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image shows Nigel Hirst seen coaching a target shooter
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image shows Nigel Hirst coaching at Coniston Shooting Ground

Clay Target Shooting

image shows Nigel Hirst with trophies

Nigel Hirst, many-time winner of Skeet and Sporting trophies

Clay target shooting, which is still often referred to (these days, mostly by those outside the sport) as 'clay pigeon shooting', encompasses a number of different, but closely related, sports. Broadly, the target shooting disciplines fall into one of three recognised forms: Trap, Skeet and Sporting. Common to all of these is that clay targets are launched from a 'trap' and the shooter fires at them to try and register as many 'hits' as possible.

Target shooting tuition at Yorkshire Shooting Services is about having one of Britain's most widely experienced coaches, Nigel Hirst, providing the patient and intelligent guidance that will help you to shoot clay targets better. An accomplished shooter at regional and national level himself (see his CV here), Nigel is motivated by a genuine desire to help his fellow shooting enthusiasts make the very best use of their natural ability, and can assist with everything from booking a ground to video analysis and competition psychology. Yorkshire Shooting Services can help everyone, from beginners to potential internationals, if they want to hit that extra couple of targets.

Clay Shooting Tuition for Beginners

image shows Nigel Hirst coaching a school student

Making the right start

To get sound technique in place when you first take up clay target shooting is, of course, a terrific advantage that will stay with you. We are fully accredited to the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA) and pleased to offer the CPSA's 'Discover Clay Target Shooting' course, which starts at the beginning and is designed as a short, one-session, 'taster' course covering shotgun safety, gun handling and the proven CPSA Method. It provides an ideal introduction to the sport and an opportunity to take those first shots at a flying clay target. Completion of the next step, Module 2, leads to the award of the CPSA Academy Shotgun Skills diploma.

Although you must have a shotgun licence to own a shotgun, anyone can borrow a gun and use it to shoot clays when under supervision at a registered shooting ground. No minimum age limit applies and we have shotguns available to suit users from 8 to 80. If you'd like to be shooting some clays out of the sky on day one, and also learning how to do it well, call Yorkshire Shooting Services and arrange your first session.

Cost: £60 (U16s, £40) for a 90 minute session of individual tuition, including loan of a shotgun, insurance and equipment, plus clays and cartridges.

Clay Shooting Coaching for Intermediates

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Hit more targets

Intermediate-level shooters can benefit enormously from the truly comprehensive analysis offered by YSS. As Nigel Hirst puts it: "People with good natural ability are sometimes missing targets because of problems that could, perhaps quite easily, be put right. It may be a small adjustment to their technique that's needed, or any one of a range of other things, but even relatively small changes can often help you make real progress." Nigel Hirst's many years of coaching experience and thorough understanding of all aspects of clay target shooting mean that anything hampering your progress, from eye dominance issues to gun movement or mindset, will be recognised, addressed and put right. Nigel continues to compete at regional and national level himself, winning team and individual honours; see more of Nigel Hirst's CV here.

Having the right equipment, properly adjusted, can be crucial. Many shooters find that their hit rates can be transformed by the fitment of an EasyHit sighting aid, or that a properly selected recoil pad improves comfort substantially. We can also give you the very best in impartial advice on gun fit. It really is never too late to start being better at clay target shooting.

Advanced and Specialised Clay Shooting Coaching

image shows Nigel Hirst with a video camera

Digital video and analysis

One of the great strengths of YSS is that we can help even those aspiring to compete at national level, providing specialist coaching in the English Skeet, English Sporting and FITASC Sporting disciplines. For an advanced level clay target shooter, 'near enough' is not good enough, so we measure drop, pitch, length of pull and cast accurately with pattern plate testing to ensure that the match of equipment to physique is as near to perfect as it can possibly be. YSS can also provide digital video analysis, giving coach and shooter access to immediate replays on a laptop computer screen and allowing for later frame-by-frame analysis of technique and movement. A DVD of the video session, including half-speed replays, can be produced and complemented with a full coaching report.

Ultimately, to get to the very top level as a shooter you will need more than just the excellent shooting skills we can give you. YSS can also advise on the sports psychology, competition planning and periodisation techniques that give you the edge. If you need to to be shooting extremely well, and best when it matters most, talk to Yorkshire Shooting Services.