In the last post, we talked about how to set up and conduct the memory enhancing KIM (Keep In Memory) game. In this post, we will give you some ideas on how to add variety, help increase mental flexibility, improve retention, provide more opportunities to grow their skills.
After the first exercise you can begin to feather in different conditions to help you keep the games challenging:
– Add one item for each new game (up to 20).
– Increase the time between the game and the time the trainees are allowed to write.
For instance, during the second exercise give them a 5-10 minute task or a break before they are expected back in the classroom. The next time it may be 15-30 minutes of some other task/break/combination and eventually, it can be days or weeks between the observation and the writing down of the items in the KIM Game.– Increase the difficulty of every exercise by cutting back the time observation is allowed, as well as the time allowed for writing down what they saw.
For instance, where we started with 10-seconds per item for the observation and 15-seconds for each item to be written out, once people seem like they are catching on, start decreasing the allowed observation and writing time by 1-second increments per item per exercise. Your goal should be to have a time limit that is only conducive to short and descriptive phrases and drawings, not a descriptive paragraph.
– Try to engage the students in distractions such as simple conversations during the reveal and when they are trying to write.
– Play loud music, make noise during the reveal and during the time they are trying to remember and write the items down.
– Ask students to write down the contents of their previous KIM game (intermediate to advanced), adjust as needed.
Combining KIMs Games and Observation Exercises (advanced only)
Set up an observation exercise, and not give students the B&W photo to mark on until after the time limit is reached.
Increase the time between an observation exercise and the time you ask for the student to fill out the B&W photo and backside description.
Students can be walked through a strange room, rooms, or building and be expected to remember specific details (people, objects, etc).
While most of these games have overall benefits, the real potential shines at the micro-team level training.
Tips and ideas
There are things you can do to facilitate your observation skills and improve your odds of seeing before you are seen; thoughtfully picking the places you walk, park, stand, or sit down.
Simple things like developing a habit of avoiding sitting with your back to a door in your office, restaurants, or your office cubicle entrance can help you see potential problems before they can blindside you.
Once, when I worked for a particular federal organization I went so far as to rearrange my cubicle and its internal wiring to ensure that my back was to a wall and I could see people coming into the building. While this may sound paranoid, it’s not. I simply chose to be situationally aware when I wanted to be, without wasting time.
Looking forward you have a chance to catch movement in your periphery, looking forward only requires a glance to see faster (think personal HUD), should you choose to do so. Doing so gives you a leg up on the one with his back turned to the threat, who will only notice something once the shots break or voices rise.
But having the best field of fire and the best observation skills still isn’t 360 security for you. The more people you have watching your back (not just watching you) the better off you will be, for now, you plus just one more (your significant other/best friend) will be a vast improvement of just you alone.
So for both of your sakes, work these drills together and figure out how you can incorporate the KIM and observation games to best suit your training needs.
Next, we will look how to use individual movement techniques that can help you incorporate all the skills you are developing to manufacture your own unique approach to a tactical situation.