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frgood

How would you introduce a shooter to competition shooting

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Coming up this weekend I've got a rare opportunity and would like to take advantage of it. That is, considering they have a latent interest.

I'm heading out to the range with a friend from work. He is a CCW shooter and my guess is that they are a tad casual about that (training and not self defense). The do go to a local indoor range to 'practice'. Something I think we're all familiar with that type of person. 

This weekend, I'm heading out to do some DOPE work on my rifle as well as get prepped for a USPSA match coming up in a few months my friend is also coming along.. I'd like to setup a couple of drills, or something, that might spark an interest in coming out for a local match.

 

Any ideas on how not to scare them away? As y'all are aware, it is easy to overwhelm folks with gear and rules. He's a good guy and It'd be fun to have a fellow enthusiast. Your ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Maybe set up something like a classifier? not a lot of movement and something pretty easy like el pres. that you can do some easy warm up then start a small competition between the two of you?

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54 minutes ago, gnoyesiv said:

Maybe set up something like a classifier? not a lot of movement and something pretty easy like el pres. that you can do some easy warm up then start a small competition between the two of you?

 

That's a good idea. I can gauge his receptiveness to the drill and if positive do a itty-bitty match.  There will be a steel match gong on on the other side of the range. Of that, I am biased. five years ago, I took the drive to Frostproof and a steel match was happening. I was hooked that day. It was more about the people than the match. Some of the nicest people were just running there usual monthly match.

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I'd be cautious of too much gun - I like to start shooters with a .22 rifle, outdoors, good muffs and reactive targets.

If you have access to falling plates, that'll hook him real fast.

 

Sounds like your friend is a bit beyond that stage, but I wouldn't get too crazy with the gun he'll be shooting.

 

I've taken two ex-GI's (Viet vets) out to the range, and was AMAZED at the lack of common sense re:  safety

and range procedure.   Don't take it for granted.   Talk re: safety on the way to the range - get him squared

away before you unpack the first gun.

 

They didn't even think about eye/ear protection - you'll have to make sure they do both before shooting.

 

Stick close to him, don't let him wander off by himself - keep close eye on him.

 

Oh, and have a Blast.    :) 

 

 

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I would set up something like El Prez with the exception of the uprange start.  I would see what kind of gun manipulation skills he has and how safe he is moving with a gun in his hand.

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Good luck. I've become convinced that any gun owner that actually shoots occasionally but hasn't taken an interest in competition never will. I've invested considerable amounts of time, energy and ammo into getting people into the shooting sports and every one of them has given up either before or immediately after their first match.

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9 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

Good luck. I've become convinced that any gun owner that actually shoots occasionally but hasn't taken an interest in competition never will. I've invested considerable amounts of time, energy and ammo into getting people into the shooting sports and every one of them has given up either before or immediately after their first match.

Yep, I hear you. The only folks I ever got to stick around came to me with an interest in USPSA. I merely acted as a conduit into the game. Even then, the vast majority of those guys weren’t around long. If somebody wants to get into the game, they will. 

  Trying to recruit or drag people to competition isn’t the way it works in my opinion.

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I had good luck with showing so friends Youtube videos and a couple of them said it looked like fun

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10 hours ago, Sarge said:

Yep, I hear you. The only folks I ever got to stick around came to me with an interest in USPSA. I merely acted as a conduit into the game. Even then, the vast majority of those guys weren’t around long. If somebody wants to get into the game, they will. 

  Trying to recruit or drag people to competition isn’t the way it works in my opinion.

 

I agree with your assessment. The objective is not to 'make a horse drink'. One must have a bit of competitive spirit. I think my question might be better if rephrased as, "how best to represent our sport"?  I've witnessed many folks introducing USPSA and notice that it is presented in a way that makes entry seem overwhelming.
This includes and over emphasis on safety, an entrance inventory of pricey gear, or a lot of technique to master. Most of these topics, while important, raise a perceived barrier to entry.

 

I don't think it prudent to 'train' or 'teach' USPSA. For this day, it is a couple of 'friends at the range'. I will not be doing a hard practice of drills as that tends to exclude one's friend. Other friends just plink and like to tweak their gear. Tinkering is a fun pastime, although that leads to a lot of burnt money.

 

Maybe I am trying to force the issue. Patience is something to be developed.

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1 hour ago, frgood said:

"how best to represent our sport"? 

1.   an over emphasis on safety,    2. an entrance inventory of pricey gear, or 3.  a lot of technique to master.

 

 

1.  Not sure you can overemphasize safety when you're drawing a powerful pistol from a holster as quickly as you can

2.  Agreed.  Always stay with what you currently own (might need a better belt, holster and more mags)

3.  No reason to get into technique the first time out - he can pick that up by watching how YOU do it.

 

Also, it's intimidating to watch someone who knows what they're doing.  IMHO, a big reason people don't

play with us, is that some people are just overwhelmingly good.   When I told my Father I was going to 

compete in IPSC decades ago, his response was  " you're going to shoot against Rob Leatham?".

