Aristotle is widely recognized as a master philosopher, but when he asserted, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach,” he was working with some of his very best material. Taking Aristotle’s concept one step further, teaching others how to be teachers themselves is taking it to the next level.
There has long been a desire to hold additional NSSA instructor certification courses in Zone 2. However, since Zone 2 does not currently have a Level III or Master-level Instructor located within its geographical area, the ability to conduct these courses has been extremely limited. After months of discussion about the need for additional NSSA instruction opportunities, it was clear that many shooters were interested and highly motivated to undergo the transformation from shooter to shooting instructor. Perhaps most interesting was that those who indicated their interest in this opportunity also expressed a desire to give back to the shooting community in a “pay it forward” kind of way. After identifying several eager students, it was time to find a proper teacher.
After consulting with NSSA headquarters, it became obvious to planners that the only way to make this happen would be to request an instructor from another area. Scouting neighboring zones led the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club, located in Manassas, Virginia, to recruit World Champion and NSSA Master Instructor Fred Tschantz Jr. to provide instruction to the class.
On October 17-18, 2020, Fred conducted the NSSA-sanctioned course for nine students, including Thomas G. Allen, Thomas W. Allen, Christopher Baisey, C.J. Brendle, Collin Christopherson, Muhamed El-Zoghbi, Meredith Tunick Kling, Steven Kling and John Murphy. Due to Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions and distancing measures, the class size was limited. In addition, all instruction was conducted in accordance with Governor Northam’s public health guidelines for the state of Virginia.
The two-day course helped the students learn teaching techniques, the system for bringing on beginners, and shotgun shooting fundamentals – all skills that can benefit both new and seasoned shooters alike. The course also included approximately 10 hours of classroom instruction, augmented with remaining hours on the skeet field.
Becoming a certified instructor is a great way to enhance your own skills and give back to our shooting community. It’s also a great way to help young shooters in our youth and collegiate programs get started with the correct fundamentals. The NSSA offers qualification courses for both Associate Instructors and Levels I, II, and III. For this specific Level I course, students had to be current NSSA members, 18 years or older and C class or higher in one gun, currently or previously, with a minimum of 300 NSSA tournament targets. For more information on the Instructor Certification Program, please visit bit.ly/NSSAInstructor.
Congratulations to this class of newly certified Level I instructors! Additionally, a very special thanks to Fred Tschantz Jr., Jeff Bond of Fairfax Rod and Gun Club, and Ralph Aaron, NSSA Chief Instructor, for making such a great investment in East Coast skeet shooting. If you or your club are interested in hosting an NSSA-sanctioned instructor certification course, please contact Ralph Aaron at 334-308-8363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Contributed by Collin Christopherson