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By Daniel Schindler, Paragon Sporting Clays Instructor, Wingshooting Instructor
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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.





About Daniel Schindler

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. 


Dan Schindler's Books 

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.



Leave a comment:
Daniel Schindler - Hello Paul.

Thank you for the invitation to sit and share my opinions today…I enjoyed meeting both of you.

Tomorrow I am slammed but will be happy to speak with you about my lessons, as soon as I am able. Before I can quote lesson hours and costs, I’ll need to know what your shooting interests and goals are. Different lessons for different folks…every lesson is tailored to my client and their wishes.

I appreciate your interest and inquiry. At your convenience, if you wish, please provide a phone number and times you prefer.


Daniel L. Schindler
Paragon School of Sporting &
Center for Instructor Study
Guild of Shooting Instructors, UK
Former Team U.S.A. All American
NRA Instructor
NCJA CCW Certified
NRA Life Member - 1986
NSCA Life Member - 1989
Outdoor Writers Association of America
Office: 828.693.6600
Paul Moore - Dan,
This is Paul Moore and it was my pleasure to have you join Dennis Groce and me for lunch today at River Bend. You certainly have an extreme amount of knowledge about shooting as well as a teaching and instructing philosophy that I have seen in only a few instructors, regardless of the profession. I feel that I can learn a great deal from one of your schools, especially the 5 day instructors course. Please keep me informed on when you plan on having the next instructors school. Also, what do you charge for a single shooting lesson. That could be very interesting to me, as well.