Sunday, January 1, 2017

Instructor Training Part 1 - Pulling the Trigger

I may have discussed here before my general reluctance up to this point in getting myself some higher level responsibility training. I have always been fine with, and indeed actively sought out, more actual SKILLS training with my firearms. But I have thus far actively resisted advice that I should become anything that represents OFFICIALDOM  - such as official Safety Officer training, Instructor training, and the like.

My reasons for this have been mostly selfish. As I have explained to many people, I have enough stress and responsibility in medicine as it is. Additionally, as a single working mother, a business owner, and a physician, I am the one "In Charge" of every other aspect of my life. Shooting has really been the ONLY activity I have, where I have almost zero responsibility beyond basic safety and courtesy. Shooting is the thing in my life where I can "Show up, Have Fun ... and then Leave". 

That's not to say that I've been a complete jerk. I always help run the clipboard at my club, and stay to help tear-down when we're done. I even occasionally show up early to help set up. I just didn't want to HAVE to. Does that make sense?

With all that said, I have watched as women with less experience than I, and what I felt were fewer skills than I, become pistol instructors and teach other women to shoot. I have wondered at the wisdom of teaching others, when you yourself have only been doing such an activity for a year or two. But it was happening nonetheless - with or without me. Then of course my inner critic chided me, stating "If YOU aren't out there, then of course other people will be." 

I blame Imposter Syndrome  and the Dunning-Kruger effect  

Essentially, the more I learned about shooting, the more I realized how much I didn't know. This then caused me to wonder how in the world I could presume to teach or supervise others, when I knew so little myself. Turns out, I know more than I think, and others don't seem to have the same reservations as I do.

I have finally reached a point in my shooting "career" though, where I've decided that even if I don't want to actually "teach" ( I'm not sure I have enough patience or am enough of a "people person"), I should at least GET the instructor training. That way, I know what is expected, what is considered basic essential material for a new shooter, and I'll have at least some level of training -- so that I can "help" if asked questions by new shooters. 

I've always been a "baby steps" kind of gal. I figured that getting the training would just be a baby step, and then I could decide later how far I want to take it. I think it also helped that at my recent Cornered Cat class, Kathy Jackson told me that she thought I was ready for Rangemaster instructor development. That meant a lot. Having an outside observer of her caliber give me that reinforcement helped to shush the inner critic in my head.

So, with all this swirling around in my brain, quite fortuitously, last week a post appeared in my Facebook feed about a new NRA Instructor class being held in early January 2017. And it was local. I asked a few questions ... and then took the plunge.

This is my new journey. I am literally starting out 2017 with a "Bang" :-)
I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, you are a natural. I am sure there will be many ladies that will be able to improve with your help.