Choosing where to have a lesson and which shooting instructor will help you improve your game shooting technique is not as easy as you may think.
Edward Watson: Nobody, no matter how good their game shooting technique, should ever forget that practice is the best way to improve maintain a polished game shooting technique. It is so important that everyone who has a game shooting lesson comes away happy to have spent the money and, most importantly, a better shot.
Choosing where to have your lesson and who provides tuition is not as easy as you may think. Most people pick their closest shooting school and this makes sense, but that particular place might not have the right instructor for you. Many schools have great people working for them, but maybe not experienced game shooting instructors.
What do I mean by this? Well, many of these great people are wonderful at looking after clients on corporate clay days and give everyone a safe and fun time shooting clays. But this is very different from giving you a top-drawer game shooting lesson at more than £100 per hour. These great people could have only recently started teaching and could have come from another profession. They may well be good at looking after people and understand safety, but you need an experienced game shooting tutor.
When booking your lesson it is important you make it clear you want a game lesson. For example, if you want a grouse lesson, you should ask whether the instructor has ever shot on a moor. Many have not. You may also want to ask whether the grouse butt has a back bird, especially if this is something you need special help with.
I would also always get a friend or shooting colleague to recommend an instructor – someone they have used before. I understand you will not always get on with the person as well as your friend did, but at least the instructor has been tried and tested by someone you know, and this should help you in your choice.
I have been teaching game shooting technique for more than 20 years and I am always learning new things and moving forward with how I teach my clients. You do not become a good instructor overnight. Plan well and you will learn a lot of great things about your shooting and will want to book many more lessons. Remember that all the great sportsmen and women have coaches. So should you.