First, thank you, we appreciate your inquiry into the Paragon C.I.S. Instructor Certification Programs. The following explains what I’m hoping you want to know - and should know - not only about Paragon - but also about the Instructor certification class you choose to attend.
Our class is an enlightening, thoroughly educational and deeply gratifying experience that delivers a lot more than the nuts and bolts of shooting, both the game and business. To fully appreciate what you are stepping into as an Instructor, please understand that your students - some of whom are novices and wing shooters including men, women and youngsters - are the most confused - arrive with problematic eye and vision issues - bring the most fragile egos – have the least confidence along with the highest set of expectations - an assortment of gun fit issues - a “less that ideal” set-up, gun mount and swing - and are looking to you to make it all better - today.
They are hoping you will un-complicate everything. They’re looking to you for reassurance. They very much want to sense that you know what you are doing - a most reasonable expectation on their part. This is the task being handed to you - a task you agreed to when you took the lesson reservation. How will you achieve success by his or her definition today? How will you make sure that at the end of the lesson, your student absolutely wants to come back and see you again? By the Sporting Clays and Wingshooting Certification program that you choose - the training you receive.
On your certification choices…… I was the Chief Examiner for about 20 or more NSCA Level I & II instructor certification classes. My classes had a national reputation for being tough. Yet, my Instructor certification classes consistently filled to capacity by conscientious individuals who were seeking more than a certificate. Time after time, we had to schedule back-to-back certification classes to accommodate everyone. Not everyone who attended achieved certification. Eventually, NSCA and myself came to a crossroads. I’d fought hard to defend what I considered to be the minimum level of instructor “competence” for certification. This would mean increasing certification class time, . . . and raising the teaching standard. Many I’d certified agreed, believing as I did. In the end, NSCA decided my teaching was too comprehensive and drifted away from their philosophy that instruction should be directed towards entertainment. Wanting their Examiners to teach accordingly, NSCA chose to no longer use my services.
Shortly thereafter, Instructors I’d certified wanted to move up and asked me to open an Instructor school, and how the Paragon Center for Instructor Study (C.I.S.) came about.
"I teach my Instructors – when you are teaching – it is NOT about you. It is ALL about them. You are not there just to teach and enlighten
but to elevate their spirit, their soul. And when you do, the gift comes back to you."
Daniel Schindler, Paragon Master Instructor, U.S.
NSCA Level III Instructor, U.S.
Guild of Shooting Instructors, U.K.
Let’s talk about instructor competence. It won’t be long before someone asks if you can assist with their skill improvement. Higher scores - more consistency - goals and commitments – possible lessons? This would be a formal lesson - where instructor competence is put to the test - where your level of Instructor training prepares you to successfully handle your student’s many issues - or not. Because this student expects to leave with answers to her questions - organization in her shooting – and a better, more reliable, more trustworthy swing. She doesn’t want you to show her how to break a target – she wants you to teach her how to break a target. That's a reasonable expectation, so she can correct her errors and duplicate the successful swing – on her own tomorrow – with no Instructor behind her. That accomplishment is your obligation to her. And why your Paragon certification class is more comprehensive.
Please understand that shooting instruction is a demanding, very different skill set than shooting skills. That’s why - contrary to other programs - we believe it is the entry-level teacher who should have the most training, not the advanced. Which is why we have a 5 1/2 day Professional Associate class and not a 2 or 3 day. We thoroughly cover the many and varied teaching situations that are so common in day-to-day instruction - the hands-on techniques and methods you must have if you are to deliver professional, meaningful assistance to your clients.
Remember . . . what you recommend today can have a profound affect your students shooting, confidence and self-esteem, today, tomorrow, next month and possibly for years. We incur the obligation to get their training right when we accept their lesson reservation. That’s why Paragon Professional Associate Instructors are patiently, competently leading their lessons, not chasing after solutions. That’s our reputation, our credibility - the teaching standard at Paragon. That’s not a slogan - that’s our promise.
Here are a few other things to consider:
1. It would be fair to say our program is an advanced program. Paragon training prepares you to work with all students, E to M class, Wing shooters, corporate and social shooters. Competently.
2. Competency comes from a more thorough understanding of, and dedication to the basics.
√ how Wingshooting - corporate - and Sporting Clays lessons can differ
√ having a lesson plan – properly preparing for a successful lesson
√ knowing how to diagnose and handle eye issues – exactly - correctly
√ managing recoil reduction and intimidation issues
√ with the exception of safety, of course, where to put and hold your student’s attention
- #1 priority
√ pre-shot set-up on the target - #2 priority
√ swing steps to build precision - #3 priority
√ student set up and shooting: how to diagnose – evaluate – recommend correctly
√ our laser focus on RGM - random gun movement - at the muzzle - affect at the target
√ how to make your recommendation work in 10 words or less
√ working with students negativity, confidence, and self-esteem issues
√ gun fit - what matters - why it matters - when it doesn’t
√ gender learning differences - listen up
√ understanding shooting methods - pros and cons - what to use where - why
√ where shooters are looking – redirecting their attention to where it matters - dispelling
the many common myths and misconceptions that limit shooters progress
√ guiding your student forward – moving student confidence and skills to the next level
These are the everyday issues that go across a busy instructor’s desk, hence our emphasis on competency and teaching the indispensable basics.
3. Please remember, we are not selling toasters or tires - we are working with people - so communication skills are a very high priority for certification.
4. Shooters of mixed skill levels - eager to learn - will be provided on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for you to evaluate and polish your skills as the Instructor Candidate in the shooting box.
5. An earnest level of dedication to the material is required as
certification is not guaranteed by registration.
Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions. My wife Cheryl knows every facet of this program, inside and out. We will gladly help you with your travel arrangements and accommodations to attend this class.
There will be a roster, a schedule and lesson study package mailed out before the class. We in Paragon are a family and we thank you for your interest in our program. Instructor references are always available.
Daniel L. Schindler
Paragon Master Instructor, Coach and Mental Trainer, U.S.
N.S.C.A. Level III, U.S.
British Guild of Shooting Instructors, U.K.