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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I've been trying to encourage (not force) some family members into slingshot/catapult shooting, going over the stances, anchor points, reference points e.t.c. in the process, but after hitting the target consistently a few times and missing the rest, they become unsatisfied and get fed up quite quickly. I am finding it quite a challenge to help them maintain their enthusiasm and slight interest in the sport, while giving them tips on how to improve their form and accuracy that I myself had to learn from YouTube. How did you manage to instruct others on shooting a slingshot/catapult?
 

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There's basically four types of new shooters.... those that see the possibility of a slingshot, like how it can be used to cut cards, light matches and do all kinds of crazy accurate shooting, and they want to do learn to do the same, sticking with practice, learn, shoot, figure some stuff out and get better and better, all the while knowing it's possible to do some amazing things with a slingshot...

Then there's the second kind, they see something incredible and decide they'll never be able to do it, and decide never to even really try because it's just impossible in their opinion...

And the third... people who know the possibilities of the slingshot, recognize that's the top level shooters, are satisfied that they may not reach that level, but practice, shoot and have FUN anyway!

Then there's the fourth kind... an encounter that's difficult to deal with... they simply don't like slingshots and there's really nothing you can do that will convince them otherwise.

So know what you're dealing with first.... construct your instructional plan to fit the type of person you are trying to help out.

If they are the first kind, show them videos of of incredible shooters and what they're able to do... and set up incrementally more difficult challenges to do.

Second kind, get their friends involved and they may follow... focus on the fun aspects, the "big bang" of hitting large noisy targets... at greater and greater distances over the course of time.

Third kind... get a lot of interesting destructible targets, and do a lot of "stump shooting"...

Fourth kind... start with "angry birds" and build from there!
 

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I understand what you mean. I don’t know how many slingshots I made and gave away to buddy’s that seen me shooting and wanted to learn, only to shoot for an afternoon then get fed up with it and never shoot it again. Then this summer my little brother showed interest in them, so I helped make a natural from deer antler we put some alliance #107’s on it and he was set. First afternoon shooting his little terrier treed a squirrel, first shot he took got him in the head with a hex nut dropped him like a brick. Then he was hooked. He’s been at my place shooting everyday this summer.
 

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Shooting success helps. It's hard to stay interested when you're putting (or not putting) holes in paper.

Move targets closer and find targets that shatter or go "poof"

Try a small reward for hitting something.

I would also not get to hung up about the details of anchor point etc. Plenty of people shoot without an anchor point or reference point and do fine.

If they are having fun they will likely continue shooting.
 

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Great advise. I'd start off close and use something like cans as targets. Maybe on a surface so they can fall off easily once hit.

My first 'real' slingshot my dad tested out after we had made it together - ripped a huge hole in a soda can and imbedded the stone inside. That was enough to have me hooked.
 

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Only my 8 year old is interested shooting with me. He holds the frame upright, while I hold gangster. When I tried to I fluence h to hold gangster, so as to align bands, he said it doesn't feel right. I don't know how to reference holding upright, so I cant teach him. He shoots instinctive

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KS - one of my slingshots is designed to be shot semi-upright and instinctively and I am not able to look down the bands to align them. This bothered me at first as I primarily shoot gangster and understand the importance of band alignment. Then I started trusting the slingshot builder and found that I am capable of accurate shooting with this style.

The difference between instinctive aiming and reference point aiming is that you focus entirely on the target with instinctive as opposed to lining up a reference point with the target. I tell my archery students (we use instinctive aiming) to aim like you are throwing a ball.

There are lots of things that you can teach him, including good form, proper ammo placement, proper pouch grip, and proper release, which are the same no matter how you aim.

You can also encourage him to shoot. And teach him responsible shooting.

At 8, he has a great propensity for learning and developing skills. He is also developing the muscular strength and dexterity to shoot.

I am teaching my 7 y.o. godson both archery and slingshots. We also practice with blowguns and shepherd's slings.
 

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Connor - have you tried paintballs? You can launch them with light bands, although you will need an oversized pouch. They are safe, relatively easy to grip (grip in front of the paintballs not on the paintball) and you get immediate feedback when you hit the target!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Bill Hays Thanks very much, that is solid advice. I'd say they both fit into the category of the "third kind of person", and I understand that the more eager I am for them to be plinking away at a similar pace as me, the more that would put them off, so I will do as you advised and start thinking of interesting targets for them to move up to slowly. Quite a few of my friends definitely fit into the category of the "fourth kind", and they are far removed from the shooting sports as far as their lifestyle goes, so my passion to help others find the sport might actually end up being offputting if I don't take it in steps.

@Winnie

That's true, I suppose everyone approaches slingshot shooting in their own way. As long as their form becomes consistent each time, then that's what matters most.

@kenyaslinger One of the family members is quite similar to your son, in that he claims that if he tries to aim, his shots fly all over the place. I must say that I found that quite peculiar to start off with.

@Island made I gave away a slingshot to one of my friends as well, it's a shame that he quickly became scared to use it and lost interest completely.

