Sunday, March 29, 2009

Introduction to USPSA: April, 2009 (Part III)

I'm changing the parameters for ti Introduction to USPSA class, scheduled for Saturda April 4, 2009.

I'll have a new Demonstrator for that class.

No reflection on "Yawn", who has been a huge help at several classes. In fact, I'm encouraging him to take his enthusiasm for the sport to a new level of volunteerism. I think he would be a fine officer in either the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club, or the Columbia Cascade Section. He's a natural hard-working volunteer. I think his energy and enthusiasm have been wasted by working only as a Demonstrator at the USPSA class. (Yes, it's an important function; but he deserves the chance to grow, and I can't give it to him.)

I want to use the post of Demonstrator to the Introduction to USPSA as an entry post for more volunteers, and toward that end I am inclined to use this function to encourage volunteerism.

It has occurred to me that a Limited-Division Master-Class shooter would be an excellent choice.

Not only can we train a potential Instructor replacement, but it expands the list of folks who are given the opportunity to "Give Back To The Sport".

One of the things I'm looking for, by soliciting the assistance of a new Demonstrator, is to re-evaluate the course Syllabus.

Jan ("Yawn") has been extremely helpful in the past, and he has helped to define the information flow from Instructor to New Shooter. He was a member of my July, 2008, class so he knows what New Shooters need to know.

But it's unfair to call upon his personal time too much, and so I've decided to accept the offer made by Guy early this month.

Guy has been competing in USPSA/IPSC since Christ was a D-shooter, While there is no doubt that he has already Done His Bit with his monthly column on "Reloading" for The Front Sight Magazine, that's no reason why he can't be allocated a spell doing the fun stuff by helping new shooters learn about how to compete in USPSA.

Guy volunteered for the position, I accepted his offer, and he has already confirmed the acceptance.

I've already encouraged a "New Shooter" to assist in this course, working under the assumption that he would provide insight into the issues that other New Shooters would need special insight. Now I'm inviting an Experienced Shooter to provide a contrasting perspective.

It is my hope that encouraging more competitors to Volunteerism will in turn encourage them to volunteer for more 'public offices' within the organization.

Another reason for this change is to encourage 'veterans' of the class to move on to offices of more responsibility. We need to do whatever it takes to encourage a New Generation of administrators in USPSA. These energetic folks can choose to serve at the club, the Section or the National level, or they can switch to the fast-track of taking Range Officer Certification classes and serve on the weekly (0r monthly) local level ... or expand their training to serve as Range Officers at Major Matches.

Even if they go no further than to certify as Range Officers for Club Matches, they will help the rest of us to become more familiar with Competition Rules.

Ultimately, I hope this policy will provide some more administrators at all levels. We do need to encourage competitors to become Range Officers, and we need New Blood at both the Section and Area Level.

Whether they go on to serve at the National Level is up to them. The United States Practical Shooting Association has enjoyed a multi-year boon of qualified, experienced and dedicated people for the past several years. These folks are beginning to retire. If we don't find energetic and qualified (experienced) new candidates determined to ASK to be voted into these positions, we will find ourselves with the same tired, clue-less candidates which we suffered a decade or more ago.

We need new blood. Some folks work toward this goal by encouraging Juniors to enter USPSA competition. But we don't have a program designed to funnel experienced, mature people to Volunteering to take a leadership role.

I'm doing my part to find new people to fill these essential roles. What are YOU doing to encourage volunteerism?

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