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High View, WV Pistol/Carbine AAR

Posted by Abbey C on

High View, WV: June 26-28 Pistol and Carbine Course

I recently had the pleasure of taking both the one day pistol and one day rifle diagnostic class with John McPhee (The Sheriff of Baghdad) and I whole heartedly recommend either course for anyone looking to improve their shooting. It's hard to describe just how valuable this course is in prose, but I will give it a shot. First off John McPhee is a great instructor. It is clear that he has been there/done that, but he isn't in your face about it at all. He is an extremely nice guy and very patient with his students. He will talk you through a correction, help push or pull the appropriate body part into the correct position, and then have you repeat the drill. If you get it right then he will give you a hearty "right on dude" or "thats your jam right there!" If you still don't get it right then he will let you know and you will continue the evolution until he is satisfied that you get it and don't have any questions. That kind of personal attention for each student is rare in open enrollment courses. By the end of a single day with John it will be clear to you that he has a passion for teaching and is damn good at it.
      As for the classes themselves, each class is only a day long and you won't shoot many rounds (we shot about 150 for pistol and 300 rounds for rifle) but you will learn more with that low round count than you thought possible. John starts each class by having you shoot a few rounds and filming you with his Coach's Eye app. He then plays the video and breaks down corrections for multiple aspects of your shooting (stance, grip, presentation, and reload). The use of this technology mimics what many professional sports teams do and you will be amazed at what just watching yourself can help you correct. John will tell you that professional sports teams spend much more time watching tape of themselves than they do actually working out or practicing and once you have experienced the difference this approach can make in your technique you will see why. John is able to slow down, zoom in/out, and draw on the video to help reinforce what he is telling you. There were people in the class that would vehemently swear they were doing or not doing a certain thing only to stand there in slack jawed amazement as the video proved it to them. I have been shooting for more than 25 years and nobody has ever told me that my shooting hand thumb pushes my support hand lower on the pistol and makes each successive shot I take worse- with the help of the Coach's Eye, John figured it out in about 5 seconds. Once he helped correct this my groups were significantly better than I have ever seen. This direct and specific feedback allowed me to see immediate positive results on the target, and that is the true value of this class. John will also send you copies of the video so you can continue to use them as a training aid. Once everyone has been diagnosed you will spend the rest of the day shooting drills designed to help you focus on each piece of your shooting mechanic. John will continue to walk up and down the line during these drills and give each shooter personal attention and coaching with directed feedback. The day will end with a fun contest that ratchets up the pressure on everyone and has a kickass prize for the winner.
     In conclusion, until you see John's teaching ability, coupled with the technology and his modern sports coaching process for yourself you probably won't believe me when I try to communicate how valuable his classes are. I feel 100% confident in telling you that if you take one of his classes you will leave a much better shooter and will walk away feeling that every training dollar was well spent. 
-Rick Topping

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