Choosing an Instructor
A few days ago, I was practicing with a friend who is an NSSA Certified Instructor, and during a short break, he told me of a gentleman he’s been coaching.
His student took lessons about a year ago from a so-called instructor that set him up on a path toward failure. It has taken this new instructor several lessons for the student to un-learn much of what this previous person had tried to teach him.
It always surprises me when a new or even an experienced shotgun shooter doesn’t at least ask others about the capability of the person he’s selecting to teach him the clay target sports.
If we’re going to get work done on our home or our automobiles and we don’t know someone that can do the work, we ask people we know for references and also ask for references from whomever we think might be able to do the work. We don’t blindly accept the person’s skill based on their word alone.
Why, then, do we accept an instructor without looking at his credentials and asking for a few references that we can contact and validate their skill as an instructor?
That’s what this gentleman did. He blindly accepted the first person he found that said he was an instructor and that he could help him.
He could have gone to the NSSA-NSCA website and found names of certified instructors in his area, and he could have determined their level of certification to make sure their skills matched his level as a shooter. He would have found instructors who have been taught how to instruct and troubleshoot students’ problems. He could also have asked for references and contacted some of the instructor’s previous clients.
Don’t accept someone because they talk a good game; check their credentials and their references first, so you can learn the game faster and at less cost.
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who teaches American skeet and wingshooting. You can contact Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-803-2393.