Now more than ever shooting sports are all about family. Although we compete throughout the season it’s important to take what we have learned and share it with our brothers and sisters. As the league continues to grow we are seeing more teams with multiple siblings on them. Here are a few things you can do to encourage family’s to spend time at the range.
1. Make it about fun
Invite mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa out for some fun and demonstration. Teach them the fundamentals of handling a shotgun and then stand back and let them shoot. Set the targets to fly straight away at a slower speed so that they can get on them quickly. Do not make it so much about competition as fun. They will have a blast learning something most of you are pretty good at by now.
2. Pick a nice day
We shoot in all types of weather because we have to, don’t force new people and family to shoot in poor conditions. It will ruin their experience and potentially turn them away. Try and find a cool, dry day to blast some targets.
3. Emphasize safety at all times
New shooters and especially family members will be impressed by your knowledge and attention to safety. I can’t begin to tell you how much your family will respect you for keeping the range safe at all times. Make sure to offer multiple types of eye and ear protection because if it isn’t comfortable and then they will not enjoy the experience as much.
4. Play some games
After you get the family comfortable with shooting a shotgun make it fun by playing a few shooting games. Annie Oakley is always a popular choice but there are many to choose from and most a fairly simple to master.
5. Last but not least bring some food and take frequent breaks to eat, laugh and have fun. Not all family will take it serious but by keeping expectations low you will keep them interested and having fun. Try not to get to technical but instruct them enough to want to come out again and again. Less is more for many first time shooters so keep that in mind when introducing any new person to the sport.