Social media and magazines have now given individuals a voice and In some instances it’s a great way for people to interact with their idols and chat on forums researching information but it also can have an adverse effect and awful information can be given to a unassuming individual by a keyboard warrior with zero knowledge. My advice to anyone posting a online theory based question is to ask for all replies to be followed by the persons shooting credentials and background, just to help you plough through the rubbish and actually get some good information.
Also with lessons there are some people out there calling themselves instructors or coaches and charging a pretty penny per hour yet they have no background or theory to pass on they simply try and become a quick fix instructor and tell the client where they are missing not why. In this episode I aim to walk you through a typical 2 hour lesson with myself and try and show you key components to a successful lesson and also things to watch out for.
I’m going to do this from a new client point of view as if we’re meeting for the first time and lesson is 10-12, I like to try and do my new clients first thing so if the lesson is 10-12 I would meet 9:40 so we can have a chat about his shooting past and break the ice without eating into his lesson time. Questions I would ask
- amount of time shooting
- Problem targets
- Methods used
- CPSA average (where applicable) and which grounds
Phase 1 – the fit
So at 10 I would tell the client we’re going to start the lesson with a gun fit and balance session. This part of the lesson is a must and no lesson should commence with a ill fitted gun, if Changes are to be made I would explain the reasoning behind all the changes and ask the client if he’s happy for me to make temporary changes to the gun that will cause zero damage and can be reversed after the lesson if they so wish. This segment should take 10-15 minutes. (many clients will say after the lesson has finished the gun fit was a huge part where should I go to get the alterations made permanent ? my reply is no where as like anything you need bedding in time with the new fit and I would assume that as you get used to the fit you will change how you mount so we will re check it in 6 weeks before permanent work is carried out).
The watch and learn (in the first hour I explain to the client I don’t care how many they hit, they may hear me say that’s the perfect shot but that doesn’t mean they broke it just that technically they were perfect)
I teach mainly out of Kibworth SG and the target selection is great but mainly because they have 2 areas with 6 machines varying in difficulty, in this area you can stand anywhere to change the angles if you haven’t been you should check this training facility out, we enter this area and I ask the client to shoot me 2/3 singles of all the targets A-F, during these shots I’m looking for all consistencies but more importantly inconsistencies in
- Hold point
- Kill point
- Gun speed
At this point I would explain the issues that have risen then talk through my hold point drill and also the method star explaining in detail each segment and then utilising these ask the client to re shoot the same sequences with the changes in place just letting them get comfortable and confident.
Phase 3 – the walk
When we’re comfortable we will go for a walk around 3/4 sporting stands but still only tackling single targets really dialling in the hold points and methods. And until I can see a change in the clients face and they have embraced the changes. (In this phase I would have tried to cover the problem targets listed in the initial chat).
At this point I take 5-10 minute coffee break and I really can’t emphasise the importance of this, just to allow the mind to settle and the information to be properly digested and more importantly understood. During this conversation I’ll decide which path the next hour takes do we need to continue hammering home the basics of the first hour or is the student grasping the concept and we can move on to the next stage.
Phase 4 – doubles
We return to the fitasc layout the client is really grasping the new concepts so I’m going to push onto doubles as this is where the confusion comes in during the transition from shot to shot, so we cover how to plan the pair and what changes from singles and the problems we may incur. On this drill I like to shoot A report B twice then B report A twice see if the shooter follows any patterns. Now we head back to course but don’t worry we will finish back here later. We diagnose any issues and make any changes necessary.
Phase 5 – the Making
During the first 90 minutes the lesson has been intense and time has been spent breaking the shooters habits now it’s time to make them. So I back off a little bit seeing if any self diagnosing takes place and watch the shooter grow in stature, of course I’m on hand for anything that needs my attention and correction. And I’d do this again for 3/4 stands. Nothing please me more in this segment hearing a client tell me what they did wrong before I do that’s when it is working.
Phase 6 – the comp
The lesson has been a success but I haven’t seen the client try the drills under pressure so I return to the fitasc layout and set the shooter a challenge, we going to shoot A/B, B/C, C/D etc till we finish on F/A but the kicker is if you miss in the sequence you return to the start, I place them in a spot where all birds are reasonable but a couple of testers. And then I get to see the real shooter and the problems arise from the added pressure this allows me to plan the next lesson and also to give the client work ons to master in their practice sessions. And we finish by documenting the lesson on paper so client has the lesson to go over at a later date if the mind needs refreshing and the home work is given.
In a quick summary that would be a first lesson with myself and what we would cover. But the information given would be very technical and in depth and and go into the core skills of the shooter covering the below :-
Speeds * if a instructor tells you where your missing
Weight transfer ask them why your missing there, what’s
Hold point corrections the fix as tomorrow you won’t be here to
Self diagnosis help me
As a instructor to all levels from beginners to World champs I have always remained true to my beliefs of a instructors job, and that is that my job is inside the cage ie form, movement and technique. Lead that’s the shooters job I can advise only but that has to be learnt through bad judgement and trial and error. If your only getting information of lead this isn’t a lesson at all.
PROCESS NOT OUTCOME !!
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