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Who Are the Next Generation?

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Post by RodJ 9/6/2022, 10:56 pm

The question is a bit nebulous. As a new shooter I read Gil Hebard’s and other authors’ books and training manuals. And I read many many posts here by High Masters and others who have honed skills and methods and share them. 

I wonder whether the newer participants - such as myself - will absorb, learn, seek, and discover the physical and mental skills that are passed on to us. And I wonder whether we will feel and follow an urge to experiment and develop new methods.

Thinking that the latter is best done after attaining a significant modicum of proficiency in the fundamentals. Or do “we” younger / newer shooters experiment sooner?

All this rambling is in hope of inspiring shooters to become inquisitive and teachers going forward. Of course there’s a danger of trying to share what we *think* we know and lead others astray. How to avoid that?

These thoughts are courtesy of my seeking instruction and coaching from one of the most helpful Bullseye L forum members. If he is successful, I hope that I might be a resource some day. 

Onward, through the fog! (a favorite expression of mine)

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Post by Soupy44 9/7/2022, 6:29 pm

My full time job is teaching tennis.  I learned early on that a student that does exactly as I say is great to work with, but doesn't grow like players who question me more.  You have to think and make connections.  

Often times, the players that experiment, talk back, or intentionally do the opposite of what I tell them end up being the best because they're thinking, learning, and building a complete picture of the game instead of memorizing a checklist of things I have said.

You post made me think of the book David vs Goliath by Malcom Gladwell.  Outliers is another good one by Gladwell but with a more positive spin.  Sometimes what we view as hinderances end up being strengths!

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Post by Pinetree 9/7/2022, 7:37 pm

I wish that I would have taken up this sport/hobby years ago, when my eyes were still decent.

One of the guys in our league is the grandson of another member, he's 18 and quite good. It's a shame that the younger generation doesn't take up the sport, because the rest of us are pretty much all retirement age.

One of my other hobbies is flying radio controlled airplanes, and we're seeing the same dilemma.. most of the members are well into their seventies, and it doesn't seem like the younger generation is interested.. for lack of a better word.

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Post by msmith44 9/8/2022, 11:41 am

RodJ wrote:The question is a bit nebulous. As a new shooter I read Gil Hebard’s and other authors’ books and training manuals. And I read many many posts here by High Masters and others who have honed skills and methods and share them. 

I wonder whether the newer participants - such as myself - will absorb, learn, seek, and discover the physical and mental skills that are passed on to us. And I wonder whether we will feel and follow an urge to experiment and develop new methods.

Thinking that the latter is best done after attaining a significant modicum of proficiency in the fundamentals. Or do “we” younger / newer shooters experiment sooner?

All this rambling is in hope of inspiring shooters to become inquisitive and teachers going forward. Of course there’s a danger of trying to share what we *think* we know and lead others astray. How to avoid that?

These thoughts are courtesy of my seeking instruction and coaching from one of the most helpful Bullseye L forum members. If he is successful, I hope that I might be a resource some day. 

Onward, through the fog! (a favorite expression of mine)
There is an NCAA Intercollegiate shooting program, 300 schools participate according to the NRA. There are no intercollegiate Precision Pistol competitions. The focus in on ISSF events in Sport Pistol and Air Pistol. That's where the coaching is. 

The future of Precision Pistol is with the military and people with the money and time to train and compete. Where is the demo/psychographic data on the Precision Pistol universe? What you've got is a world of anecdotal evidence.  

So for what it's worth: I don't see a lack of interest in the shooting sports from young people but very few are interested in Precision Pistol. They might be interested if entry level was less expensive, matches could be completed in an hour or less, a focus on the guns they already own, AND matches that allow the two-hand shooting they already do. Where do you find these people? Go to a range and observe who's there and what they are doing. Do it again and again. Observe if there is a change. How many shoot at 25 feet and then move the target to 50 feet or 25 yards? Talk to range owners who sell firearms and find out how they attract customers to the ranges. Petition the NRA to do a marketing study for Precision Pistol. 

Everybody who owns a handgun has shot at a target (well most anyway). The goal is to get them shooting at Bullseye targets. And, try a bit of humility when approaching potential recruits. Just because you're a good shooter doesn't mean you're a good teacher. I hasten to add there are some good teachers posting here. You know who you are.

Of course, all of this is just my opinion.




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Post by RodJ 9/8/2022, 12:23 pm

Mike that’s encouraging and reminds me of some thoughts I’ve had about trying to create  more simplified, low barrier (small P) “precision pistol” shooting matches going. An all day outdoor
match especially in the summer in the south is brutal.

