Teaching others helps you learn

I have three uncles on my mom’s side. They’ve always hunted, but never had handguns. Last time one of my uncles was in town, my mom (not a huge gun fan) asked me to take them to the range. Of course I responded! We had a great time - and my uncle ribbed his brothers about having shot a handgun before they had. Two days later, one of my other uncles messages that his son-in-law’s father took him to the range and he had shot handguns too.

Awesome, right? Those two uncles are both in town this week and requested a trip to the range. Like I’d say no! :smiley:

I took them and went through the same safety procedures I go through when I don’t know how someone shoots. After going through my own safety briefing, I only have them put one round in the firearm for the first shot of the range time. I am so glad I did! My mom’s grip was timid and I didn’t let her shoot until she fixed it. One reminder was all it took and she had a great time - and decent grouping!

The uncle I’ve shot with before has some memory issues, so we spent some time reviewing what we’ve gone through before. He had a great time as well - and was appropriately cautious and asking questions.

The uncle I’ve never shot with wanted to cross his thumbs on the back of the gun the first 4 or 5 times he shot. So I was very aware of his grip and stance. I almost felt like I was being mean correcting him so much. :frowning: A lot of people from the older generation do not like being corrected by younger generations - and I didn’t want him feeling that I was disrespecting him. I just wanted him to be safe.

My mom texted later to let me know both uncles talked about how great of a time they had at the range and how awesome of a teacher I had been. :blush:

I never realize how much I’ve learned until I work with others who are just starting out.

Have you ever been in a situation that made you realize how much you have learned? And how much more you have to learn? Please share below.

It would have been my grandparents 84th wedding anniversary today, so it was an especially timely trip to the range with my uncles and my mom this week.


As an RSO on the range sometimes. If I’m engaging in a conversation with a new shooter and the seem open to it I’ll pass on to them things I’ve learned since I enjoy teaching/coaching.

I’m always amazed at how well it works, but then I’ve always been a better coach than a player (e.g. if I could just take my own coaching then I’d be winning ISPA matches left and right lol).

I also make sure to tell them that what I’m giving them is second hand information and that if they really want to improve go take the courses from the instructors themselves. Because I do feel like I still have a ton to learn I’ve thought about becoming instructor qualified a few times, I’m just still on the fence. Until then I’ll just keep taking different classes.

@Dawn, you are so right in reminding us that teaching others helps us learn. It also helps us to remember and reinforces for us the concepts that we intend to master.

I teach project management topics at a local college, most usually an exam prep class for those pursuing the PMP certification. Every time I teach the exam certification class, I take something back to work with me (I am an IT project manager).

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@Dawn I remember my first time learning to shoot with a handgun. Yes this was by my uncle and grandfather. So the way I was taught involved shotgun with rock salt shells, gun was a 357 magnum (pretty, nickel plated) revolver. I was 8. So they handed me the gun told me go one shoot, hit that can and you better not mess up, (not those words) but here I am fumbling under the weight of this beast, poor grip hand in the worst spot ever, just as I am about to pull the trigger. Pain and the sound of a 12 gauge going off hits me. Apparently they know I’m doing something wrong and the shells are to correct me. So 10/shells later I’m now busted my lip, split my eye open, and have a bloody nose but cam shoot the gun. Let me tell you, if you ever wanted to get into making things explode this was the best way.

I have now taught my little cousins to shoot with one. My girl child ( cousin ) likes my ar better

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@Dawn Instructing new shooters is the surest way to learn stuff you have never considered before, simply because they don’t know any better and have no preconceived ideas. The worst students you will have are those that “know everything about shooting”, just ask them they will tell you. Watch them like a hawk.

The worst instructor I ever saw was a Navy Chief in boot camp that held up a 1911. He began with “This in the 1911A1 pistol in 45 caliber …” he barked at us for 30 minutes rapid fire/non stop and never took a breath and ended with “I will shoot you my damn self.” I had never seen a pistol before except in the movies and took two things away. It’s a 1911A1 and I am going to get shot. I didn’t get shot but I got slide bit for crossing my thumbs and bled all over the range while doing push ups and then had to clean that up.

You learn from everyone, even if it is only what you don’t want to do, most of the time from student’s you learn what to watch out for.



It makes them so much easier and harder to train! They don’t have bad habits, but they have a lot more questions. I love working with brand new students!

Definitely - and they get you to reinforce the basics which is NEVER a bad idea, IMO.


I have always thought that you learn better by teaching. When I went back to school for my Forensic Accounting degree, I was a good enough student to be in the Accounting Honor Society (Beta Alpha Psi). But it wasn’t until I was asked to be a tutor for our online Accounting program that the knowledge I was learning became instinctual.

I would get the online Professors syllabus and come up with an online tutorial where instead of focusing on the entirety of the chapters covered, I would pull out the more conceptually challenging issues and focus on them.

In agreeing to be a tutor, I felt an obligation to be more prepared, than if it was just my grades on the line. As a student I could “check out”, but as a tutor I had to be present and understand the concepts I was teaching. The classes that I tutored actually made me a better accountant, simply due to an increased understanding of the conceptual framework.

I believe that as a tutor I learned far more than I did as a student.