The Price of Admission
This Saturday I was invited to teach a women’s intro to competition class at our local club.
We had a small number of women signed up at the time of my invitation. However, by the start of class the number had more then doubled. With our numerous new students, we split the class into two groups and set off.
I had pleasure of teaching Handgun Fundamentals, and an IDPA introductions class. The students were mostly made up of club member’s wives (including mine) and family. All had some basic pistol training. Some even had a little match and training class experience. As with all my classes, I like to have a little fundamentals refresher. After our discussion about Stance, Grip, Sight Alignment and Trigger Control, I helped each student put a six shot group down. To their surprise, no five shot group was larger than three inches. One student’s group was smaller than two inches. Even after 30 warm-up rounds, the entire group only put three shots out of the down zero at 5 yards.
I see this type of success in almost all my students at the beginning of a class. While it comes as no surprise to me, the students are almost in disbelief with what is happening. In another class I taught, I had a student who went six for six on a 100 yard steel torso target with his Sig 226 then turn and ask me “How am I doing this?” The women at this class had a kind of “Yeah I did that attitude.”
Once we moved to our mock IDPA stage and gave a rundown of the rules, safety, and stage techniques, we had our time free runs. With the exception of a couple of misses on their first swinging target, all the women ran the stage safe and smoothly. My wife even managed to run the stage under 40 seconds with zero points down. I wish we had all the stage runs on video because the the ladies all looked comfortable running the stage. I overheard some of them mentioning they were having fun. I know we will be seeing most of the women at our club matches next year.
One problem most gun owners, and especially women have is, they think practical firearms competition are so far beyond their capabilities. Our mind tells us, “Since this is a competition, it is not a place for us to learn. Rather, it is a place for embarrassment and failure.” This fear will rob gun owners of some of the most enjoyable experiences they will ever have exercising their second amendment rights. It also steals supporting members of gun right organizations in our fight to keep that right.
“Too many people feel they need to be better than they currently are before they will come out to a match for the first time. Often, the hardest part of shooting competition is attending your first match. Once you arrive, you are surrounded by a group of shooters who will spend the entire day working to make sure you will have a fun, safe and memorable experience. They do this because they too were once new. Also, they love the sport and want to see it grow. Helping the newest shooters is a way to promote and grow the sport they love.” – Robert Wyatt
If you think there are a mountain sized pile of skills you need to master before you ever compete, you are wrong. If you can load, draw, move, reload, unload, holster, all while safely handling the firearm and maintaining a teachable state of mind, then you are ready. If you need work on those basic skills, seek training from a credible instructor. Also, buy some training videos and practice with a unloaded gun in a ammo free room until you feel confident in those necessary skills. The sooner the better.
I strongly encourage all those who own a firearm to at least give competition a try. Whether it be long range rifle, clay shooting sports, 3Gun, or your local pistol club, get out there with your loved ones and make some memories. Remember, if you never try you always fail.
Stay safe and click at the wall,