Increase the number of competent and reasonably-priced instructors at gun clubs so we quit losing within two years 2/3 of the 6000 new shooters we get every year. Our present plan to support coach education is a small step in the right direction; it'll take time I know.
Neil's post was excellently put. There is a dearth of certified shotgun coaches out there as well as semi-pro to pro instructors that are reasonably priced. I would also increase the number of classes to also help keep people in the sport while they are trying to improve. I've been shooting trap for well over a year, and I am still no where close to the D class percentage. I'm more like the F class that doesn't exist.
I would work to improve purses and recognition of the sport of trapshooting. I would knock on the doors of sponsors and persuade them to donate money for purses and advertising money. I would try to promote the sport like professional bass fishing with emphasis on local clubs and tournaments that feed into a big money tournament.
I would work the angle of exposing the sponsor’s product to a shooting public made up of shooters and people interested in shooting but whom also enjoy the outdoors. I would remind the sponsors that trap shooters come all walks of life, are usually middle to upper income and are willing to spend money on a sport that they enjoy.
Buy every new shooter who joins the ATA a new K-80, Perazzi, Kolar etc. of his choice so he can instantly "feel" competetive. Of course, they would have to return it immediately when they find out they never will be competetive-especially in Handicap!!
Make every attempt to hire a competent Director and then see he/she has the autority to make the necessary changes to point this great association in the direction of improvement.
Neil - I will have to take exception to you comment about competetent and reasonability instructors. It seems the NSSF program already made that possible. Are we in the position to upstage what is already in place???--Jim
Not to rain on anyones parade but there is no shortage of so called "shooting coaches" at most gun clubs. Just have a good looking lady show up wanting to learn and the coaches come out of the woodwork. Most of 'em can't shoot themselves but instantly become authorities and spread nothing but disinformation.
We once had a real pretty blond haired woman Doctor who shot regularly at our club. She was smart enough to embroider "Please don't tell me what I'm doing wrong" on her vest!!
First, I would try to get the BOD to agree to change the handicap system as suggested by Mr. Phil Kiner. Second, I would get the EC to change the CoC shoot at the Grand so it was only the HAA winners (no categories, winners only, no second place replacements, either the winner or no one.) While I was doing the arm twisting, I would also be trying to get a media deal and sponsors for this championship event. I would get our sport on TV.
So very well put Mr. Winston. It is those new shooters we lose each year that could fill the empty squads at our shoots. That alone would boost the purses some seek. Then please consider that their ranks may contain a future Grand Champion or Olympic Champion. If those same shooters that we lose each year are not encouraged to stay we'll never know for sure. If those same shooters are trained in the basics and given a head start on the game we all love we just might find that the special reward is the joy of giving back to our sport and leaving it in better shape than we presently find it. Mr. Winston has made that committment. Now it is up to the rest of us to encourage, mentor, and enjoy the company of our the new and the youth shooters. In other words become a coach. See you all in a Coach Clinic in San Antonio or any of the other upcoming coach training offerings. . . . just like Neil has decided to do by letting his actions speak louder than words! Thanks Neil. Jim McDiffett, NRA/ATA Coach Trainer
Neil is right on target. Clubs need to provide and promote instruction to people showing interest in and just beginning the sport. If they experience success and are encouraged initially, they will continue trying to excell. If they have to learn the sport by the seat of their pants, many will fall by the wayside out of frustation or just feeling abandoned by people at their club "too good to help them". This type of training should be readily offered several times a year at every club.
I would introduce the well needed and long talked about PRO CLASS and their winnings could only come from corporate sponsors. The amateurs would enter a semi-pro class once they get to the 27 yard class for more than 5 years. Only 500 targets needed for a major shoot. Any winners from less than the 23 yard line, at the big shoots go right to the 25 yard line for 2 years minimum.
Yardage groups are 20, 23, 25, and 27 yards. ALL pros shoot 20 gauge 3/4 oz.
Children under 16 can start on the 19. 2000 targets for a review.
ANy major shoot, the most anyone can win is $2000.00. The remainder of the money collected goes toward reduction of shell cost for the following year, promotion of the sport, donations to clubs that have scholastic programs, and legislation to promote gun rights. And take the Grand on a tour across the country so that everyone has the chance to experience the thrill of participating near their back yard.
What Neil says is spot on, but the ATA and clubs in general need to get more aggresive about getting youths involved. It seems they try shotgunning, then give it up and wait another 25 years before coming back to it.<br>
And, I wouldn't last long as ATA President because I'd do away with money in any amateur class, and establish a professional class for money.
Mr. Winston's post is right on. Having some trained and certified coaches would help retain a lot of the individuals who currently get discouraged and leave the sport. Making the connection between the new shooters and a qualified coach would still be a challenge.
In addition, the ATA could help clubs by developing a boilerplate for clubs to model for marketing, attracting new shooters, running a league etc. It could include training material for how to run a club, how to organize a league etc. Every club reinvents the wheel when it comes to marketing, management, inventory, maintenance, retail, insurance, incorporation etc. Having a set of boilerplate assistance (perhaps based on the size of the club) would at least give each club a starting place.
Instruction on customer service would also help in some instances. I have had girls go to clubs on their "public" days and they were told to "save your money, the mall is just a few miles away" and "this is a gun club, the hair shop is down the road". They are now in college and do not shoot trap. They are having fun shooting sporting clays on the weekend.
Perhaps,,,,Neil could explain why some of those Kentucky Sandbaggers have taken Phil Kiners classes,,,take home the big bucks,,,and then find,,,,THEY STILL CAN"T SHOOT unless they cheat,,because they never advance further than their last reduction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It dosen't matter if LEO,DAN,RAY, teaches you or not,,,,You are only going to advance as far as your own talent lets you!!!!!
Like I said,,,,,Shooting instructors is NOT the problem...........