Everyone has gone through a training session during their IFATC career. Whether it be a tower or radar session, you’ll most likely be spending the entire 30 minute session in a high pressure environment under significant stress. Training sessions are meant to help you gain experience, learn new strategies, and expand your skills with challenges such as more terrain (for radar) and more aircraft. You’ll receive feedback after your session; however, whether or not you use this feedback lies in your hands – therefore, taking the time to debrief is crucial to your progression as a tower or radar trainee.
Immediately after your session, take a break. Put down your device and take a break for at least 15-20 minutes – clear your mind of any frustrations and stress before going back to your device. This will allow the next steps to be much, much easier.
By this time, you’ll probably have feedback in your message inbox, or in the training time channel in which your session was conducted. Open your replay file, and take the time to examine each and every one of the points listed in the feedback. Examine the situations, revisit your thought process, and brainstorm techniques to prevent these issues from happening in the future. Write down tips and reminders for yourself, and practice these during your next sessions.
The whole purpose of training is to learn and practice. There’s no shame in making mistakes; however, it’s important to learn from these mistakes and develop good habits early.