I may approach the range manager to see if a monthly or even semimonthly match would be welcome. Shoot what you got, hour long. Add handicaps after a few rounds. Would be a lot of fun for people and help develop interest.

Thanks for the insights and encouraging thoughts.

PS humility is all I got going for me!

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Post by Wobbley 9/8/2022, 2:02 pm

I hate to tell ya, but the military no longer emphasizes Bullseye.  Their focus is now Action Pistol in its many forms.  

It is my opinion that we should try to pickup those from the colleges and high schools that aren’t picked up by the national team for ISSF shooting.  There are many of those, but they just seem to disappear.
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Post by chiz1180 9/8/2022, 2:59 pm

Time and money are big factors for those just out of high school or getting out of college. How long do most people drive to get to matches? Ammo is not cheap (even if you reload CF/45). I have several friends who shot at the collegiate level who no longer actively shoot for cost and time availability reasons. Part of the issue with crossover between bullseye and international is a sense of elitism by both sides.
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Post by msmith44 9/8/2022, 9:59 pm

Wobbley wrote:I hate to tell ya, but the military no longer emphasizes Bullseye.  Their focus is now Action Pistol in its many forms.  

It is my opinion that we should try to pickup those from the colleges and high schools that aren’t picked up by the national team for ISSF shooting.  There are many of those, but they just seem to disappear.
Thank you for your service.

I just looked at the number of Military shooting at the NRA National Championships. If there is a rank and a military or veteran designation I assume they served. I'm well aware of the deemphasis of Bullseye and shooting sports in general by the military except for the Army. Frankly, I never knew of a time when they did emphasize bullseye. What little there was got deemphasized in the mid-sixties when enlisted and officers in all shooting disciplines were under orders to provide service in addition to training. This affective all shooting sports. Mostly that "duty" consisted of overseeing rifle qualification, life guarding and supervising physical therapy at the therapy pool (Brook Army Medical Center). Some did another "volunteer" assignment in Viet Nam. Yeah, I go way back. HOWEVER, PP pistol still has competitive events some of which I think you've mentioned in past posts that are military connected and the active duty competitors, male and female, do seem to be at the top the stands in both NRA and CMP events. But perhaps I'm misreading the results.

Respectfully,


-m-


Last edited by msmith44 on 9/8/2022, 10:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by msmith44 9/8/2022, 10:09 pm

chiz1180 wrote:Part of the issue with crossover between bullseye and international is a sense of elitism by both sides.
For young shooters there is no future in training for games that are exclusive to the U.S. ISSF has the potential of international events and even national events with meaning. Go to netcompetitor and compare the number of ISSF games and bullseye. I support bullseye and want to see it survive. But it will only do so if people stop trying to think outside the box when getting rid of the box is what is needed. A Match Director when queried concerning including two-handed shooters said, "Precision Pistol is one-handed, always was, always will be." This is not the attitude of survival.


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Post by NYKenn 9/11/2022, 12:09 pm

Lots of variables. Hard to determine which impact more. 

In the "past" (40s, 50s, 60s) there was really only Bullseye, (and Army L) Now there is IPSC,  IDPA,  SASS, Action, International, etc., etc., Multiple disciplines all competing for shooters. 

Difficulty in varying gun laws in ability to not only own a gun but even to shoot and borrow one. (In NY if you are not licensed, you cannot even legally handle a handgun to try) Licenses take up 3 months to a year. Hurry up and wait. (and it just got worse)

Lack of juniors to carry on the tradition. Lots of reasons; Legal, monetary, parental involvement, anti-gun education and peer pressure in schools. 

Shooting can be expensive as are most sports and enjoyable hobbies. What a participant sees as a preference gets the money.

Time and commitment. A 2700 takes the better part of an 8 hour weekend day. IPSC or IDPA often just a morning.  

Also no consensus in what to do. In many cases Precision Pistol is a lot like the old firefighting adage.
" 100 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress"

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Post by CR10X 9/11/2022, 2:03 pm

To answer (and get back to) the original question.  Just a few notes and thoughts I've collected over the years. 

