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Work with a coach or learn by yourself?

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WSR32
Jon Eulette
Sa-tevp
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Post by Sa-tevp 5/17/2022, 3:53 pm

Having past experience in various sports and then a technical professional career, when I got a chance to get into the shooting sports I sought out instruction and coaching. As much as I can read and research very well, I knew that nothing would lead to rapid and efficient development as working with a teacher and coach. A coach can watch and kill a bad habit very quickly.

Has anyone ever made it to Expert or above classification without coaching or taking a target shooting class?


Last edited by Sa-tevp on 5/17/2022, 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Title edit)
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Post by Jon Eulette 5/17/2022, 4:19 pm

Live coaching will pay dividends. Not all good shooters make good coaches.
Good coach can make refinements you will never catch yourself. 
Biggest problem I encounter when coaching is ego or lack of really listening. Seasoned shooters do not like change! It’s a big battle. Also dealing with shooters thinking they know more than they do. So much of the battle is shooters need to be willing to step back and let the coach actually coach them.
Years ago a buddy I was coaching was doing really well but had hit a plateau. We talked again and he hammered an 886 CF aggregate. I asked him why he did better? He said “I finally listened and did what you said “. 
I was coached from my 2nd match. Made Master (HM didn’t exist yet) in 6 months.
Coaching helps if you learn to apply and learn how to train and not just shoot.
Jon
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Post by WSR32 5/17/2022, 5:58 pm

Having just joined the game and being aware of the benefits a coach can bring much like Sa-tevp sated from other comparative activity I have considered looking for a coach. If anyone knows of a bullseye coach in the South Florida area I am all ears.

In the mean time I'll keep working with my mantis-x.

M

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Post by Sa-tevp 5/17/2022, 6:29 pm

For several years we got to shoot at matches arranged and run by Art Rozier. At an air pistol match at a local high school that has air rifle and air pistol teams I saw this sign posted in the hallway to the air range that had electronic targets (please excuse the spelling):

Work with a coach or learn by yourself? 20150110

Stephen
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Post by Sa-tevp 5/17/2022, 6:52 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Live coaching will pay dividends. Not all good shooters make good coaches.
Good coach can make refinements you will never catch yourself. 
Biggest problem I encounter when coaching is ego or lack of really listening. Seasoned shooters do not like change! It’s a big battle. Also dealing with shooters thinking they know more than they do. So much of the battle is shooters need to be willing to step back and let the coach actually coach them.
Years ago a buddy I was coaching was doing really well but had hit a plateau. We talked again and he hammered an 886 CF aggregate. I asked him why he did better? He said “I finally listened and did what you said “. 
I was coached from my 2nd match. Made Master (HM didn’t exist yet) in 6 months.
Coaching helps if you learn to apply and learn how to train and not just shoot.
Jon

Good coach can make refinements you will never catch yourself. 

My biggest reason to work with a coach. I am too lazy to run into walls and try to figure out my own problems. A good coach can (If you are from the appropriate generation and respect the coach) dope-slap you and get you on track.

I always like CSAT trainer Paul Howe's range sign

Work with a coach or learn by yourself? 20140209_071201-Small

Stephen
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Post by adminbot1911 5/17/2022, 7:11 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:I was coached from my 2nd match. Made Master (HM didn’t exist yet) in 6 months.
Coaching helps if you learn to apply and learn how to train and not just shoot.
Jon
This is how it should be done.  My path was much more circuitous.

I made it to and beyond expert on several disciplines with plenty of coaching... but the coaching was not at all great and the timeline I took was long.  Most of the gains I made to the point of competitiveness were self-learned through trial and error, reading and "practice".

Now, I am unlearning a lot of bad habits that are keeping me from getting over the hump into the highest classifications.  I also have several techniques in both BE pistol and HP rifle that work well for me, but would never be taught to a beginner.

Doing it over again, I would much prefer quality level coaching, it could have knocked years off of my progress.  HM in six months?  In my dreams.
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Post by john bickar 5/18/2022, 12:53 am

One challenge is "Not all good shooters make good coaches," which Jon said earlier.

I have a lot of people ask me if I can coach them. I don't think I can. And I don't think I'm the coach that they need.

My dad used to say, "Once you shoot 285 (NMC), then I can coach you."

I think there's a big difference between people who can shoot, and people who can coach.
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Post by BE Mike 5/18/2022, 9:09 am

I made master and distinguished without any coaching. That was a long, long time ago, and before the internet. I do not recommend my path. It was full of misguided, yet well-meaning advice and ingraining of bad habits and techniques that I had to work my way out of before learning the proper habits and techniques. The "Pistol Shooters Treasury" helped, as well as, the AMU manual and other books about pistol target shooting. I listened to tapes and read sports psychology books. Anyone who seriously wants to improve and can find a good one-on-one coach will advance smoothly and quicker than a self-taught competitor. For my defense, I mostly lived in areas where bullseye shooting wasn't practiced and coaches were unheard of. I might add that I don't think I had any talent for the sport, just dogged determination.
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Post by msmith44 5/21/2022, 10:34 am

Sa-tevp wrote:Having past experience in various sports and then a technical professional career, when I got a chance to get into the shooting sports I sought out instruction and coaching. As much as I can read and research very well, I knew that nothing would lead to rapid and efficient development as working with a teacher and coach. A coach can watch and kill a bad habit very quickly.

Has anyone ever made it to Expert or above classification without coaching or taking a target shooting class?

Several responses have answered your second question. There is a Zen saying, When the teacher is ready, the student will appear. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” So, this is a two headed problem. Can the coach teach? Is the coach worthy of trust? Is the student teachable? Is the student capable of trusting?
 
Much depends upon the goal of the student. Great coaches coach the individual. While there are fundamental range of competencies that must be mastered to achieve the highest success, a great coach will help the student find their personal point in the range of possibility.
 
The designer of a leaning system, depending on the learning objectives, will be aware of which learning domain (psychomotor, cognitive, affective) they are working in. Precision Pistol works in all three. It requires an exceptional person to coach all three. A bad coach will muddle them because they are bad teachers.
 
So, when looking for a coach find out what he/she coaches and if that meets your goals. If you are the "I can do it on my own" type there are three places to start: the AMU Handbook, the Marine Corp Handbook and Berman's Handgun Marksmenship. When you have your feet wet in competitive shooting go to Bassham's, With Winning in Mind.


BTW, mentoring and coaching are two different processes.


Just my two cents based on 47 years of teaching, coaching and mentoring and being coached in competitive pistol disciplines.


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