Sunday, May 02, 2010

Report from PIPs New Shooters

Those of you not interested in shooting -- I wanted to get this to the PIWPSC page and this was the thought that came to my mind. Consider it "Blog Abuse". 

Thanks for a great job by all, even if Marla and I were an hour late -- never believe FB! ;-)

I thought the outdoors experience was much improved from last year. Things I really liked:

1). The "line up" ... just going through the "Make ready; Are you ready; Stand-by; BEEP" a couple of times is INVALUABLE to people getting started.

2). Three stages is just perfect, don't add more for the starters or it will get to be too much.

3). I think the level of complexity on the 3rd stage was "maximum perfect" ... a little less would still be fine, more would be over the top.

Now suggestions -- and they are JUST that, it REALLY thought it was fantastic, so these are just in the interest of "perfection":

-- I'd cut the "super detail and the anecdotes" in the presentation (I just saw the end, which was likely long on that) ... how someone got DQed at some super match is as useless as pointers on a Space Shuttle landing to a guy just ready to take his first turn at the controls of a Cessna. Just focus on the REALLY REALLY basic. Which to me is (but you guys are way more experienced / smarter on this, and will do better at picking):

  • Safety is primary and secondary. That is the one issue that your ROs, club helpers, etc will be "incessant" about, but that is OK. In my mind, the "biggies" are:
  • Cold range: Go to a safety area to put your gun on. Next time you touch it is "Make Ready". You can load mags anywhere but in the safety area. This is one that is hard for me after shooting elsewhere. "unusual to USPSA"
  • remember, you have at least 3 kinds of inexperienced. Folks that have never shot. Folks that have never shot USPSA. Both.
  • Finger outside of trigger until actual shot, including moving in stage. I've taken a couple of people to the range in the last year -- this can take awhile.
  • The 180, never sweep anyone with the barrel including yourself.
  • "Make Ready" -- slam the mag home. Lots of people that don't shoot a lot with experienced people don't get this (I helped the lady next to me at lineup, Marla had trouble in stage). Not really safety ... but it causes flustering, which can lead to unsafe things.
  • Talk to "your RO" about YOUR GUN -- I wouldn't even bother going through de-cockers, SAO/DAO, striker fired ... etc. DON'T CONFUSE THE NEW PEOPLE! Folks with Glocks and XDs don't even have to worry about any of this until they get a different gun, and by then they will know enough PIPs people so the biggest problem will be that "what do you think about shooting an XXXX?" will cost a major hunk of their lives, and they will know how to disassemble it, who designed it, who does speed packages on it, what the best grips for it are, where to buy,  ... how many versions of it Harmon owns, etc

Who is "Your RO"? I think it would be really cool to take "groups of 10" and match them up with an RO, RO in waiting, and a "minion or two". Then those groups STAY together for the outside session. The RO team takes their group to Safe Area ... maybe then brings each shooter in (or 2 or 3 each with a minion) ... look over the equipment. Talk about make ready procedure for that gun. Look at mags ... send them off to load if needed. Talk about only touch gun in safe area or "make ready", finger outside trigger, 180 ... whatever we want to stress.

Group goes to first stage -- RO and helpers focus on really new folks, either because they volunteered as new, or the RO/minions picked them out as needy.

RO has minion go to line, does a VERY deliberate run-through of the ENTIRE procedure that is coming up. (Both double taps). Focus on keys ... slam mag home, 180, finger outside trigger, holstering, clear, show empty, pull trigger down range ... cover any gun/holster safe issues, etc. I'd recommend putting up "ten" targets in some form on the "lineup" and shooting a couple of "double taps". Non USPSA shooters will likely have never done a DT. Clear the range. Have the minions go down and tape.

Group goes to 2nd stage -- AGAIN, have a minion go through exactly what will be done VERY deliberately. No attempts at speed. SLOW double taps, etc. Then take folks through based on volunteers or detected comfort level.

3rd stage ditto.

I think there was a big improvement from last year. We are looking like a "pro org" from what I see. My biggest criticisms revolve around too much "knowledge/experience/anecdote overload". We have core folks with bags and bags of knowledge, skill and experience. To a new person that is OBVIOUS -- and if it is overly expressed it becomes PAINFULLY obvious as in "how in the hell am I going to learn all this, and is the "barrier to fun" too high?  "Just the facts and slow" ... KISS.

I wrote on too much, didn't follow my own advice and gave the wrong impression. It was EXTREMELY well done. Looking forward to Wed night. THANKS.

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