Advice needed for skills competition

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Kaye, Aug 19, 2008.

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  1. 'A' section of my platoon has been assigned to take part in a skills competition. The company have asked me to coach them and their section commander (a capable, but too *nice* sgt) through the training period and at the competition itself. The competition will be held halfway through October.

    When the CSM asked / told me to take that job I was happy that he considered me capable to do it. But, honestly, I must admit that I haven't really got an idea how to take it on. Off course, telling the CSM that I cannot do this is not an option. Hara kiri would be more painless...

    The skills competition will be about basic skills. NBC, shooting, section drills, reporting, taking up a firing position and such. All stuff that the men know, or should know. Some, being long term reservists, can be sloppy at it.
    Given that I have only the regular drill evenings and a handful of extra evenings and one saturday to get them up to speed I hope that some of the collective experience here can be shared with me. Do you know any tricks or tools on how to train a section for this competition? I am willing to consider bribes, sabotage, brute force and blackmail...
  2. WHAT KIND OF ADVICE ARE YOU AFTER as in powerpoint's? or lesson plans? can you be more specific.
    you would be best off first of all finding out the skills and knowledge of the lads that are taking part so you know where to focus your attention also if amongst the guys you have some one who is good at map reading get them to pass on the knowledge to the group .

    its some where to start?!
  3. I'm looking to find a general approach. Since I'm not a great enthousiast about all things Powerpointy, I'd like to to get help in how to set up a lesson plan for the entire period untill half October.

    I think the best approach is indeed to:

    * First find out what level of skill the participants have. They're not all as good as one another and not all as willing. (They're Chinese volunteers).

    * Then, together with their section commander plan the lessons for the entire period. The rifle range will be booked by the CSM, so that's a given and I will book the FIBUA house for the same Saturday. The rest of the training moments will be planned according to the state of affairs I find on the first session.

    * From then it's watch and shoot untill the competion.

    Does this sound sensible?
  4. In the past when on a training job, i've found the key to the training is to make sure it is easier for the lads learn. You need to take away any stress points or difficulties as much as you can, so it's easiest for them to assimilate. Basically the following bullet points might help:

    -> Make sure you know the subject you are teaching inside out. This will make the lesson run more smoothly, give the lads confidence in your abillity and you confidence in yours.
    -> KISS - try and keep it all at a level everyone can understand easily. Take millitary jargon and badly explained drills and then put them in laymens terms, talking from the persepective of the soldier carrying out the drills - they should then find this easier to relate to.
    -> Keep any lessons as active as possible, either moving through everything as you do it - including in the classroom.
    -> The best way to learn is to teach it/do it. So get some of the lads to try and teach bits to each other. Definitely get them to do anything you teach, and run through it till they all get it right and know why it is right.
    -> Stress hinders learning, so break everything down into bite size chunks that won't stress the lads out. Don't ever "dump" a ton of information on them, even if you plan on going through it later, it's too late by then and they've closed down to new input.
    -> Give them confidence in their abilities to acheive it, tell them all that the skills they'll learn are well within their capabilities.
    -> Strange as it sounds, try using the powerpoints after the exercises or dry run throughs. By this time the lads can put it into reference and it won't be academic rules that they then have to apply to the drill. Get the drill right then show them what the accademic side behind it is, it helps explain the reason behind things too.

    Finally, don't ever lose your temper, or sense of humour. Keep the lads confidence up and keep the lessons fun and interesting and you'll find the skills improve quicker. Shouting and beastings work better on soldiers who don't have the freedom to decide whether they want to go to training this weekend or not. It has it's place, but be carefull with it.

    You can't get totally unmotivated soldiers to soldier well, but you can make sure you don't give the borderline ones an excuse not to listen or take part due to bad teaching.

    Hope this hasn't been too much like teaching you to suck eggs, and that it's a bit useful.

  5. Try a dry run on the first night to assess thier current standard then take it from there
  6. Practice makes Permanent, Perfect Practice makes Perfect.
    Rehearse drills, regardless of the subject, until they become second nature, critique each other, breed a culture of support, where it is ok to get something wrong, as long as people learn from their (and others) mistakes. Be specific in what you are aiming for (by the end of this lesson you will be able to set up a trip flare), but flexible in delivery, different people learn in different ways, work to people's strengths, some will be very good at sigs and VP, are you going to make them the gunner? Work hard and play hard - bonding will take place better outside of uniform, in the pub or restaurant, and can then be carried back into the training cycle - you are more willing to work hard for someone if you know them and respect them.
  7. This looks like a "wah" to me.

    Section Commander a Sergeant? CSM simply dicking you to train a section? "Long term Reservists"? Basic skills such as "taking up a fire position"?

    Are you a cadet unit and what rank are you? Serious Qs by the way,

  8. I am a section commander in the Royal Netherlands Army and am assisting a fellow section commander (a sgt) in training his lads for the skills competition that is coming up. I am a corporal myself and am acting as section commander because my own sgt is absent. In the Netherlands army section commanders are sergeants and sometimes corporals.
    I asked these questions because when I was a regular I trained lads to become regular soldiers. Since becoming a reservist I noticed that not all of my approaches to training the Dutch TA soldiers went down as I expected. Sometimes I am seen a as a ‘fresh wind’ sometimes as a huge bully. Since the OC and the CSM see this skills competition as important and since I was approached to coach my colleagues I thought it prudent to ask around on the best approach.

    So, no wah, no cadet and not a joke.
  9. Ah, thank you for explaining; my apologies.
  10. I am a firm believer that the internet is a good tool for certain things - but too many people let it become a replacement for "real life". What I'm hinting at here is that perhaps speaking to people face to face from within your own unit would be more productive? There should be a wealth of experience knocking about the ranks, one would think.
  11. @ Bravo-Bravo

    No appologies needed. I was wondering myself whether I should ask the question here. Why would an NCO need ask such a question, you know?
    Thing is, I don't want to come across as the blunt instrument I sometimes am. I must say that reservist soldiering as an NCO is in some aspects more difficult than regular soldiering.
    The problem I have is: How do you train (and motivate) a bunch of blokes to do something for which they've been told that they are as of now 'volunteers' and which will cost them extra spare time. It is also inherently boring because I have to take them right back to some basic skills which they believe they're perfectly sufficient in...

    @ Bushnut

    What makes you think I'm not doing that too? I am talking to my platoon commander, to the 2 i/c of the other section, to the sectioncommander. I'm talking to the company's training sergeant-major and to the PSI. Monday september 1st all of the above will meet and at that meeting I want to have something sensible to say about what I plan to do. (Or am at that moment doing allready
    I don't want to use ARRSE just to hang about the NAAFI board and the gallery. I think it has real uses in supplementing my 'real life' colleagues. So I'm gratefull for the advice I was given above. Some things are like kicking in open doors, others I hadn't thought of yet.
  12. Just apply the principles of EDIP, Explanation, Demonstration, Imitation, Practice. They sound like low level skills that just need sharpening up. Oh and get into whatever training aids you need to aquire, so that you don't get it wrong and look a complete numpty.
  13. Have your section carry out a dry run of the competition; see where the skills need improving, work on those areas.
  14. as an nco it should be one of your abilities to delegate differing tasks to people that are more knowledgeable than you on a certain subject,some of it you have done by coming on here. but why not get out and about and find people that know what you want to teach,and get them to help you.nbc instructors,infanteers,cmt's and signallers. all these together will make your life easier,and give them more info than you ever could from reading up for it. hope this helps