The popularity of youth trap shooting has skyrocketed in the last few years and many organizations are creating programs to cater to this interest. The American Legion is no exception. In 2012, the American Legion, Post 218 created its first youth trapshooting team and is encouraging other posts to do the same.
Are you wondering why trapshooting has become so popular recently? Perhaps it is because it incorporates the benefits of both an individual sport, as well as, a team sport. As an individual sport, youth trapshooting teaches participants how to be comfortable in the spotlight, a skill that is useful for class or work presentations later in life. Also, since the individuals' scores are purely dependent on thier own efforts, it teaches them to have an intrisic motivation that strives for personal improvement. Trapshooting also teaches the importance of practice, patience, and persistence as one attempts to master the art of shooting. In addition, since trapshooting does not require a team, participants can continue this sport at their leisure, well into their old age. Each team member's individual score feeds into the overall score of the team. This brings the team aspect of the sport. As part of a trapshooting team, the youth develop a sense of camaraderie, an appreciation of differing abilities, a sense of belonging, social interaction skills, team goal-setting skills, and resilience through sharing positive and negative experiences.
Many youth long to be a part of a team, yet may not have the physical ability or desire to participate in an extremely active sport. Trapshooting provides another avenue for these youth In fact, being part of a team can carry on into college years. Many universities are starting collegiate trapshooting teams and even offering scholarships for this sport. Trapshooting is also an Olympic Sport.
Youth trapshooting can also teach a healthy respect for guns early in life. There are many benefits to the sport!
If you are considering starting a trapshooting team at your American Legion Post, contact Raenhard Wesselschmidt at 636-239-3133.
The First team in the Nation!
Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation https://sssfonline.org
Missouri Trap Shooters Association www.motraps.com
Want to Start Your Own Program?
Support Documents and helpful links are below.
Get permission from your Post - Have a prepared statement to help promote your idea. List the benefits of the program, the time requirements of the members, and the cost of the program. Having a good game plan will help the commander and members make an informed decision. The team at Post 218 does not require additional funds or time from the AL members.
Certify coaches - Have each of your coaches get certified through the NRA to be a U.S. Shooting Sports Certified Shotgun coach. Have each coach complete a background check through the American Legion.
Inform the parents - Have a meeting at the beginning of the year to discuss time commitments, cost, and fundraising. At Post 218, parents pay for the child's shotgun, shells, and competitions. In order to offset some of the costs, we hold several fundraisers.
Register each shooter with ATA/AIM - The Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) and its youth program, Academics/Integrity/Marksmanship (AIM) is the governing body for all trapshooting worldwide. The AIM youth program has its own state and national competition registered shoots and provides insurance for the shooter. The combined cost for an ATA/AIM membership is $25 per year.
Consider offering a Recreational Program and a Competitive Program - Some youth cannot commit to a full practice and competition schedule yet still have an interest in the sport. Other youth strive to practice, compete, and win. In the recreational program, youth meet every other week or even monthly and shoot 50 targets. Youth in the competitive program can practice weekly, shoot 100 targets, and compete in many of the AIM competitions.
Questions? If you are considering beginning an American Legion Youth Trapshooting team, contact Raenhard Wesselschmidt at 636-239-3133
Amatuer Trapshooting Association's Youth Program www.aim4ata.com
American Legion Post 218
1007 East Third Street Washington, Missouri 636-239-4363