Michael Bane talks about retaining shooters in the industry/shooting sports. He makes the excellent point that we’re actually pretty good at recruiting new shooters into the game, but once people get in, they’re sort of left to their devices and there are not a lot of retention devices to keep them from dropping out.
I agree that there really does need to be some method to retain the casual shooter and get them to do what we want all the casual gun owners to do, that is spend money on the shooting sports.
Biggest failure in amateur competition of all stripes: scheduling a mix of Saturday and Sunday events. Retention implies personal investment — they have to feel that the effort they’ve already put in makes going to the next event worth doing. If there is no way to be competitive in the full season without missing church, most of your potential audience just said “see’ya”.
I’ve had lots of interests over the years (Rodeo, SCCA, Amateur Radio, Shooting) that I’ve fallen out of because of Mandatory Sunday Participation. I will listen to “The Grumpy Old Man” lecture me exactly once about attendance at mandatory meetings; then I leave, and never return. Soon the grumpy old man finds himself lecturing an empty room.
The big problem with shooting sports today is lack of ranges.
There are 25 golf courses within 15 miles of my house.
There are no ranges.
The closest range to me is an indoor range that’s over 25 miles away, and it’s paper punching pistol only.
The closest range that’s usable for sports like IDPA or steel is in the next county and is a two hour round trip.
There are no ranges anywhere nearby (that I can get to in less than a day’s drive) that offer greater than 100 yards for rifle.
The outdoor ranges that are within driving distance are not female friendly (no restrooms).
No one will spend money on shooting sports if there’s no place to shoot.
Spending money, eh? Ok, how about Mr I Know More Than You’ll Ever Know behind the table at the gun show? If his tableside manner is designed to remind ne how much he knows and I don’t, then my money walks out the door with me. If he can’t offer a helpful, welcoming, answer, why should I do business with him for the next five years while I learn the ropes on my own? There are too many of those guys behind tables and gun counters everywhere I’ve ever been. The elitist, cool kid attitude probably turns off a lot of newbie shooters/spenders.
No, I agree with you. That guy turns a lot of people off to the shooting sports, and it’s a problem that I’ve had to deal with in the past as well.
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