I’ll bet if you’ve been to any of the big game fairs over the past few years you’ll have seen the BASC shotgun coaching line in action.

Over the years you may well have had a lesson from one of the coaches yourself, understandably – for any shooter of any standard it’s a great way of improving your shotgun technique (and curing those niggling faults).

But have you ever considered becoming a coach yourself?

Don’t worry, it’s not such a daft statement when you think about it, and you don’t have to be an Olympic standard shot to get started.

All you need is a good level of proficiency and the BASC Shotgun Coach Award (SCA).

Coaching is a rewarding vocation, irrespective of whether you’re in it for a career, or simply wanting to put something back into the sport you love.

WHY SHOTGUN COACHING?

Well the SCA was set up to introduce people into the sport. BASC identified that a person’s first experience of shooting a shotgun is quite often a pivotal moment, and if this experience is poor – or painful – a potential shooter can be put off the sport for life.

Over the years and all round the country I’m sure many of us have often tried to introduce friends to the sport.

But do we really know what we are doing, and can we really coach someone safely and proficiently?

The best way to ensure you are fully competent to teach others is to take the BASC Shotgun Coach Award.

WHO ARE BASC COACHES?

BASC shotgun coaches are considered among the best in the UK; in fact, one is the President of the Institute of Clay Shooting Instructors and some are renowned internationally as competitive shooters and coaches.

Many are full-time professionals working at, or running shooting schools.

Others are simply doing it on a recreational basis, helping out with their local scout groups, syndicates or clubs and, on occasion, volunteering to work with BASC.

THE FIRST STEP

To become a BASC shotgun coach you really need to be an experienced shooter who’s able to shoot consistently well.

With this taken as read, you then apply to the BASC Shooting Standards team – who administer the award and manage all aspects from registration through to qualification.

BASC also provides continuous professional development for all its coaches, so they can increase their experience and progress their career.

MENTORING

Once registered, you will be offered a choice of approved mentors to guide you through the qualification process.

You can ask around and speak to several coaches in your area before choosing a mentor.

Mentoring costs are arranged between yourself and your chosen coach.

Like any good coach, your mentor will assess what you know, what you need to know and how you personally learn best; then he or she will guide you to a stage where you are ready to go forward to your pre-assessment day.

PRE-ASSESSMENT DAY

The pre-assessment day covers trap safety, firearms and the law, shooting techniques and a mock assessment where you coach clients under supervision.

Prove yourself competent in these areas and you’ll be put forward for your live assessments at a game fair.

If you’re missing some of the fundamental skills required to become a coach, you’ll be given an action plan to work on with your mentor until you are ready for another pre-assessment day.

LIVE ASSESSMENTS

Coaches do not provide a ‘have a go’ experience – they deliver structured shooting lessons, tailored to a client’s particular shooting experience and ability.

The BASC Shotgun Coach Award is conducted with paying customers who are looking for professional help and tuition.

The Award is nationally recognised, with part of the award qualifying as a component of an NVQ in Coaching.

You will have to complete three consecutive assessments, with an adult male, adult female and a young person.

Pass all three and complete your NVQ portfolio and you will have succeeded in becoming an accredited BASC Shotgun Coach.

You can now apply for your BASC skeet vest!

To remain on the accredited list of coaches you will need to undergo a (free) re-assessment every three years.

SEE COACHING IN ACTION

Interested? Not sure? If you haven’t already done so, get a feel for what’s required by visiting the coaching line at a game fair; and while you’re at it, bring your friends and introduce them to the sport, too.

There are more than 25 BASC shotgun-coaching lines planned in 2013, so there should be one near you.

MORE INFORMATION

For further information please visit the Shooting Standards section of the BASC website www.basc.org.uk where you can download a coaching award information pack, or email shootingstandards@basc.org.uk

To talk things through with an advisor before registering, give the shooting standards team a ring on 01244 573018.

The £125 registration fee covers the cost of the BASC coaching handbook, guidance throughout your training as well as your attendance at the pre-assessment day.

Become a BASC accredited shotgun coach