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New 4H shooting sports coach looking for help

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by linkerman, May 27, 2009.

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  1. linkerman

    linkerman Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am a new coach for our local 4H shooting sports club. I have been loking for trap and skeet material (books/dvd/video) that would be helpful for instructing the junior shooters that are 9-10 years old with no shooting experience. Any advice or tips on where to get good training information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance and you guys have a really great forum!!
  2. wheelchair shooter

    wheelchair shooter TS Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I am also a 4-H coach. I started my younger shooters shooting straight away shots right behind the trap and then gradually moved them back and then the introduced the other targets to them. This seemed to work very well. I did the same with the skeet targets, just starting them with singles first then moving to multiple targets.

    Thad Bellow
    St.Amant, La.
  3. Mismost

    Mismost TS Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    I coach a 4H team. First thing is the safety test...100% or they don't shoot. Second thing is the safety test...100% or they don't shoot. Take a WAG what the third thing is going to be....that's right, the safety test! Grind it in...if they quit coming, those are the ones you really don't need.

    Item #2...see if they can handle the gun. If they can not safely handle the gun, don't have the muscle to control the muzzle, can't hold it without leaning over backwards, then they can not shoot. Don't go by size! It's the size of the fight in the dog...some of those little guys can cowboy up and getter done...some of those bigger couch spuds can't lift anything but a coke can! YOU can not teach good form to someone that can't handle the gun. You wind up wasting everybodies time and you'll feel like a jerk. It is better to tell them to start doing push ups and come back when they are stronger. That's a hard fact of life, but you are really doing them a favor. They will just get the snot kicked out them by recoil and form lots of bad habits that you will then have to spend time on fixing.

    Item #3...Check their eyes, use a Snellen eye chart...we get a couple a year that really need glasses! Check for eye dominance, new shooter, right handed, left eye dominate, they are going to shoot left handed...dominate eye goes over the gun. Trust me when I tell you that little Johnnie will pitch a fit and then his Mom will too....that fine, she can teach him how to shoot. I coach for free and use my free time to do so...I do not believe in wasting my time. In the long run, it is almost always the best way (but not always). But if they refuse to try, they can pay someone else to coach their kid.

    Item #4...Don't be afraid to tell a kid to not come back or their parents! Some kids just don't want to shoot, it was Dad's idea. Some kids are just screw offs and you are their new Saturday morning babysitter. Don't waste your time because you will wasting the other kid's time too....it's a hard world...don't make any harder.

    Item #5...Everybody shoots every target. That means everybody is looking at every target with their finger up in air...we call it air shooting! Targets and shells cost money, don't let them waste it....they fire 25 shots or they can "shoot" 125 targets per line. They can practice hold points, look points, and leads just using their finger...the more targets they see, the bigger and slower they get...it helps a lot! When they balk, make them rack the gun and sit on their butt while everybody else shoots...pretty soon there will be lots of fingers in the air!

    Item #6...No pass, no play, do good at school or don't shoot...praise loudly and in public....criticize softly and in private. Pull, don't push...make them want to, don't just make them. Be very firm, but stern only as required. Demand good manners...please and thank you, yes sir, and no sir...teach good life skills, not just trap.

    Item #6...Get the parents involved...you need the extra eyeballs...this is like herding cats with shotguns and live ammo...you need all the help you can get! The parents listen & learn and reinforce what you are teaching...great way to get more new coaches. One of our Dad's has never shot a shotgun, but he is a great coach and huge asset to the team. It seems to me, the more the parents are involved the faster the new shooter evolves.

    I realize I have not answered your real question yet! We have a video library and let the kids check out different videos...raining on practice days, we watch and talk about videos...no wasted practice days.

    Thanks for doing what you do, you can really make a difference in a kids life and maybe make a shooter out of him too! Please PM me any time I can help you.
  4. jmdmt

    jmdmt TS Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Start with your 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Traing Guide for Shotgun, if you have not done this try to as soon as possible. Next order Pachmayr's Shotgun videos w/Ken Robertson from Gabela's aprox $35.00, a lot of good basic info for shooters and coaches for all shotgun sports. You can also order the Remington Trap Shooting video from the Trap Shooting Hall of Fame for a $25.00 donation. I'm sure there is more info avaiable, but this is a good place to start with not a lot invested. Jim Darling
  5. powderburn

    powderburn Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    Anderson, IN
    Load light loads for them. 7/8 oz. have them shoot some straightaways. Lots of low 7 skeet targets. You want them to hit alot of targets. Don't let them be afraid of the gun. Handled safely, it's a tool like a hammmer or staplegun. Make sure proper form is taught with mounting correctly and the stock findin "the pocket" in their shoulder. If you don't load, have someone you trust load some 7/8 ozers for you. Good luck!
  6. trapwife

    trapwife Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Jan 29, 1998
    Don't just go out there to "practice", as in blowing up bullets...give each shooter a specific something to work on. This may vary from kid to kid, some will need to remember to keep their head on the stock, some will need to work on follow-through, etc. We don't call it "practice" it is TRAINING. Don't wear them out, when they get tired, they get frustrated and start to miss more.
  7. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Jan 29, 1998
    Prairie State
    Sent you a PM...