(1) Don't teach what you don't know. Know the safety rules and safe gun handling completely and teach others that first. 
(2) Just because you think you know it doesn't mean you do.  Follow the surgeon's guide - "See one, do one, then try to teach one.  That will really teach you what you don't know and then you can begin learning." 
(3) Don't repeat what you heard unless you know it is the absolute truth, and even then it's better to remain quiet if possible.
(4) Great shooting scores do not necessarily mean they were shot by great teachers.
(5) Great teachers do not necessarily shoot great scores.
(6) Do your best to understand and be able to communicate the basics.  That means believing that they are the most important part of the shooting process. 
(7) Remember that written communications are the least preferred and least precise means of teaching.  Actual in person teaching is only just a little better, but its the best we've got.  Just do your best.
(8 ) Teach how to do it properly, not don't mention or demonstrate any other way. (Don't point out what's wrong. Teach, show and believe what is generally thought of as the most correct.) 
(9) The student does not need to see how well you shoot so there's no need to demonstrate that part.  Teaching shooting is about the student learning how to do something correctly.  Let them learn through your coaching, not your performance.  It's their performance, and even more importantly, their feelings that are most important. 
(10) Don't let any of the above stop you from helping others, just remember your limitations and put the needs of the student first.

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Post by chiz1180 9/11/2022, 2:14 pm

msmith44 wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:Part of the issue with crossover between bullseye and international is a sense of elitism by both sides.
For young shooters there is no future in training for games that are exclusive to the U.S. ISSF has the potential of international events and even national events with meaning. Go to netcompetitor and compare the number of ISSF games and bullseye. I support bullseye and want to see it survive. But it will only do so if people stop trying to think outside the box when getting rid of the box is what is needed. A Match Director when queried concerning including two-handed shooters said, "Precision Pistol is one-handed, always was, always will be." This is not the attitude of survival.


-m-
I would argue that the perceived availability of netcompitor matches for ISSF is higher because in the US the number if ISSF style matches is extremely limited. Outside of USAS selection matches, where could I shoot a Rapidfire match? long story short you really can't (unless you are collegiate).

In regards to this 
"Precision Pistol is one-handed, always was, always will be." This is not the attitude of survival.
Glock matches are similar to precision pistol but with two hands and with less demanding equipment required by the shooter. If a match format in which the same course of fire as precision pistol, same equipment requirements but with two hands was viable it would exist. The challenge of precision pistol is the level of demand on pistol shooting fundamentals, it is not an easy game, nor is it easy to get proficient. It takes time, the right equipment and the right people to coach and mentor along the way to do well in this game.
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Post by Wobbley 9/11/2022, 2:42 pm

Kinda sorta one way maybe….

I’ve been thinking about what someone said about two hands…

If we changed the rules to allow two handed shooting in Marksman and Sharpshooter classes, that might make it more attractive to beginners.  

Maybe? Dunno?
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Post by Pinetree 9/11/2022, 3:24 pm

There's a YWCA Women's self defense class that sometimes uses the range when our league shoots.

Even though we've invited them to try their hands at it, they just look at us shooting at 50 yards with one hand like we're crazy.
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Post by SingleActionAndrew 9/11/2022, 6:00 pm

Wobbley wrote:Kinda sorta one way maybe….

I’ve been thinking about what someone said about two hands…

If we changed the rules to allow two handed shooting in Marksman and Sharpshooter classes, that might make it more attractive to beginners.  

Maybe? Dunno?
That's an interesting idea. I'm only a few years into Bullseye and one of the strong attractions is that it's shot with one hand. There's more to that than Just that it's another high bar of difficulty.  

But will it just be a tragedy of the commons for the majority of shooters that are career marksmanship, and all but the traditionalists will shoot 2 hand with a built in incentive not to class up?

I'm in my mid 30s. The shooters I know in my generation outside of Bullseye are mystified by the idea of shooting with one hand. That elite mystique of what we do is a valuable component of allure for the shooters who do get on the ramp, and competitors like myself who have a demanding job and two teenagers at home keeping this a pseudo-romantic pursuit. 

I wouldn't be here if it wasn't hard and complicated. I was fortunate to find a local group of shooters that welcomed and were eager to teach me. Also for me this was is a whole lot cheaper and more safe than SCCA road racing. I suspect there are many gainfully employed engineer types out there who have both the aptitude and appetite but I don't have a secret on how to reach them. I do my best in my own work and friend communities, but most of them are still learning the very basics (coming from never being exposed to pistols).
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Post by Soupy44 9/11/2022, 6:15 pm

Who Are the Next Generation? Screen10

I have always read the above to mean you can get classified as a Marksman or Sharpshooter shooting two handed the same as one handed folks. I see now I misread it. 

What if we change it such that they do get the same classification so the Match Director doesn't have to run a separate match. Same course of fire, one or two handed, and a check box to say they shot 2 handed at some point. 

Sectionals, Nationals, and DR have to be one handed. Maybe this only applies to approved tournaments, not registered.

