.
If you’ve got a training partner to work with, you can practice your handcuffing skills, or do a few repetitions of some non-contact (or low-impact) DT drills.
Or you could simply talk with each other about incidents in the news, or do when-then planning for known trouble spots in your patrol area.
One last thing: In addition to doing my own personal 10-minute training, I use Brian’s advice every day throughout the commission of my job as Editor in Chief of PoliceOne.
Just about everything you read on PoliceOne will take no more than five minutes of your time. Same is true for watching our video tactical tips.
This is not an accident, nor is it a coincidence. This is so you can “consume” that content and still have five minutes to think about it by yourself, discuss it with your patrol partner, or share it with everyone on your shift at lineup / roll call.
So the next time you’re thinking about taking a ten-minute coffee break, I suggest you grab a bit (or a bite?) of training to go along with it.
Stay safe, my friends.