Posted on Dec. 26, 2023 by Lon Bartel

In the pursuit of becoming an expert in any field, deliberate practice plays a crucial role. Anders Ericsson, a renowned psychologist, highlighted the significance of deliberate practice in his research on developing expertise. This concept emphasizes focused and intentional training that targets specific skills or aspects of performance. In law enforcement and military training, one effective tool that embodies this principle is the VirTra training simulator. This blog explores how utilizing the VirTra training simulator can facilitate deliberate practice and significantly enhance skill development time-efficiently.

The Power of Deliberate Practice

Anders Ericsson’s work has shown that deliberate practice, characterized by focused and purposeful training, is the key to achieving excellence. Rather than mindlessly repeating tasks, deliberate practice involves breaking down skills into specific components and engaging in highly concentrated practice sessions1. Individuals can efficiently target weaknesses and gradually improve their performance by narrowing the focus. A little bit of training, repeated often, significantly impacts skill development.

VirTra Training Simulator

The VirTra training simulator provides a cutting-edge platform that enables law enforcement and military professionals to engage in realistic and immersive training scenarios. This advanced technology creates a virtual environment mirroring real-life situations, including encounters with armed suspects, hostage situations, and active shooter scenarios. The VirTra simulator can be adjusted to replicate different environments and conditions, allowing users to experience various challenging situations. Short intervals of an “extended briefing training” on the simulator are a time-efficient way to get skills training.

Realism and Immersion

Deliberate practice necessitates creating an environment that closely resembles real-world situations. The VirTra training simulator excels in this regard, offering an incredibly immersive experience. Through high-definition graphics, surround sound, and lifelike scenarios, the VirTra simulator replicates the stress and pressure of real-life encounters. This realism allows trainees to develop and sharpen their decision-making skills, situational awareness, and critical thinking under challenging circumstances.

Targeted Skill Development

The VirTra training simulator can be customized to address specific training needs and skill development objectives. Whether it’s improving marksmanship, de-escalation techniques, or tactical decision-making, the simulator provides a versatile platform for targeted skill development. By focusing on specific skills and utilizing the feedback generated by the simulator, trainees can identify areas for improvement, adjust their strategies, and measure their progress in real-time.

Time Efficiency and Repetition

In traditional training methods, certain real-life training scenarios may be challenging to recreate frequently due to logistical constraints or safety concerns. However, with the VirTra training simulator, trainees can repeat scenarios multiple times in a time-efficient manner. The ability to engage in repeated practice, with slight variations, plays a crucial role in skill acquisition. By encountering different variations of scenarios, individuals can refine their responses, develop motor programs, and strengthen their decision-making skills.


In the journey towards expertise, deliberate practice is essential. The VirTra training simulator offers a powerful tool that aligns with the principles of deliberate practice and facilitates skill development in law enforcement and military training. By providing a realistic and immersive platform for targeted skill development, the VirTra simulator enables individuals to refine their decision-making abilities, enhance situational awareness, and improve overall performance. By embracing the concept of training a little but a lot, with the VirTra training simulator, law enforcement, and military professionals can accelerate their skill acquisition and become more adept at handling real-life situations.


Ericsson K. A. (2004). Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains. Academic Medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges79(10 Suppl), S70–S81.

Recently Published