With the rise in the popularity of firearms more people are deciding to provide for their own safety. Of course with this, there are also more instructors popping up all over the place. Many are “Internet Famous,” like Instructor Zero or James Yeager. There are female instructors out there as well that typically cater to women, who are the fastest growing segment of firearms owners and recreational shooters. But what about a guy taking instruction from a girl? If your instructor is of the fairer sex should you have to turn in your man card and have your wife/girlfriend carry around your testicles in her purse?
This past Friday I had a chance to find out as I had a one on one shooting lesson from a female instructor. (Get your minds out of the gutter, her fiancé was in the lobby of the range the entire time.) Tracy was calm, polite, professional and cared about making me a better shooter. I already knew she was a good instructor because my wife had taken lessons with her before, and the feedback from that was nothing but positive. There wasn’t any “I did nineteen tours in Turdsuckistan so you need to listen to me,” or any “I’m better than you because I’m the trainer” attitude. It wasn’t a measuring contest between us, but honest genuine desire improve my skill set. She had a very careful way of wording things so that they didn’t sound like “you suck” and was attentive enough to my skills, that she was able to catch tiny little things that I had been doing wrong my entire life. (For instance; my grip was good, but needed just a minuscule adjustment. I doubt any male shooting coach would have caught it, because it was so small an issue. My grip was just not quite centered on my shooting hand, off by less than a millimeter.) She knew exactly when to increase the challenge in front of me also, and introduced me to a target that I now despise.
Of course, my hatred of that target means that it is the one I will use for quite some time while I work to improve my skill. When I want to improve my morale I’ll knock out the center of a standard silhouette, and then go right back to using this new target of nothing but three vertical and then three horizontal lines. Even through the instruction she kept it light and answered any questions I had honestly. She was also quick to recommend some other training classes that I should take to improve my skills even more. Not more training from her, but from a male instructor, so it wasn’t self-serving “this is all the training you will ever need” type advertising.
There are a few minor drawbacks, however. Her voice was sometimes difficult to hear in the shooting range, just because of the tone. (I said “what?” and “huh?” a lot.) Not a bad thing, just something to keep in mind, especially when you add ear protection and other shooting going on. Another drawback has more to do with the instructor than the instruction. (Note to self: Her eyes are up there dumbass.) Neither of these issues take away from the quality of instruction however.
Her shooting experience varies from that of any guy, just based on the fact that she is a woman. While you can learn to shoot from any guy, that unique perspective is definitely something to consider. She wasn’t a drill sergeant about my shooting skills (or lack thereof) and I definitely learned from her. With male instructors I may have developed the attitude of “that’s good enough.” That was not the case with Tracy. I constantly wanted to improve and to get better. I will definitely take more lessons from Tracy in the future, as I’m sure that there is more that she can teach me, and I know I have a lot more to learn.
So guys, while you are training and improving your skills, it is not a bad idea to tuck in your pride and take a class or two from an instructor who uses the other restrooms in public. That new perspective, and separate set of skills definitely have something to teach you.
The excerpt below is from the Shiloh Shooting Range Website
Tracy Ogan, Armorer, CHL Instructor, Sales: Tracy had the pleasure of being raised in a family where learning to shoot a gun safely took precedence to learning to ride a bike. While most girls her age were playing with dolls, Tracy was field stripping and detail cleaning her fathers Colt 1911 collection. Tracy has trained with John and Vicki Farnam of Defense Training International, and is a NRA Certified Pistol 1 instructor as well as a Texas CHL instructor. Tracy hosts several ladies only training and ladies only CHL classes at Shiloh. While the fellas rarely admit it, Tracy is the range Top Shot.