You have made the decision that you want to try shooting. Yeah! Welcome, we are a friendly group. But, who do you ask to help you navigate your entry into this world? Your significant other? Neighbor with 50 guns lovingly displayed who goes to the range once a year? A friend who shoots at least once a month? Do you send your kids to the neighbor who barely graduated high school for tutoring? Do you send your child to the person who played piano 30 years ago and still has one collecting dust for lessons? You probably would say NO, you would send them to someone who had the education and skills to teach the subject, be it math or keyboards. Same with shooting! Go to a professional. Certified instructors are trained, knowledgeable and usually current with what is happening in the shooting world. We read, take classes, network with each other…we keep up our skills through practice, teaching, and training.
Shooting is fun! Shooting with your spouse or a friend can be fun. But if you are thinking of asking them to teach you to shoot, ask yourself if you would want them to teach you to drive? Consider a class with a neutral party, i.e., an instructor, and then take those skills and go practice with your friend. Shooting can be a great family outing or even a date activity.
Ask around, interview instructors like you would anyone else, and make sure you are comfortable with them. Then, when you find someone you are comfortable with, take a class. After that, keep training. Take classes whenever you get the chance, there is always more to learn, new ideas, different perspectives. Be careful of the “I’ve been doing it this way for 20 years…”, ideas change, just like any thing else. Just because it is new, doesn’t mean it is right, but a good instructor will explain why the new way is better than the previous way. Give it a try. If you don’t like it, go back to the other way, but you have learned something new, tried it and made your own decision.
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