Sunday, June 05, 2016

New Shooter Smile...

View From The Porch: That New Shooter Smile...:

It's often noted that people seem to have a lot more fun at a gun range than they do at the anti-gun range. Of course they do. "Free Beer!" is an easier sell than Temperance and always has been.
I have no idea what an "anti-gun range" may look like.  Tam has a point to make, so I'm going to imply my own interpretation.

For the past six years it has been my privilege, and my honor, to introduce New Shooters to IPSC competition.

Most of them smiled.  A LOT!

A few of them frowned; they didn't typically follow through by showing up at a match.

But the overwhelming majority of the (several hundred) people whom I have guided through the "Introduction to USPSA" course at my home range  have been all smiles.

Because shooting pistols at cardboard and steel targets .. especially when you're in the process of learning how well  you compare with more experienced pistoleros .. is FUN!

The most wonderful thing about introducing New Shooters to a competitive shooting venue is that the proficiency curve is so steep.

It's easy to analyze the things that untrained shooters are doing, and it's even easier to make them 'better shooters' in a single afternoon.


Because they are intrinsically motivated; they WANT to improve their shooting skills, their gun-handling skills.   Their accuracy.  Their speed in slinging a lot of bullets downrange to hit the target in a high-scoring zone on the target.  Most of the people who seek training recognize that they do not know what they should be doing; they know that their level of proficiency is not what they envision for themselves, and they want to learn the skills, hone their practices, and improve their scores.

Usually, it's as simple as saying:
"You're shooting low; you are either jerking the trigger or you are breaking  your wrist at the shot".

All they need is someone to help them correct their deficiencies; they know they HAVE deficiencies, they just don't know what they are.

Funny thing is, these people who are determined to shoot a pistol accurately and consistently are not as 'ego-driven' as one might expect.

It's easy to develop the intrinsic skills in a single afternoon, if you (as the instructor) are willing to take the time and able to use your experience to help them.

It's even easier for them, the 'students', to accept the 'criticism' as  a Learning Experience,and benefit from the tutorials ... as long as the Instructor is presented as a 'helpful friend' rather than a 'critical analyst'.

Shooting is fun.  Shooting well .. accurately, quickly, competitively .. is even more fun.

A lot of the instructional venues which are commercially available are geared toward making the student proficient in self-defense scenarios.  Not everyone wants that>   A lot of people are attracted to Competitive Shooting (such as IPSC/USPSA and IDPA), and their needs are few:
(1) they need to learn basic safe gun handling skills
(2) they need to learn the rules of the game.

Somewhere in there, if they are lucky, they learn that its fun to shoot!  More, the find themselves in a group of people who not only encourage a 'new shooter' ... but they are so stupid that they don't realize that "SHOOTING" a firearm needs to be restricted because: "BAD!"

It's not "bad".  It's FUN!

And we need to keep that lesson in mind when we introduce New Shooters to the art, the practice, and the enjoyment of flinging lead down-range.

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