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Thimbleby Estate

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How to choose the right clay shooting instructor and lesson for you.

Whether you’re a novice, an intermediate shooter or a seasoned clay shooting enthusiast, choosing the right instructor and lesson will be key to enhancing both your skills and your enjoyment of the sport. At Thimbleby Shooting Ground, we offer a variety of lessons tailored to meet the needs of shooters at all levels, all delivered by our crack team of instructors! Whether you’re planning to visit and would like some guidance on what lesson to pick, or you’re based further afield but appreciate our expertise, here’s how to select the best option for you.

For beginners looking to master the basics

If you’re new to clay pigeon shooting, it’s essential to start with the fundamentals. Our introductory lessons focus on safe gun handling, correct gun mount and the basic principles of shooting. Your instructor will ensure you understand the importance of safety equipment and guide you through the initial steps in a supportive environment. They’ll make sure you’re enjoying the lesson and that you’re hitting clays before you head home.

When choosing an instructor for your first lesson, look for someone who is patient and supportive, especially if you think you’ll suffer from any initial nerves. Even if you’re brimming with confidence, it’s important that the instructor is thorough with the basics, taking the time to explain and demonstrate safe gun handling and proper clay shooting techniques.

For intermediate shooters who want to refine their skills

For those who have been shooting for a while and are looking to improve, intermediate lessons focus on refining your technique and correcting any bad habits. Our instructors will provide targeted feedback to help you advance to the next level.

An effective instructor for intermediate shooters will have an analytical approach, assessing your current skill level and identifying areas for improvement. They should provide focused feedback, offering clear, manageable tips such as improving your stance or maintaining your swing, rather than overwhelming you with an extensive list of corrections. Encouragement is also key, as they will support you through any confidence wobbles and ensure the lesson remains enjoyable.

For advanced shooters overcoming blocks and bad habits

They say you can maintain your edge by always being a student, which is why we regularly welcome experienced shooters for lessons! That might be because they know they’ve developed a bad habit or block, or perhaps they’ve taken some time away from the sport and become rusty. Or they just fancy freshening their skills and getting some feedback from an expert. As a keen, experienced clay shooter you might also want to look at chokes or a have pattern plate assessment to ensure your gun is properly set up or try some of the latest clay and game guns from different brands. We also welcome people who are preparing for their first game shooting day of the season (or ever) who want some advice on how to acquit themselves well.

When selecting an instructor for advanced lessons, look for someone with significant expertise who can offer advanced tips and strategies. They should provide subtle guidance, offering nuanced advice to refine your technique and overcome your niggles and bad habits. For in-field instruction, choose an instructor with experience of game shooting and loading who’s also adept at providing subtle real-time feedback and support!

Clay shooting lessons at Thimbleby Shooting Ground

At Thimbleby, we know everyone learns differently, with some people keen on one-to-one tuition, while others love to learn alongside a friend or at a group session. That’s why we offer a variety of lessons to suit different preferences and need, as well as regular events and competitions for those looking to improve and test their skills. We have focused hour-long lessons for adults of all levels, with reduced prices for seniors and junior guns, and some specialist options:

  • “Have a Go Together”. This introductory session for one or two people is perfect if you prefer to learn alongside a friend or partner. You’ll discover a fun, safe and supportive environment to start your clay shooting adventure!
  • The “Game Changer” half-day lesson. Ideal if you’re preparing for a day’s driven game shooting, this comprehensive lesson helps sharpen your skills and build confidence – and it includes lunch.
  • In-field instruction: Book an instructor to join you for a day of driven game shooting. They will act as a loader and provide subtle, real-time guidance to enhance your experience.

What makes a good coach?

A good clay shooting instructor is more than just an expert marksman, they should have training on how to teach, too. Whatever your experience level is, your coach should engage in a pre-lesson discussion with you to understand your experience level and tailor the session accordingly. They should teach at a pace you’re comfortable with, allowing ample time for questions and extra support. Plus, they should share focused feedback, giving you one or two things to concentrate on at a time to avoid information overload. At Thimbleby Shooting Ground, our instructors are not only highly experienced but also professionally trained to provide the best possible learning experience. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to perfect your technique, we have the right lesson and instructor for you. Take a closer look here.