Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Value of a Coach by Karen Butler

Are you a new shooter or an experienced shooter who has reached a plateau?  If so, then you probably need a coach…one coach.  Beginner shooters definitely need a coach to teach them the basics up front.  You will save yourself time and money (if you’re like me and think if you throw more money into your equipment you will get better) to invest up front to learn proper form.  I met a lady at our Test Flight in Vegas who was teaching herself to shoot, I was very proud of her, but she could not get any better, and it was because she had not learned any basics.  I spent a few minutes with her, she was so eager to learn and had a very natural ability, but she needs a coach to reinforce those basics at least until she has some muscle memory of her shot.  Shooters that have reached a plateau have one of two or a combination of both problems:  Form and/or Mental Attitude.  Adding a coach to your routine will combat both these challenges.

So why a coach?  The great thing about shooting sports is everyone wants help, if you shoot in a league or at a group event, I’m sure you have experienced multiple people telling you to change your grip, your stance, the way you pull your trigger, etc…I know I have.  These helpful souls may be doing more harm to our shot than good, because they cause us to focus on the item they are trying to correct and piece meal our shot sequence together – plus, we don’t know the qualifications of their “expert” advice.  A coach will focus our attention where it is needed and improve our shot.

Many times you can hire a coach or recruit someone in your league/group who has a strong shot and is willing to share their expertise with you.  You’ll notice I recommend one coach.  This is where our helpful neighbors try to sneak into play.  Trust me, as your shot improves, everyone will want to be connected with you to share in the thrill of higher scores!   The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to tell my friends, “Thanks for trying to help, but I have a coach and he has me working on something else this week.”  That answer became my standard answer to everyone who was not my coach, but wanted to help.  Now, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t on to something about your shot you could improve, so you need to take note of what they said and inform your coach.  Your coach can take a look at it and act accordingly. 

Not only does a coach help us with our form, a coach also helps us with our mental attitude.  Many of our shooting problems wind up being as much or more mental than physical; however, when we focus on improving our physical shot our mental game is improved because we have more confidence in our abilities.   At Shoot Like A Girl, that is our primary goal, to empower women to participate in shooting sports with confidence.  So if you’re a new shooter or an experienced shooter who has hit a wall, get a coach, continue to practice and let us know how your shot improves!