The Best Instructors
Who’s better, pro instructors or certified instructors?
Making general statements about either group is a bit dangerous, as there is a variety of experience and skill among instructors in both camps. There are also a number of great shots who are certified instructors.
With that said, pro shooters who instruct have a great deal of shooting and competitive experience and bring that experience to their teaching. Pro shooters who instruct also tend to teach a single technique that has proven most effective for them in competition. Most of the pro shooters who teach lack formal training on how to teach. In contrast, a certified NSCA Level III instructor might be less likely to win a Big Blast championship, but he or she has a minimum of seven years of shooting experience and five years of experience as an instructor, has taught a minimum of 2,000 hours and has been through a minimum of three instructor courses totaling 10 days of education. He has learned how to teach, diagnose and communicate with students. In addition to the education received, a Level III instructor has been evaluated by certifying instructors at both the Level II and Level III Courses to ensure he meets the proficiency requirements. Historically, the pass rate is about 50 percent for the NSCA Level III Instructor Course and 75 percent for the Level II Course, so certification at these levels is not a guarantee.
Certified instructors tend to be more proficient diagnosticians. They tend to teach multiple techniques as appropriate for the shooter and are better able to teach at all levels as well as identify and solve a variety of shooting problems. They also tend not to be as dogmatic about a single technique.
Ultimately, who you engage as an instructor should be based on what you hope to gain out of your relationship with that instructor and the instructor’s style of communication.
Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com.