Most people that have been involved in a shooting will tell you that their training was to the reality of a shooting what driving to work is to driving NASCAR. The mechanics are pretty much the same but that is where similarities end.
The vast majority of shooting competitions and informal shooting sessions use and audible cue to signal the shooter to draw and fire. This is very different from the street where shootings usually prompted by physical movement. Why do we still train this way? Sound may be a target identifier but alone should never cause you to fire.
The first thing you need to do is to be able to articulate for your defense is an immanent physical threat. There are many ways to simulate this on indoor and outdoor ranges. If the targets are not mechanical then attach a line to them and have a buddy yank on it moving the target. Teach yourself to respond to the preparatory and execution movements of someone drawing a weapon on you.
How many people that carry in the line of duty or have a CCW spend a day on the range shooting without holstering their pistol? The logical progression of carrying any tool for self defense is Selection-Carry-Deployment-Use. Too many folks get caught up in the selection phase trying to find the perfect pistol that will make them better. Some folks spend time learning to run the gun. Two hand shooting, one handed shooting, reloads etc. Very few take a legitimate inventory of their carry options and even less practice deployment under less than perfect circumstances.
There is a need for open hand skills that allow you to create time and distance where none exist. Time and time again we see students that shoot well melt down as soon as they have to draw from concealment even without added stress. Hands down the most popular carry position is behind the strong side hip. When was the last time, if ever, you practiced drawing you gun from this position while seated in a vehicle with your concealment garment and seat belt buckled over it? You may want to before you need to.
There are a couple of invaluable things you can purchase beside ammo to increase your combat effectiveness with your pistol. The first in getting a Rings Manufacturing blue gun trainer of the gun you carry. It will allow you to practice drawing, weapon handling, room clearing, and weapons retention etc while enjoying total safety that is visibly verifiable by anyone.
The second is to get an air soft copy of your gun if available. Even if it is one of the models that needs to be cocked it can offer great training value. Care must be taken to insure that the live gun is not in proximity to the training environment.
With the help of a few like minded friends and some common sense scenarios you will soon see that under stress the fundamentals or marksmanship exit stage right as soon as the you know what hits the fan.
Eye protection is the bare minimum when using air soft. The little plastic BBs can travel in excess of 300 feet per second, enough for a valuable pain penalty that discourages mistakes.
Your gun is not a talisman that can keep you safe. It is worthless without your dedication, awareness, determination and skill, and lots of luck.
If you like target shooting as I do, by all means keep doing it. Just set aside time to hone your other defensive skill sets that compliment your overall protection plan.