A national sports training company uses what they call the "C.A.K.E. concept " as the basis for more effectively training the athletes they work with. The foundational principles of the idea apply to law enforcement training as well.
Here’s how it breaks down:
C = Communications Skills
How well are you communicating your message and how clearly and effectively are you presenting the concepts you’re trying to teach students so they can perform at their peak? You might think you’re doing a great job getting your message across, but what do others think? Take the time to survey students and to ask other experienced officers (ideally trainers) to sit in on your courses and give you candid feedback on how well you’re doing on the communication front.
A = Appearance
Do you look the part of a serious, focused, professionally proud trainer? Or do you look like you’re just plain tired, overworked, and gasping for air most of the time.
If you think how you look plays no role in how effectively you teach and that “dressing for success” is only for corporate robots, think again. Make sure you’re fit, well put together and that you look like someone who has their act together. It does make a difference.
K = Knowledge
Admittedly, this sounds like a no-brainer. You’ve obviously got knowledge. You’re a trainer. But are you expanding your knowledge? Are you always seeking more information by reading, taking classes, brainstorming with other trainers – not just in your own department, but from other agencies, too? Are you constantly re-evaluating what you’re teaching and refining and enhancing it as possible to make sure you’re relaying the absolute best information you can?
Remember this: The best teacher is a dedicated, life-long student.
E = Enthusiasm
This goes hand-in-hand with appearance. Are you truly fired up about training? Does it show? Is it a passion for you, or just a job?
Great trainers not only teach, they MOTIVATE. Keep your energy level high. Keep your passion for training at the surface. Work to stay as focused, energetic and intense on the ten millionth drill as you were on the first. You owe that to your students and, quite frankly, you owe it to yourself.