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Discussion Starter #1
If you teach somebody to read using a picture of a duck with the word 'duck' under it, some of your students will learn to look everywhere but at the word for clues. A few will never learn to read. There's a boy down the street like this. It's obvious he never learned to look at the word. Instead, if you teach what sounds the letters make, how to blend them together and say it 'fast', you have alot better chance teaching all your students the basic skill of reading. Yes there are exceptions because some words cannot be read phonetically. So you teach those words with a 'look, say' approach.

To teach somebody the basic skills of trap you model the eye movements by first having them be the trap house and move a mini (target) from their stomach area to different positions above their shoulders. You point your imaginary gun just below the target, say pull, follow the moving target with your eyes, then swing through it and say 'pow' at the approriate time.

Next you do the same for them, watching their eyes to be sure they lock on, then swing the imaginary gun and 'pow' break the target as they swing through it. Correct any problems as needed.

Time to go to the line and have some real fun. When it falls apart at the line, take a break and repeat the above procedure with the student on the line, without a gun.

Other points like stance, leaning forward slightly, gun hold points, eye position can be added later. And of course, stock fit can be tweaked as well as poi (first understatment for the day).

When nothing seems to work, check eye dominance and deal with it (biggest understatement for the day).

Note this is for the raw beginner. I have no delusions about running clinics for folks who have been shooting for a while, although this might help new shooters when they first start, like in their first season. The goal is to get them coming back and then to a real clinic.

I once stood behind a new shooter and told him what to do after he missed five in a row. I said something like, 'keep your eye on the target and shoot it when you notice the gun moving through where you are looking'. He broke the next five.

Later,
Joe
 

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Before the second round of trap my 10 year-old son ever shot, I offered him $20 if he could hit three in a row (using a 20ga 3/4 oz. loads, shooting straight-aways). He broke the first three. Apparently little capitalists must be taught differently, LOL.

-Gary
 

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Could not agree more, and it is how I start newbies out. Really helps to build the eye/hand coordination, and greatly aids in learning the fundamentals.

I teach them the stance and weight, and the have them follow the target with their fore arm hand holding at the correct point on the house.
 

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I check eye dominance before anything. It doesn't matter what you have them do if they are looking 6 feet in the wrong direction.

Pete
 

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Bryan--You just had to go there didn't you.

Joe--Thats some deep thought my friend. Smoked some weed this morning didn't you. LMAO I'm kidding of course. or did you??
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pete - good idea. Lots of times what actually happens is much less formal than all this.

grntitan - I used to teach...some pretty low end kids. If instruction works with them, it'll work with anybody. In fact, the high end kids will learn so much so fast, you'll be truely amazed.

Look up Zig Engelmann if you want to see where I got some of this. His main idea is to make the presentation consistent with one interpretation, else somebody will pick up the wrong idea. Makes sense.

I write this thread every once in a while after trying to help some new shooters.
 

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That's too much information IMO...

After eye dominance... I start my newbies behind the traphouse - literally. I set a box of shells on the roof and we step back a few feet. Trap locked to straightaway...

We begin with dry firing. Low hold point, and we pull the trigger a few times as they reach the target, after they are calling pull...

We start with a few shots from the middle to get some regular breaks and then move left and right of center four or five pace for mild angles... if we keep getting breaks we move back to 8 yards.... repeat.

If we keep getting breaks from all three positions, we move back to 16 yards... repeat.

By breaking targets early, I build their confidence quickly. Once they're having fun and trusting me and my methodology, its a lot easier to advance to "the distractions"... foot position, hold points, angles, lead... all the things that mess up instinctive shooting.

Regards all,

Jay
 

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Joe--I wasn't say'n there was anything wrong with what you posted. Its very interesting the way it was broken down step by step. My post was in jest basically a comment on the deep thought process involved. Keep at it. You articulate things in a special way.--Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jay, I agree, "Other points like stance, leaning forward slightly, gun hold points, eye position can be added later".

How can you tell if they're doing the right thing with their eyes when you're standing behind them?
 

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Joe:

If I start with the foundation based upon instinctive shooting and they're breaking targets and they continue to break targets... I subscribe to the ol' adage... if it ain't broke... don't fix it!

