This is John W7DBO, my training item is on the four keys of successful communication. Before embarking on any project, in this case preparing for field radio operations, it is good idea to take a step back first and establish a statement or mission statement for what you want to accomplish.
Steven R. Covey said: "The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a mission statement."
First, looking at this from a holistic standpoint helps you identify the equipment and skills you will need to meet your goals. For some it may be a goal to summit a peak and operate, others is may be to be deployable in an emergency. Both vastly different goals, that bring different equipment and skills to the table. Once you define what success is to you, you can then work towards that goal.
I have many different goals I am working towards, each with a different mission or statement of purpose. But overall I try to keep four keys of successful communication in mind.
First, "Get on the air" This is your first task to get licensed, acquire appropriate gear for your statement of purpose, learn how to operate your equipment, and operate as a radio communicator. This is a big task, Being capable to arrive at a location and setup a operating station means you have put quite a bit of work in getting there. So your first key to success is getting on the air.
Second, "Stay on the air" Too often you see stations at events that are setup and operating then disappear on the net after a few hours. Some form of equipment failure or low battery took them off the air. Or they find they are not prepared for the operating conditions and close down the station. So prepare your equipment t be redundant, durable, and prepare yourself to stay on the air.
Third, "Be an effective communicator" You could have the perfect radio, the perfect antenna, and the bands could be wide open in your favor. But if you are not an effective communicator then are you successful. This is where you focus your efforts on learning how to speak and listen effectively on the radio. Practice and hone your skills so if the day comes you are in a stressful contest pileup, or an disaster, you can be an effective communicator.
Lastly, Fourth, "Have Fun!" This is supposed to be a fun hobby! Plan and prepare for your operating event to be fun and enjoyable. Bring along creature comforts. Don't plan to operate sitting in the dirt, bring a nice comfy shaded chair and table. Prepare amazing meals and leave the MRE's in the trunk. You will find if you are having fun being an effective communicator comes much easier.
I hope you have found this training item beneficial. And as always I enjoy your feedback and suggestions at email@example.com. This is John W7DBO with the training item.