Rules of Engagement
by Daniel Schindler
"The problem with being self-taught usually begins with the teacher." For those who tire of the self-taught route, before calling an Instructor to inquire about fees, scheduling and such, here are a few suggestions from someone who's many times been both a student and teacher.
For an Instructor working with a corporate or social group, it's all about safety and providing entertainment. Formal instruction is not on the menu. Wingshooting lessons are just that, do involve the shooting basics, but don't require quite the same formality as a dedicated sporting clays lesson.
Which brings us to the formal sporting clays lesson. Here, it is especially important to ask yourself, "What do I want from my lesson?" It goes without saying that you wish to be safe during your lesson and, of course, enjoy the experience. In my humble opinion, however, I believe your Instructor should deliver a lot more than that. Why? Because you are attending, and paying for this lesson to "learn what you don't know, why you are confused." After all, aren't you calling because you are having difficulties?
A competent, certified Instructor will not only know what is missing in your game but can show it to you so you can see it. This should occur promptly and very clearly. You aren't paying for a shooting exhibition by your Instructor, which won't provide the answers to your questions, i.e., what you don't understand and need to know to advance your skill level. It is your Instructor's responsibility, his or her obligation, to be able to correctly diagnose the physical, mental and swing issues you bring to the table. That's why you are here today. From that diagnosis, you should be hearing very clear, specific answers to your questions. Those answers should make sense and when applied, work in the shooting box . . . consistently.
What not to expect from your Instructor in a formal lesson: In corporate and social events, Instructors "fix." The goal is for you to break as many targets as possible, so the target presentations are intentionally soft and the Instructor will constantly adjust hold points and sight pictures. This works and a good time will be had by all. However, as you are paying for a formal lesson, here the goal is learning. Your Instructor should not be "fixing you." You would go home feeling great about breaking a lot of targets . . . but . . . the question is, "What did you learn today?" Tomorrow when the missing begins, standing in the shooting box by yourself, who will fix you now?
In a formal lesson, it is fair and appropriate to expect your Instructor to be "teaching you," not fixing you. You should be learning WHY things happen in your shooting, what to adjust, and specifically how to adjust it. Only when your teacher teaches you this can you finally understand and approach the next target on your own, prepared with the specific knowledge to break it. If your teacher taught you well, tomorrow at your home club, you will approach the presentation confidently, with a plan, using the right shooting method.
Paragon students advance quickly because Paragon Instructors "teach." We take our obligations seriously and provide you with the answers and explanations you will need to move your game to the next level.
Thanks for stopping by. Be safe and I hope to see you out on the course.
Dan Schindler has been a full-time, professional Sporting Clays and Wingshooting Instructor since 1990, and is a master instructor, competitor, and Coach. Dan has continuously refined his shooting program to competently help shooters of all levels - regardless of their shooting issues - accelerating their skill advancement. Steadily, by building solid fundamentals and properly executing the process, shooters learn how to implement the best shooting methods for each of the various target presentations. Then learn how to correct their own misses and how to repeat the successful swing. In simple, logical steps, Dan takes the mystery out of your shooting, thus, predictably raising your X count.
Take Your Best Shot (Book I) is all about the fundamentals, a requirement for good shooting.
To The Target (Book II) Builds on the steps outlined in Book I. Emphasises Gun Management skills when the trap fires, creating a consistent, reliable, trustworthy swing.
Beyond the Target (Book III) is for shooters of all levels, filled with valuable information, clay target truths. Entertaining and a culmination of 3 decades of Dan' life's work as a teacher, competitor, published writer and much more.