As a certified firearms instructor, I take a very different approach when I have a student new to firearms or a student that has had a negative experience learning to shoot. My objective is not only to teach them how to discharge a firearm but I want them to understand why the bullet leaves the gun when they pull the trigger. I teach one or two students at a time. I want them to have my attention and to feel safe during the process.
I start training off the range. We discuss the not only the safety rules but how a firearm works, the components of the gun as well as the cartridge. Understanding the science behind the technology gives the student a clear idea of what to expect on the range and from the firearm. I use three targets and teach drills with each one for a specific set of skills. I explain the objective of each target and drill off range. This is for the benefit of the student, it is much easier to assimilate and understand without the sound of gunfire coming from the next lane.
Each target has its own purpose. The first target is intended to learn their firearm, how to use the front sight and shoot center mass. I love this target. When the student has completed this training, their increased skill level is evident. There is a great sense of satisfaction and fear is greatly diminished. Target #2 is designed for movement within a target and resetting the trigger. The last target is defensive pistol drill, working to build muscle memory and reflexes.
Students learn very quickly there is a difference between shooting and training. Shooting is getting a target and aim for the bulls eye. Training is getting a target and working with a new skill set and objectives to increase accuracy and speed. Most of my students are women and are pleased to learn there is more than just pointing and shooting.