Summer 2018

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42 PULLUSA MAGAZINE SUMMER 2018 THE FIELD C OAC H K ELV IE'S C ORNER UPGRADING YOUR SHOTGUN by JASON KELVIE illustrations by TOM RICHMOND hether you are new to the League or an established shooter, it's import- ant to know when the right time is to make equipment upgrades. In this issue I'll discuss what factors should be considered when looking for a new shotgun, as well as how to handle that transition from old to new. STARTING OUT While every experience is different, as a coach I've noticed a con- sistent pattern as it pertains to new student athletes: • Joins the team. • Purchases a shotgun intended for multiple uses (generally a sporting shotgun). • Has early success while learning the fundamentals. • Starts to see scores plateau near the end of the season. • Finishes the season accomplishing a variety of personal goals. • Begins preparing for next season. The last bullet point is when coaches have their best opportunity. It can be tough early on to convince students and their parents to purchase the correct shotgun from the beginning. I get it, parents are hesitant to invest in something they're not sure their athlete will stick with. However, while we may never be able to get everyone started off on the right foot, we can help guide our rising stars onto the path towards success. UPGRADING SHOTGUNS As coaches, it is our job to teach the athlete and parents about the benefits of upgrading and to hopefully steer them in a direction that makes the most sense for their athlete. Before offering advice it's important to consider the following factors: • Is the athlete using a 12-gauge shotgun? If not, are they ready for one? • What do they like about their existing shotgun and how can those features be carried forward? • What are the student's goals as it pertains directly to trap and skeet shooting? • Is the student fundamentally ready to the point that an upgrade make sense? Parents, make sure you take the time to ask your coach. All too often I see families rush out to buy a new shotgun without considering these factors. More often than not, the results were not what they wanted. TRANSITIONING FOR SUCCESS! Your athlete now has a new shotgun and is excited to take their first shots. What can you expect? Unfortunately, many athletes think they will shoot just as good, or even higher scores in the first few rounds. Generally, this is not the case. But don't panic! I can assure you that this is normal and will go away with time and practice. In most cases upgrading shotguns comes with opportunities to make adjustments. Focus on the fundamentals—make sure to properly fit the new shotgun, pattern the new shotgun and continue practicing with the new shotgun. You'll love this sport even more! ✪ B EF O R E RU S H I N G YO U R N E X T P U R C H A S E, A S K T H E C OAC H W H AT T H E Y T H I N K A BOUT UP GR A D IN G TO A N E W S H OTG U N . TIPS W JA S O N K E LV I E / U S A H S C T L C OAC H ED U C AT I O N A N D S U P P O R T M A N AG ER

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