On a recent trip to Charlotte NC. I had the great pleasure of introducing  the joys of clay shooting to a small group of lovely NC ladies.

Sporting Clays now has a huge following in the USA and these girls were full of enthusiasm and very keen to pick up the skills of safe and successful clay shooting. They were a very  positive reminder to me what exceptionally  good pupils you girls are when you combine your natural listening abilities with that special female dogged determination:

If this short article inspires any of you girls to take up shooting; here are a few pointers about what you can expect from your shooting Coach:………. 

Teachers; teach---- they pass on facts and knowledge.

Instructors; instruct------they pass on information, technical details and drills and exercises.

Good Coaches; do all of the above, but most importantly they use all of their skills to unlock their lady pupil’s potential to succeed. They will motivate and they will inspire.

At the start of a first lesson; your coach will ‘strike rapport’ with you very quickly (30 seconds to 2 minutes max.)

Your coach understands  how crucial it is to very quickly get on your wave length as a ‘first time’ lady pupil.

Your coach will inspire your trust. All necessary equipment, along with plenty of re-assurance to make you as comfortable as is possible; will be provided.

Your coach will engage you in conversation in such a way to re-assure you that your natural fears are fully understood and empathised with. He  will quickly convince you that he is genuinely interested in you and totally focussed and committed to your success.

You first time lady shooting pupils will be pleased that all instructions are given clearly, concisely and always strongly supported by easy to understand visuals and demonstrations. You can be further re-assured that these instructions are given in a calm easy going manner; being repeated unhurriedly as often as necessary. You should  also be able to enjoy the humorous inputs which greatly help to ease your  very normal tensions. It will be reassuring for you that your coach recognises what a powerful communicator proper use of humour is.

You ladies should be especially re-assured by your coach’s willingness to be comfortingly tactile when necessary. You should  be able enjoy feeling safe in the hands of a ‘friendly professional.’

Good coaches always enjoy and share their lady pupils excited pleasures of success and are very comfortable to show their pleasures too.

It will quickly become apparent to you that your coach genuinely believes in your ability to succeed; you should  also be inspired to surprising new levels of growing confidence as your  coach pushes you  firmly but gently forward with new  shooting challenges.

 Whilst the coach will be a gentleman and carry guns and heavy equipment around; he will insist that you achieve as much success as possible for yourself. He will of course be continually helping, reminding and coaxing you, but from time to time he will ‘simply shut up’ and let you ‘get on with it’  You will be particularly pleased to enjoy having your solo successes  being described and played back to you.

Most of you ladies are firstly bemused , then pleasantly surprised when your coach has successfully motivated you to throw off the mantle of society’s conditioning of what is ‘Lady like’ It is not long before you can be comfortable with displaying  the ‘controlled aggression’ so essential for successful clay shooting. You can happily return to ‘lady like’ at the end of the lesson.

As a yardstick of success most of you ladies will complete your first shooting lesson having fired around 25 cartridges. Before the end of the lesson you will have reached a skill level that has enabled you have to safely loaded two cartridges, succeed at killing two successive clays (the double) with two successive shots and unload your shotgun safely . You will have achieved this before the end of your first lesson unaided by the coach, but whilst he is of course in close supportive attendance. You can also very pleased that you have suffered none of the physical discomfort that might have been conditioned to expect. You should also have become very aware that your coach really been listening to you (including listening carefully to what you have not been  saying) It should  also have become quickly apparent that your  coach was 100% determined and committed to your high level of shooting success. 

 Hopefully you will now looking forward to your future shooting lessons   with great confidence.