Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Max Number of Students in a Training Class?


Recommended Posts

I recently took a pistol/red dot 2-day class with a fairly prominent trainer.  I had some fun and got a few things out of the class.  looking back I feel I would have gotten more if I was a newer shooter or at least new to red dots but that's another thread.

 

The biggest thing I learned was to ask what the max class head count is before signing up for any future training.  This class was 26 students.  Shooting time was divided between two lines and one on one feedback was a cumulative time of 10 minutes if I'm generous.  

 

I'm curious, what do you feel is reasonable class size?  What has been your experience with training class sizes?  What else have you learned from training classes that helps you decide on what to attend in the future?  This applies to practical shooting and defensive training.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the time classes exist solely to make money for the "instructor."

 

26 students is obscene. A travesty. 

 

There are some great instructors out here; there are more horrible ones who assume that an M or GM card makes them an instructor. 

 

In basic LE firearms training we do a 1:4 or sometimes a 1:6 ratio. 

 

I can personally recommend Mike Seeklander and Frank Garcia. Mike offers a coaching program that is exponentially better than any class. Heck, your local GM can probably offer coaching. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We’ve taken 2 one on one classes with Steve Anderson, well worth the $!

I did a class up here with a very prominent USPSA pro.  Total dick, too many guy’s and the host brought his wife who could not shoot.  Learned squat.  

 

did the 5 day TPC course which was fun but value for money…eh. Meh.
 If you can get a friend or 2 and go for a 2 or 3 max with a good instructor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couple things, what are the roles of each player? For the instructor what is it beyond: safety, accurate and articulate feed back, good demonstrations, professional demeanor? For the student what is it beyond: making changes as requested, being prepared for each drill, taking notes, being safe? When you understand the different roles and their inputs and outputs you can more successfully focus on your given role in the scenario.

 

As someone who has worked for two shooting schools and tried doing just privates on my own, I can tell you there are some real positives to only doing it by yourself. There are a lot of instructors out there teaching many different types of classes by themselves with no AI. And for good reasons.

 

Now as a student..... just like in regular school you're responsible for your own learning. I get PM's here all the time asking me about classes with different people and for some of them I say things like "You will have to drive it. You will have to ask. You will have to want to run the drill an extra time. You will have to ask for more explanation. You will have to make it personal." If you're unhappy with what you're getting ask for more. Ask to shoot 1:1 with them during lunch, breaks, after class. Sometimes what you want won't be as easily given to you.

 

Now some personal stuff. The place I work for now we strive to have a 1:8 ratio. (When I taught motorcycle stuff it was required 1:6) And I don't let being a decent M be my only skill. I have certs from defensive schools, I have background teaching other things professionally, I have company provided material guiding how and what I do, I have time with at its time the largest player in the shooting school market (BW/Academi/Xi). I have seen the deficiency you mention in other folks whose background is very narrow.

 

OK, I'm rambling. hahahah. The instructor has a duty to present information and skills in a way most can learn. The student has a responsibility to make changes and learn.

 

But one dude teaching over 20 people is just a cattle call. That would be tough......

Quote

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, MikeyScuba said:

We’ve taken 2 one on one classes with Steve Anderson, well worth the $!

I did a class up here with a very prominent USPSA pro.  Total dick, too many guy’s and the host brought his wife who could not shoot.  Learned squat.  

 

did the 5 day TPC course which was fun but value for money…eh. Meh.
 If you can get a friend or 2 and go for a 2 or 3 max with a good instructor.

How was the TPC course?  I was looking at it, but 5 days seems like a LOT.  I recently took a 2 day class and was absolutely finished at the end of day 2.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was fun.  I did see everyone managed to survive in 115 degree heat, the crazy winds at 2-3pm were wild.  This was at the Southern Utah range.  I guess it would depend on your physical shape and whether you were doing a lot of running drills.  I'm a gym rat so didn't have any issues.

 

We were REALLY new so I got limited use from it as I might have a year or 2 later.  Still I'd spend the $ for a 2 on 1 private (it was my wife and I) One on one will probably tire you out.  After the 2nd Anderson 3 day private class my shooting improved immensely.  I would use someone else next time as I've now got a strong mental and shooting foundation so I'm now chasing the seconds so it's all about exits & entry, shooting on the move, stage planning etc.  But for a D-B class shooter he's excellent.

Edited by MikeyScuba
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad to hear my impression of the student ratio isn't way off.  The class itself wasn't cheap but there was also a hotel room for two nights, 7 hours on the road, and 2 days away from my family.  At least I know more about what to look for going forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work for the .gov, and they sent us a class taught by a top USPSA shooter. Local-ish, so minimal travel expenses. 

