I regularly try to encourage my friends to join me at local club matches, particularly USPSA and Run and Gun matches. A very common response is, “I’ll come to a match when I get better.” That is pretty much the worst response out there.
I agree, I also suggest people join matches and leagues to help improve their skills. Same reply, when I get better. I try to explain that these matches are great training with skilled people there to watch and help.
I’ve been attending one or another kind of match for decades, now.
Getting anyone, other than those already attending, to actually show up to a match seems nearly impossible.
And those who do mostly just stand around and watch, then say something like “I’ll never be able to do that” and don’t even give it a try.
Shameful, they will never improve or enjoy the fun of match shooting.
Where else can ya’ get to shoot all those kinds of targets and run around with a loaded gun?
If that’s the part that they find intimidating, there’s always the more static kinds of matches, like steel challenge or nra action pistol.
No running around or mag changes required in either.
Just a thought.
Getting people to watch videos and/or spectate has been the most successful for me.
My dad was spectating a 2 gun match of mine and after the third or fourth stage he stopped me and said, “I want do to this” - so I built him an AR-15, helped him select a competition pistol, and he semi-regularly comes to matches. Not as often as I do, but he still comes, mainly due to a busy summer. I need to get him to come to a USPSA match after his schedule clears up this summer…
That’s a tricky one to overcome - other than peer pressure… I’m not sure how to tackle that one.
Maybe getting people to attempt some shooting standards drills like dot torture and the like and telling them matches are how they can get better at that stuff?
My dad lost interest in firearms for a few years because static shooting ranges are boring. He got hooked on them as a recreational activity because of shooting sports.
In the final analysis (I always liked the sound of that phrase), whatever the sport or activity, it’s much easier to get those who are already enthusiastic for it, than to try to get brand new folks involved.
Instead of trying to nag folks with no ready made interest, give those who are already interested more and better matches.
For example, at one of the local clubs where I was once a match director, it was decided to create more elaborate courses of fire, and at least one side match per event.
The result was an increase in attendance from the usual 45 or so to sometimes closer to 100 depending on the season and weather.
With good stage design, it didn’t require all that much additional effort.
Just a thought or three.
I thoroughly love designing stages and hosting matches. It’s a little bit of a pipe dream to get a monthly 2 Gun club match going in my area.
I do have heavy involvement in designing and organizing various 2 gun Run and Gun competitions here in Central Texas and completely agree with your interesting stage design conclusion. Events with a good “hook” and/or good stage designs are easy to fill up - you just gotta build a reputation first.
Even for the enthusiastic, it’s easy to lose interest when events don’t change it up enough or they simply aren’t very interesting with a low skill ceiling.
I REALLY wish I had the time and finances to get a monthly 2 gun match going. Maybe someday… The first round of purchasing of steel, props, and misc accessories for a smooth match has quite the price tag for it.
You are correct.
When the next match director took over and dropped the side matches and only did courses of fire he liked (mostly for his open class pistol) the attendance slid right back to the 35 to 45 range.
Gotta’ keep folks interested or they just get bored and find something else to do.
It’s a challenge for sure, but lots of fun inventing new stages that are entertaining and keeps 'em coming back for more.
It doesn’t always require expensive targets or equipment.
One of the most popular side matches was .22 pistols with reactive targets.
Before the club could afford to supply genuine steel ones, we used wood.
Not at all expensive and lots of fun.
For the shotgun matches, we cut up scrap steel and perched them on concrete blocks, until we could afford more poppers.