 

I explained I was going to compete with a bunch of guys and women who had no idea what they were

doing, just like me (U's and D's).  That made him feel a little better about his son taking on Rob.

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Slight thread drift here. I wholeheartedly think that a Steel Challenge match is absolutely the best way to introduce a newb to USPSA  shooting. The standard USPSA range commands used, it is much less overwhelming (less to think about), and a lot harder to look like a dork.

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On 9/20/2019 at 8:37 PM, TonytheTiger said:

Good luck. I've become convinced that any gun owner that actually shoots occasionally but hasn't taken an interest in competition never will. I've invested considerable amounts of time, energy and ammo into getting people into the shooting sports and every one of them has given up either before or immediately after their first match.

You said a mouthful. Glad I'm not alone.

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4 hours ago, Shootymacshootface said:

Slight thread drift here. I wholeheartedly think that a Steel Challenge match is absolutely the best way to introduce a newb to USPSA  shooting. The standard USPSA range commands used, it is much less overwhelming (less to think about), and a lot harder to look like a dork.

 

I think that is what may happen.
It turns out that 3 years ago he did buy a small Glock to protect him and his family. It also seems that he thought the CCW course was what he needed. After an initial safety brief I had him run a couple of mags at about 7 yards. Turns out we had to work on basics and safety discipline. Right from explaining teacup grip.

Long morning. All the basics , during which I watched his confidence grow and enthusiasm increase. I did lend him my 2011 .40 STI and found the larger pistol proved easier for him to work with. He was making cloverleafs with increasing regularity. We ended the day at the plate rack which proved to be a fun time with surprisingly happy results. He dropped plates like a pro.

Afterwards, I introduced him to the Steel Challenge MD and we talked about finding a good local instructor for some real training. Sadly, I got very little practice in for myself. But I made a better friend. I want to thank those here for helping shape a successful day.

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invite to watch a match.. leave it at that,, no amount of hand holding and butt wiping will change things.. They will look at a match and join in or not.

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5 hours ago, JD45 said:

You said a mouthful. Glad I'm not alone.

I tried not to sound too bitter with that post but I'm sure a little came through.

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It is important to understand your friends and some of their motivators in life. Just like picking conversation topics.

It is a young liberal (or modern anti 2Aers)  philosophy that they know what is best for others. But sharing of ones self is something very very different and part of the ways we make the human condition better.

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I took girlfriend to a IDPA match the day before Ryan Rocks Charity match in 2018. The next day she shot ryan rocks. Now she has her own pistol, gear, and basicly shoots 90% of the matches I shoot. 

Edited by Bakerjd
Forgot to add what match she shot.

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On 9/20/2019 at 8:51 PM, Sarge said:

Yep, I hear you. The only folks I ever got to stick around came to me with an interest in USPSA. I merely acted as a conduit into the game. Even then, the vast majority of those guys weren’t around long. If somebody wants to get into the game, they will. 

  Trying to recruit or drag people to competition isn’t the way it works in my opinion.

Well I am I somewhat agree, maybe times have changed with the internet. But I got involved simply because I was shooting a Hipower next to a guy that invited me and gave me date time and location. Had never heard of IDPA, and no IPSC around.
I went to watch,, get there folks asked me what kinda gun I had, then ran around and begged borrowed and stole enough ammo, extra mag, and two mag pouches for me to shoot it.took it slow and listened,, was shooting ever sense.
I think much more than an invite to watch is about all you can do, more effort wont result in more results.

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I've only been shooting USPSA for around three years and feel that I have just now graduated from complete noobie to, well only slightly better. I saw some vids online and became interested. I've hunted and been around guns my entire life but never participated in competitive shooting. I simply decided I was going to give it a go. 

 

I vividly remember my first match. Watched the first shooter with an open gun hose a small stage in a matter of seconds. I was hooked and hadn't even fired a shot yet. I remember thinking after a few matches under my belt how I had several friends who would love this game. Fast forward a few years and now it's hard to believe how wrong I was. 

 

I now occasionally have a friend or coworker who will feign interest, to which I reply, " Sure, whenever your ready just let me know. I have guns, mags, ammo, everything you would need that I can let you borrow. We can go to a private range two miles from my house, set up some targets, and I'll show you exactly what to expect, just us with no pressure. Anytime your ready".  This ends the discussion for @ 90 days then I just repeat the statement and the infinite loop continues. 

 

If someone I knew did decide to take the plunge and give it a shot ( pun intended ), I would be more than happy to offer any assistance I could. However being a self ordained recruitment officer simply doesn't work, for me at least. I have my own opinions regarding people's reluctance to try shooting, which I will politely keep to myself. If someone wants to get started, they'll find a way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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