 

We were getting paid overtime. Two of our group walked out. Literally walked out of the class. 80% of the people in the class were paying out of their own pockets; if WE were disgusted, I can only imagine how the paying customers felt. 

 

My job was to do an after action report on the class; lessons learned, instructor techniques we might be able to incorporate, and I had..........nothing. 

 

Shot a lot, though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/28/2021 at 2:49 PM, Michael303 said:

I recently took a pistol/red dot 2-day class with a fairly prominent trainer.  I had some fun and got a few things out of the class.  looking back I feel I would have gotten more if I was a newer shooter or at least new to red dots but that's another thread.

 

The biggest thing I learned was to ask what the max class head count is before signing up for any future training.  This class was 26 students.  Shooting time was divided between two lines and one on one feedback was a cumulative time of 10 minutes if I'm generous.  

 

I'm curious, what do you feel is reasonable class size?  What has been your experience with training class sizes?  What else have you learned from training classes that helps you decide on what to attend in the future?  This applies to practical shooting and defensive training.

 

Did you give the instructor an honest review of the class afterwards? As an instructor myself getting honest feedback is key to making future classes better.

 

26 students with 1 instructor is crazy. That situation is very sketchy from a safety perspective alone. Much less not having enough bandwidth to give each student some one on one instruction which will actually help fix some issues.

 

The reality is, that the shooting community is small and the word about a poor training product gets around. As a paying customer you are entitled to voice your opinion openly about their product. I know that I myself have attended a few classes over the years that resulted in a "Buyer Beware" warning for anyone that asked me about those specific classes. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know that the word gets around. Too often students don't know what good training is. 

 

I spoke to a husband:wife couple who attended a training class by another top shooter; they prattled on about how great the class was. 

 

For entertainment I asked "Tell me 3 things you learned."

 

They couldn't provide even one. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone values different things. I know I've gotten comments about things students didn't like at all that I did that totally surprised (and humbled) me.

 

I also look at what people say about other classes and I find it telling what the raves are about.

 

All I know is I feel lucky to be where I'm at and who I work with from the instruction side of it. We do real in house instructor development and take other courses to learn from them as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

Did you give the instructor an honest review of the class afterwards? As an instructor myself getting honest feedback is key to making future classes better.

I didn't.  Maybe I'm wrong but I'm guessing all that cash makes it pretty easy to justify a class that size.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Michael303 said:

I didn't.  Maybe I'm wrong but I'm guessing all that cash makes it pretty easy to justify a class that size.  

 

Well you really won't know what the real "Justifications" are for the class size until you get it from the instructor himself. Giving people honest feedback about their products is a good thing. How they react to it will tell you a lot about them as a whole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/31/2021 at 3:15 PM, CHA-LEE said:

Giving people honest feedback about their products is a good thing. How they react to it will tell you a lot about them as a whole.

I work teaching all sorts of shooting for a company someone else owns, with instructors in 3 different states. I have gotten feedback that hurt my feelings but it was right. I took it to heart, made some changes and how I am better and provide a better service to the people who pay to learn from me. It hurt a little at first but it made things better in the long run.

 

I have also taken classes from "names", some of them before they became well known in the instruction game. I had to leave a few of them uncomfortable feedback and guess what, it made them better. It hurt a little for both of us but then it worked out. Little did I know people would later be doing the same to me!

 

If you were super happy, leave feed back. If you were unhappy, leave feedback. But make it objective and calm, not emotional or about feelings. And definite examples if you can remember details clearly. Trust Cha-Lee, I do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also depends on the range, props, classification level of shooters and the specific training objective(s). I would say: minimum 3, maximum 8 to have a qualitative/professional training with room for structured discussion, individual feed back and adequate shooting time/rounds.  Anything above there will be a lot of dead time and it's more difficult to manage as an instructor, also on safety.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Between Rowdy and Cha, they pretty much hit on everything.

 

Feedback is critical, regardless if it is positive or negative. Just be honest in your assessment.

 

I have given and taken a lot of training, giving presentations in national settings.  The positive feedback validated a lot of what I wanted to communicate, the negative feedback helped me do better the next time.  I was always looking to improve my teaching abilities.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I'm on my own less than 10 for sure. 
The format I usually do is 15-18 students and three instructors. Class is divided into three groups so you have 5 or 6 people per instructor. Lot's of 1 on 1 face time with each. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...