Yesterday was the first day back training at the Club for the new year. The Club "closes down" over December / January which is good as it does get too hot to train during this period.
Sometimes February is also very hot, but yesterday was a perfect day. I'm not sure what the temperature got to but it was forecast to be 24C and it was a bit overcast with a nice breeze. Perfect training weather. Actually perfect weather in my book.
Perfect weather brings out people though. So we, the Chief Instructor and I, were expecting a horde to turn up for training and we got it!
We had 16 people on our books who attended part of the training course last year, of these 8 turned up yesterday (a couple rang to let us konw that they weren't coming this week).
We had also had received a number of phone calls over the last couple of weeks, so we were expecting a few people to come and see what it was all about and also some other ones to join.
Well, everytime I turned around yesterday, while organising the trainees, there was a new face. In the end we decided that if they joined (filled in the forms and paid their money) then they could participate in the training session. If they weren't ready to put the forms in and/or pay they could just watch.
We had 10 ... yes, 10 people, fill in forms and pay (of which 2 decided not to shoot yesterday for various reasons) and another 7 who decided to just stay and watch.
As we do holster training each of the trainees had to be "dressed" (belt, mag pouches, holster) and, of course, most have no idea! So one of the "old" trainees stepped up and volunteered to help the others get dressed - which was fantastic, otherwise it would have taken forever (I think his motivation was that the first two I passed his way were female :) ).
Then of course they had to load mags and finally they got their guns.
We decided that the Chief Instructor would take the "old" trainees and I would have the newbies. This is different to how we ran for the last six months. So I was a bit out of practice with what to do with them, for the first few minutes or so.
Because there were 8 trainees (and only 4 targets up) I split them into 2 squads and worked with each in turn. While one squad shot the others reloaded their mags and vice versa.
Prior to commencing I gave them a stict lecture on which way I wanted the gun to face at all times ... must have worked, no one pointed one at me. I hear, however, that the Chief Instructor got swept twice. (I definitely made the right choice taking the newbies).
Once we had gone through 70 rounds doing basic drills: shooting, drawing, reloading, reholstering, shooting while moving, we moved onto one of the competition stages to show them why they're learning all the different things.
The small stages were being used - one by the Chief Instructor and the other by some regular members letting the visitors have a go with their guns - so we had to use one of the big stages. It was a 31 round stage (15 paper targets, one popper), as my trainees only had 30 rounds left we decided to ignore the popper.
We walked through the stage together first. There were some really tricky bits were it was easy to "break 90". I warned them how to approach and shoot these. This stage was designed to have the shooter go down the left side and back up the right side of the range. So I lectured them about how to come uprange.
Then I took each shooter through one at a time and the majority did extremely well. A couple of "fingers on triggers" and one of the "easy to break 90 sections" claimed a few victims, but no one turned their gun up range and the majority of them hit the targets.
So all-in-all a good, but challenging day!
Oh just a note, of the 16 people we had shooting yesterday 6 were female. And there were 2 females out of the group of 7 who had come up for a look. Not bad ratios.