What I've learned from this is that due to the fact that I learned by myself, often shoot by myself and have no-one else around to shoot with, my eagerness to have someone/others join (let's face it, shooting targets alone all the time gets a bit boring) means that I am rushing and am only focusing on the end result, rather than what it takes to get there. It would be great if slingshot shooting became as widely practiced as archery and even pistol/rifle shooting, but this doesn't happen overnight. Cheers all, for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Blue Raja I have tried paintballs, but both of the family members prefer making holes in things. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
 

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Another thing that I might suggest you do is lower your expectations.

I have given alot of slingshots away (100+), taught classes and introduced alot of people to shooting slingshots and have come to the realization that not all are wired like we slingshot users are. We get it. Reaching out and touching a leaf or harvesting a rabbit is a skill I value and enjoy but most aren't interested. With all I have done over the last 10 years shooting slingshots I have yet to find someone that has gotten into it like me.

Slingshots remain a small subculture for a reason - I just don't know the reason.
 

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Slingshot shooting is a skill that requires significant practice and perseverance to do it well - something that can also be said about archery. Almost anyone can be taught how to shoot an airgun, firearm, or a crossbow, and achieve reasonable results on the target within a fairly short time.

Beyond the basics of correct technique and suitable equipment, It really boils down to how motivated people are with regard to mastering something that involves good physical and mental skills in terms of posture, stability, and concentration. It is here that many people give up, particularly when there is no mentor (club environment) to encourage a persistent attitude to succeed - or they're having a bad day, and their mind is wandering as opposed to being focused, with shots going all over the target.

The problem with slingshots is that unlike guns, bows, or crossbows, they do not serve any real purpose from the wider public point of view, and are generally associated with children's toys and mischief (think "Dennis the Menace") - at least until people try them and realize how powerful and accurate modern slingshots can be: this is how to generate interest, while initially sticking to easy targets that make an impressive "sudden impact" noise when hit.

More competitions for aficionados and newcomers to attend would also be helpful, as shooting alone in a backyard can get rather boring eventually: slingshots and slingshot shooting need an official national and international structure such as the archery federation to become better known. Right now, slingshots are a creative and fun activity with fairly individualistic traits, and only very occasional competitions where genuine enthusiasts meet: this is fine, but not if the sport is to become better known on a wider scale like other sport disciplines.
 

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I was lucky I guess,my granddaughter watched me shooting and asked me how and why,and so I told her and showed her different techniques,and a few youtube videos [Rufus was one of the first ones] and set up paper plates at about 10 feet,then 20 ft and finally aluminium cans at 33 feet,she is like her mother a *dead eye* with the SS [her mother with All my pistols] then she appropriated my Torque as her own,since that's what I taught her with,and now she is eyeballin my Scorpion :)
 

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KS - one of my slingshots is designed to be shot semi-upright and instinctively and I am not able to look down the bands to align them. This bothered me at first as I primarily shoot gangster and understand the importance of band alignment. Then I started trusting the slingshot builder and found that I am capable of accurate shooting with this style.

The difference between instinctive aiming and reference point aiming is that you focus entirely on the target with instinctive as opposed to lining up a reference point with the target. I tell my archery students (we use instinctive aiming) to aim like you are throwing a ball.

There are lots of things that you can teach him, including good form, proper ammo placement, proper pouch grip, and proper release, which are the same no matter how you aim.

You can also encourage him to shoot. And teach him responsible shooting.

At 8, he has a great propensity for learning and developing skills. He is also developing the muscular strength and dexterity to shoot.

I am teaching my 7 y.o. godson both archery and slingshots. We also practice with blowguns and shepherd's slings.
Good advice BR, thank you

Sent from my SM-A105F using Tapatalk
 

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Slingshot shooting is a skill that requires significant practice and perseverance to do it well - something that can also be said about archery. Almost anyone can be taught how to shoot an airgun, firearm, or a crossbow, and achieve reasonable results on the target within a fairly short time.

Beyond the basics of correct technique and suitable equipment, It really boils down to how motivated people are with regard to mastering something that involves good physical and mental skills in terms of posture, stability, and concentration. It is here that many people give up, particularly when there is no mentor (club environment) to encourage a persistent attitude to succeed - or they're having a bad day, and their mind is wandering as opposed to being focused, with shots going all over the target.

The problem with slingshots is that unlike guns, bows, or crossbows, they do not serve any real purpose from the wider public point of view, and are generally associated with children's toys and mischief (think "Dennis the Menace") - at least until people try them and realize how powerful and accurate modern slingshots can be: this is how to generate interest, while initially sticking to easy targets that make an impressive "sudden impact" noise when hit.

More competitions for aficionados and newcomers to attend would also be helpful, as shooting alone in a backyard can get rather boring eventually: slingshots and slingshot shooting need an official national and international structure such as the archery federation to become better known. Right now, slingshots are a creative and fun activity with fairly individualistic traits, and only very occasional competitions where genuine enthusiasts meet: this is fine, but not if the sport is to become better known on a wider scale like other sport disciplines.
Well-stated Pebble Shooter
 

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All awesome advice. I don't know how many others do this, but I always listen to music when I'm out for a plinking session. I like to take a bag of clay balls, a baggie full of bottle caps and head to the playground near my place. I put in my headphones and set up a play list, spread the bottle caps across the basketball court on the lines and proceed to shred until I'm out of ammo.

Upright instinctive with a wishbone natty & some clays is the most fun a grown man can have with his pants still on LOL ????
 
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