    Lots of good comments above... I run into a lot of folks who ask about kids & how young to start...

    1)physical and emotional maturity should be the threshold.
    2)simple skills build confidence - initial success brings desire
    3)light loads that can do the job
    4)leave them wanting more

    Good luck on your program

    Jay Spitz
  8. Mismost

    Mismost TS Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    We teach the 4 fundamentals 1. eye on the rock 2. head on the stock 3. follow through and 4. lead...works for all the shotgun games.

    when a kid looks at me with that "how did miss that look", I can hold up 2 fingers...he lifted his head. You can "talk to them" all the way across the field...sometimes you can see what is going better by being farther away. They all know the hand signals and they use them too...they will turn around and shoot you a #4 after a miss!

    For skeet shooting the best video is Todd Bender, Insights into Championship Skeet. There is also a Bender "Cheat Sheet"



    Gives station by station lessons, easy to understand, and the over the barrel camera work is awesome....I know the first time I saw it, I knew had wasted a ton of shot....it is a big help to actually see what the shot looks like over the barrel! For our 2-3 year shooters, if they are having a problem with say station 5 low house..go back and read the Cheat Sheet, watch the video.....we want them to try and figure it out for themselves. BIG HELP when they start to figure out where they missed....HUGE HELP when they start to ask themselves WHY and then self correct!

    A simple tool for skeet is a ball of string...tie a loop in one end and a knot about 4' from the loop, tie another knot 42' from the loop. Drop the loop over the center stake, pull tight and align the center stake with the distance marker and place a marker (we use those orange traffic cones)at the 4' knot and another one at the 42' knot...place a target on top of the 2 cones by the center stake. At 42', those are the gun hold points. By pointing the gun at the center stake and looking at the left target, they will see the lead required for the High House...target on the right for the Low House. As you walk around the semi-circle, the leads keep getting longer (great time for a simple applied geometry lesson!) It is a big help for a kid to see what 2 1/2 feet of lead looks like over the barrel. As soon as they get the idea, get rid of the markers before they start to measure each shot! It's simple, it's cheap, and it works.

    I like to start at Low 7...get them busting targets fast. Then, look the marker on the left for the High, see the gap, let's bust the High House with a bit of forward lead and keep the gun moving. When they get H&L 7 down, we go to Station 1...because the targets look similar...they use the same skills they learned at 7 on 1. 6 to 2, 3 to 5, 4&8 are all by themself. Shoot the long incomers working on a smooth pivot with the body weight over the front leg and a good follow through. Then move to the fast out goers. Build their skeet game one station at a time....it'll be a good while before they shoot a whole round of skeet....it is just a waste of time to start shooting skeet, teach the shots, then the game. Don't be afraid to shoot "station 6 1/2" and then station 6...it'll help some kids.

    There is just a ton of stuff you will learn in the coming years! I break it down into two parts. The Basics...foot position, body position, gun hold, look point...the stuff they must do Before they call Pull....get them set up to make the shot. Then the 4 Fundamentals...eye on the rock, head on the stock, follow through, and lead...all the stuff they do After they call PULL...any time they drop a bird it will be because of one of those 4 things.

    Ohhh...Daisey Red Rider BB guns! Remember those little kids that could not handle a shotgun? Most can handle a BB gun! Buy a couple and knock the sights off of them. Teach the kids to LOOK ONLY AT THE TARGET (coke can, shotgun shell, pebble)POINT the gun and fire...no aiming...LOOK WHERE YOU SHOOT. In a very short time they will be bouncing hulls all over the place....now start rolling tennis balls, then pitch them in the air. We have a tiny little girl that is a BB gun master and when she gets to size, she will be a great shooter! Frankly, all the kids seem to enjoy the BB guns and it teaches them them to focus on the target, trust their instincts, and get their eyes off the gun....very cheap learning tool, and one they can use at home too.

    I have come love working with the kids as much as I love shooting myself...it is very rewarding when you are not pulling your hair out!!
  9. coloradoEMT911

    coloradoEMT911 Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Brighton CO
    I am a State 4-H leader and on the state training team as a shotgun instructor in Colorado and as far as age you can shoot any shooting sport here at age 8 we have separate junior and senior divisions and as a younger leader 24 yo I have also been a participant since I was 10 years old and over my 14 years of shooting and leading and training I have learned with the younger kids that playing fun games that also have a specific training goal is the best way to teach them because a lot of them get bored with reading or watching videos federal ammunition has a good basic video series. if you need any more specific ideas pleas feel free to contact me at the email address above

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