I say it respectfully... look at all the self help - Classes, mental conditioning columns, etal.... we over think things... for the beginner they can either shoot or they can't!

The goal to is to catch them, get them having fun so they'll continue long enough to get them invested in wanting to become skilled...

IMHO...

Jay
 

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I have only taught one person to shoot trap. Went from never firing a gun to winning the HOA lady at the State Shoot in one year.

I think my success rate with my student(s) is better than Leo, Phil, Kaye or Nora has.

Because of this I charge $1,000 per hour with a minimum of 8 hours per day.
So far I haven't had to pay any taxes on my income.


Lyle
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Jay - 'they can either shoot or they can't!'

What to do when they can't is the important question. That's when you discover instruction that can take somebody from poor performance to a higher, acceptable level. What you're doing is introducing somebody to the sport (worthwhile) and accepting what happens (not so good). If you get one who can't do it, I'll give them a try if you like. Pete's comment comes to mind as well.

Lyle - what's your secret?

I've boiled it down to: 'Keep your eye on the target and shoot it when you notice the gun moving through where you are looking.'

There are things we can do that will help.
 

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Jay, that's a great method of starting new shooters!

Lyle, I admire your success record too and others ratios are pale by comparison! I also understand why you haven't had to file on extra income too? :)

I wonder if one could instruct via the computer to where a shooter could break good scores? :) I also agree with Joe's teaching tactics for newbies too.

Hap
 

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Discussion Starter #16
They now have guns you can shoulder and hook up to your game machine, so maybe.

Years ago there was a duck hunt game where a light flashed on the screen near the duck when you pulled the trigger. If a sensor in the gun could pick up the light, the duck fell from the sky. Put that light on the leading edge of a target and it seems you have the technology. Don't know if it would reinforce the correct visual behavior. Hm, what would insure you're doing it right, else loss...The problem is, you can have some success at trap doing it the wrong way. And maybe with the game as well.
 

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Joe:

I think you may have misconstrued my comments... If an individual can't shoot, I don't just drop them - at that point I have to figure out the problem.

However, much more often than not, new shooters (when the brain does not get all messed up with "facts") can break targets... if we just set them up with a couple basic target presentations.

Why is it, that a new shooter with a new gun OR an existing trapshooter with a newly bought, unfit gun can break targets?! Further, my comments are solely to introduce a new body to trapshooting, not taking someone with skills to the next level.

Why do folks introduce a newbie to oscillating targets right-off-the-bat?! OR why do we knock a kid or lady on their tush, when we should be offering super-light recoil loads that can still break targets?

My methodology is to keep it simple and fun to get the job done! If more of us did that... our guests would experience success and keep coming back...

Regards all,

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #18
On the gaming idea...it seems to me the target would have to be going fast enough to discourage bead checking. Different skill levels could be selected through choke options. My son is always tweaking his gun selection in his war game, so this should be easily possible. The real problem is the long gun. One size fits all or something that looks like a try gun. Yuck.

Forget the gun for a moment. My son's shooting games all simulate a gun out in front of you and when you shoot it automatically gets shouldered. Then you have the bigger systems where people bowl and play tennis. Seems like a real possibility.

Looks like a trip to the game store is in order.

Thanks Hap.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Jay, I hear yah.

"Why is it, that a new shooter with a new gun OR an existing trapshooter with a newly bought, unfit gun can break targets?!"

Because it's a game of approximation where you can do it the wrong way and still have some success. That's the challenge and if you're going to introduce a shooter to the right way, why not do it from the start? I agree, leave all the details for later, but I say to focus on the key skill from the first few moments. I shot most of my first season bead checking until Scott Calhoun straightened me out. Thanks Scott! It took a while to keep from going back. I still see it on the line in others when I'm keeping score. Problems can be avoided from the start with the right tip on day one. Might as well check eye dominance issues as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Jay, Let me add that what I've given at the top here is just a bunch of ideas. I may use any one or more of them in a particular situation. If the guy has a sling on his gun and red reflective clothing, what I do will be very different from taking a relative to the club or a kid with a trap vest on and a supportive parent standing next to him. Remember the day those guys came into the club dressed in party clothes! They got your escort to the door! Hah. Context is everything.
 
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