Block and Random, Specialized and Integrated training.

Block: Practice the same thing for five minutes or more at a time.
Random: Mixing up the particulars regularly in a drill so as not to do the exact same thing more than a few times before changing it up.

Specialized: Practice each skill/task separately and improve them so they’ll be better when you later use them together.
Integrated: Every drill includes several skills/tasks (e.g., draw, reload, and movement.)

All of these are useful for different reasons. Block training is great for learning and honing a specific skill or practicing for something specific. Specialized approach drills down to particulars. Studies concerning field sport players have shown value in a Random approach after base skills have been developed as this emulates game situations and every individual skill needs to be Integrated with others.

You can have random, integrated practice (build a stage, run it three times, build another) or random, specialized practice (5 runs on bill drill, 5 runs on accelerator, 5 runs on criss cross, repeat SHO, repeat WHO). You can have block, integrated practice (run the same stage 20 times until you beat your par time down as far as possible) and block, specialized practice (spend 300 rounds on beating down your Bill Drill PR).

What’s annyoying is that the “it has to be ‘real’ or you can’t learn” mindset only really applies to a very narrow group of individuals.

Of all the sports and all the physical skills in the world, very few find the need to practice in a singularly “real” environment where small drills are eschewed. In fact, actual athletes and operators recognize the need and benefit of tightly-controlled block and specialized drills.

There seems to be a contingent of “wannabes” and those who bank on them (i.e., offering tactical courses) for whom the “realism” element is an end unto itself. It would seem that “pretending to” is an acceptable enough replacement for “never did”.

This does not just go for the shooting community, but for martial arts douches, peaked in high school footballers, and pretty much anywhere where some sort of glorification is involved.

Consider this:

Take note that Kobe Bryant practiced 800 jump shots in 4 hours like it was nothing. Not exactly playing a “real” game.