Experience with young trap shooter


Dec 24, 2002
at the center of my own little universe
I had something really great happen yesterday.
I know we have some trap threads going but I post this by itself. Forgive me as is it not really shotgun related.
I was invited to a high school graduation party for a young woman I coached in HS trap. I was out of town for meetings that went late and I sent a text to her stepdad and said I was trying to get back but running late. He insisted I come anyway.
I got there and there were still quite a few relatives. Most I had seen when they came to watch her shoot. Some I met for the first time.
The girl shooter ran out and gave me a hug and I gave her a card. I’m very careful about touching this generation and even ask them before I adjust their shooting stance. She hugged me again and said she had to leave for work.
The parents and relatives treated me like royalty. Apparently she was always very shy and guarded and the fact that she gave me a hug on her own was amazement to them.
They insisted that the trap shooting and me as coach along with her teacher adviser transformed this girl. She was terrified to take a shotgun and fire her first shot but her friend got her there. I started her off very slowly and carefully and stayed right behind her shoulder until she was comfortable with it. I remember the look on her face when she hit her first target about half way through her 2nd post.
She finished her first flight with 8 out of 25. She was slumping down looking at the ground and said “I suck, I can’t do it” I showed her the score sheet and said “you did 1 better than a junior boy and he’s shot before tonight. Come back and we’ll do better together”.
She did come back, and she got better and shot 3 years with us. We had fun.
Until yesterday, I didn’t realize how much it meant to her and her family. Really glad I went and got that hug.
We had a family get together here a couple of years ago. We shot clays as part of the two days of fun. The teenagers that were by far the most fun to watch were the girls. When they hit a target their faces would just light up. Amazingly even in the excitement I don't think we had to remind even one of them to keep their barrels pointed in a safe direction. We went through 1500 rounds and I'm sure except for the younger boys the girls had the most fun. Once they figure things out you couldn't hardly get a gun away from them.
Good times.
I taught Trap for 4-H for 4 years, and coached HS Trap for a couple more. One boy who was in both is now a 22 year old young man on my league team, and has a better average than I do. I agree the girls are easier to teach than the boys- no ego involved, and like AF says, they actually listen, and apply what they heard.
I am working with a guy on my team, but he is 50, and will do what I tell him until the end of the round, sometimes just for one post (5 shots), then he'll revert back and start missing...