The importance of good instruction
So you've bought your new gun and decided you're ready to pay someone to teach you what to do. Great! This is a wonderful idea, HOWEVER, do your homework on the instructor or class before signing up. You may be thinking - "well any instruction is better than no instruction.." you thought wrong! If you are serious about learning, than be equally as serious about finding proper instruction. I'm sure you can easily think of a circumstance where you'd say one coach or course was better than another, yet both offered fundamentally the same thing. Think about a time you tried two (or more) of something maybe yoga, crossfit, or martial arts -- for some reason decided to yourself that one was better. Why? Most likely it was because one of the two provided superior instruction or support.
Since you've made the decision that you want to become a better shooter, I encourage you to also decide to do it in the smartest more efficient way possible. This means taking the time to learn the right way first. Many shooters, myself included, just jump into shooting or trust someone close to them to teach them. This is admirable however if you are following someone who doesn't know proper technique or you're trying to be self taught without a good reference point -- you will struggle greatly, worse you will ingrain bad habits.
Studies show it takes anywhere from 18-254 days to form a new habit. Which means if you have programmed yourself to shoot with poor technique it could take anywhere from 18-254 days of continuous practice to actually learn to do it the right way! That being said, doesn't it just sound much more time efficient to just learn the right stuff right off the bat?
So here is what you should look for when choosing an instructor or a course:
1. What qualifies them to provide instruction ? (note: this should always be something more than just being an NRA certified instructor)
2. What type of shooting experience do they have and why is it relevant to their course?
3. Have they received any accolades for shooting?
4. Watch them shoot! - in person or on video. Actually verify that they can competently shoot (this seems silly but trust me there are A TON of bad instructors out there).