Updated: Apr 8, 2019
A very wet and windy start to the 10 sessions!
The first day is always about analysing the abilities of each individual athlete. As a coach, this gives you an insight as to how much support each person will need! The first session showed that there was a divide of ages and abilities in the group, with some athletes being beginners and some already experienced trap shooters! Here’s a run-down of how our first session went!
After introductions, bacon sandwiches and a safety brief, one of the first things I looked at was equipment and gun fit. We have athletes who are shooting with 20 gauge shotguns and some with 12 gauge. Whilst Olympic Trap is best shot with a 12 gauge, for our younger athletes, a 20 gauge is perfect. Shooting a gun with a larger bore size can be intimidating as a beginner and, more importantly, can put you off shooting for a long time. For athletes of any age who have not yet mastered their gun mount, the recoil felt can cause bruising to the shoulder and cheek – but only if the gun is not held correctly!
The morning’s coaching session consisted of covering the basics but our main focus during the morning was getting comfortable! Settling into a new environment can be tough – let alone taking up a new sport or a new shooting discipline. On top of this, shooting with new people can be hard! When I started out in shooting, I would only have a go when there was no-one looking! We all start somewhere, and we should absolutely not be ashamed of it!
Over lunch the athletes proved how keen they were by asking questions and asking how they can develop as quickly as possible! This is amazing to hear as a coach and an athlete, as encouraging others is how we are going to keep this sport alive! All athletes have now set themselves goals and these goals will make progression measurement so much easier and keep us driven! We can continue to reflect on development goals throughout the sessions and athletes can see just how far they’ve come over the 10 sessions!
The afternoon saw a lesson about etiquette! Shooting etiquette is so important to learn at an early stage and is actually really simple! Etiquette can mean not putting off other shooters around you, but also keep people safe! This also meant a ‘tidier’ environment for learning! Giving each athlete enough space to try new stances and foot positions without having someone stood waiting to get on their peg! This also allowed athletes to have more confidence in a time where new foot position and stance can feel incredibly unnatural!
I can honestly say what an amazing and truly promising group of athletes to have! It will be a pleasure to work with them over the coming year and I look forward to the next session!
The next session is being held at Mendip Shooting Ground on Saturday 30thMarch 2019, between 10am and 4pm! Whilst this will be session 2 out of 10, it is not too late to join us if even just for a taster session! If this is something you are interested in doing and would like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the “contact us” section of my website www.gtroberts.co.uk!