A new shooter could shoot LL and RF two handed, and dip their toe in the one handed waters with TF.

Oh I'm going to ruffle some feathers with this one!

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Post by msmith44 9/11/2022, 6:31 pm

Soupy44 wrote:Who Are the Next Generation? Screen10

I have always read the above to mean you can get classified as a Marksman or Sharpshooter shooting two handed the same as one handed folks. I see now I misread it. 

What if we change it such that they do get the same classification so the Match Director doesn't have to run a separate match. Same course of fire, one or two handed, and a check box to say they shot 2 handed at some point. 

Sectionals, Nationals, and DR have to be one handed. Maybe this only applies to approved tournaments, not registered.

A new shooter could shoot LL and RF two handed, and dip their toe in the one handed waters with TF.

Oh I'm going to ruffle some feathers with this one!
Well, Match Directors have only had since 2013 to begin offering 2-handed sanctioned matches. Not even the NRA can offer one in the National Championship matches. One might think that the NRA and the leaders simply aren't interested in expanding competitive opportunities. I think we're going about this all wrong and two-handed bullseye should be a separate competitive category like bench or silhouette.

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Post by msmith44 9/11/2022, 6:36 pm

CR10X wrote:To answer (and get back to) the original question.  Just a few notes and thoughts I've collected over the years. 

(1) Don't teach what you don't know. Know the safety rules and safe gun handling completely and teach others that first. 
(2) Just because you think you know it doesn't mean you do.  Follow the surgeon's guide - "See one, do one, then try to teach one.  That will really teach you what you don't know and then you can begin learning." 
(3) Don't repeat what you heard unless you know it is the absolute truth, and even then it's better to remain quiet if possible.
(4) Great shooting scores do not necessarily mean they were shot by great teachers.
(5) Great teachers do not necessarily shoot great scores.
(6) Do your best to understand and be able to communicate the basics.  That means believing that they are the most important part of the shooting process. 
(7) Remember that written communications are the least preferred and least precise means of teaching.  Actual in person teaching is only just a little better, but its the best we've got.  Just do your best.
(8 ) Teach how to do it properly, not don't mention or demonstrate any other way. (Don't point out what's wrong. Teach, show and believe what is generally thought of as the most correct.) 
(9) The student does not need to see how well you shoot so there's no need to demonstrate that part.  Teaching shooting is about the student learning how to do something correctly.  Let them learn through your coaching, not your performance.  It's their performance, and even more importantly, their feelings that are most important. 
(10) Don't let any of the above stop you from helping others, just remember your limitations and put the needs of the student first.
 Well said. There is mantra that "... Those who can. Do. Those who can't teach." As member of faculties at both major research institutions and regional for 43 yers, I've seen brilliant scholars who simply can't teach and journeyman researchers who are brilliant.

Well done Mr. Rhodes for summarizing the basic pedagogy applied to shooting.


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Post by CR10X 9/12/2022, 7:23 am

First off, you can't get people do something they are not really interested in.  I will never play basketball, never wanted to, never will no matter how much they change the rules.  The best we can do is make the sport visible, positively presented and available.

What most people miss is that the One or Two Hand Probationary Precision Pistol Match is fired at a maximum of 25 yards.  Most matches that have 50 yard targets cannot accommodate the use of the 25 yard line while the 50 yard line is in use.  

And the Match Director would also have to make sure to check during each string of fire to confirm one had shooters are actually shooting with one hand, etc.  Yes, the majority of shooters follow the rules, but there will always be some people that try to "bend" the rules or try to get away with something. I've see it.  

Keep this in mind every time someone comes up with the next brilliant idea to get more people shooting precision pistol:  Do not make any additional work for the people that put on matches than you absolutely have to.  Try to do anything you can to help the people that put on matches.

So if we want to grow participation, that means putting on MORE matches and posting information where shooters gather and making sure anything the public sees AND reads is a positive message.  And never say anything negative about any shooting sport.  Every shooting sport that gets cancelled is a loss for all shooting sports and shooters.  

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Post by DA/SA 9/12/2022, 7:59 am

CR10X wrote:
So if we want to grow participation, that means putting on MORE matches and posting information where shooters gather and making sure anything the public sees AND reads is a positive message.  And never say anything negative about any shooting sport.  Every shooting sport that gets cancelled is a loss for all shooting sports and shooters.  
Just a pet peeve of mine, but when participating in this sport, please refer to what you are shooting as a "pistol" or a "firearm". Although it is technically a "weapon" we are only shooting at paper and that term seems a bit unfriendly to those not familiar!
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