Welcome to Inside the Team Room: An Interview with Navy SEAL Eric Davis

What it Takes To Be the Best

The essence of becoming a proficient sniper involves a blend of patience, focused learning, and a methodical approach to tasks. Patience is crucial due to the inherent need for waiting and calculation involved in sniping. This requires a significant shift from the typical fast-paced nature of SEAL missions to a more deliberate and slow execution of tasks, emphasizing the importance of order and attention to detail.

Successful snipers are those who not only adhere to the methods taught to them but also understand and internalize the underlying principles behind these methods. This involves accepting and executing the prescribed methods to stay ahead of the failure curve, such as following shot sheets, adjusting scopes accurately, and methodically approaching stalking with a checklist. However, true mastery goes beyond mere execution; it requires an in-depth understanding of the principles behind actions, such as the effects of gravity and wind drift on a bullet’s trajectory and the elements of effective camouflage and concealment.

The journey from learning to mastery involves applying the methods with faith initially, without full comprehension, and then dedicating time to study and grasp the principles behind these methods. This process allows snipers to adapt and modify their techniques based on environmental factors and situational needs, fostering innovation both in training and on the battlefield. Ultimately, what distinguishes a good sniper is the ability to flawlessly execute taught methods while continuously learning and applying the principles to adapt and innovate in various scenarios.

Eric Davis is a world-class instructor who taught others to be their best.