We often get asked how someone who is interested in shooting can reach a higher level of skill and ability. The answer is often not what you would think…
Simply put, learning how to teach back knowledge that you may already have is the key to becoming a better pistol shooter. Without being able to do so, you are simply working off of the noise that is echoing throughout your own head, often leading to you attaching on to a particular way of doing things without allowing yourself to build and improve.
Hence… I started instructing.
I say this because I have been there myself…
I always thought that I had a solid grasp on the fundamentals of pistol shooting, and while my scores during annual qualifications passed muster on any given day, I wasn’t satisfied. Over the past few years I have attended instructor courses through the NRA, Sig Sauer Academy, MA Police Training Council and more. Each of these courses has helped me hone my abilities on the range and in front of a line of shooters.
Things didn’t truly improve until I started instructing… and here are the reasons behind it.
Understanding is Key
The simple fact of the matter is that you will not be able to effectively understand a particular topic if you do not have a complete understanding of said topic. While you may be able to draw upon your experience and previously obtained knowledge you will have difficulty presenting that information if you lack a complete understanding of the topic.
Think about it…
If you understand the task at hand from front to back, would you be able to present that information in a clear, concise manner that is easy to understand?
Other benefits of having a rock solid understanding are
- YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO KNOW THE MATERIAL. Yes folks… if you understand the process completely, you actually understand it. You would be surprised how many folks lack a complete understanding of the fundamentals of shooting a pistol
- Ability to streamline the information at hand in to easily digestible and easily understood concepts
- Ability to confidently present the information to others
Become Able to Communicate Your Knowledge
One thing that I have found is that the more I teach, the better I become at presenting the topic at hand. The essence of this is communicating to my audience all of that junk in my head in such a way that is easy to understand and digest.
By constantly evaluating and paring off the unnecessary and extraneous information from my teachings I have found that not only am I able to present the information to my students, I can also shorten the pathways to success on the range for myself.
Sometimes I just come up with a different way of presenting something that not only clicks with the student, but clicks with me as well… which improves my own abilities in the end.
Becoming a Firearms Instructor
Everyone has different backgrounds and skills. Some folks are military/law enforcement, others are simply civilians who like shooting.
Not everyone has the same skill sets or abilities and there is usually a wide variance in said abilities. It is important that you start somewhere. I chose the NRA Basic Pistol instructor program as my launchpad to becoming a firearms instructor and it has paid dividends over the past five years.
Benefits of the NRA Program
NO program is perfect. There are many other programs out there that are far superior to the NRA courses. However… you need to base your decision on which course of instruction to start with. As a newbie, I highly recommend working from a framework that allows you to present the information logically, clearly, and consistently.
Here are some of the benefits of the NRA Program
- It is accepted in many locations for CCW permits.
- It is standardized so you do not have to come up with your own program.
- It is (sometimes annoyingly) thorough.
- It is easy to present and teach
- You get to join the ranks of NRA Certified Instructors and hone your skills while getting paid to pass on your knowledge.
So… if you are interested in becoming and NRA Certified Instructor, let us know!
Have Questions or Comments? Join the Discussion!
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