Learn to shoot

Learn to shoot
Julia, enjoying breaking targets for the first time!
Our trapshooting training school offers a wide range of programs for the benefit of athletes of all skills: from the novice eager to learn to shoot to seasoned trap shooter. All our classes are taught by certified / trained coaches possessing a wealth of experience. No license is required!

This is a fun, safe and rich learning environment where students not only learn to shoot, practice and excel in the sport of trapshooting but also appreciate the increased sense of responsibility, discipline and attention to detail the program inspires.
The Trapshooting Academy offers scheduled individual as well as group introductory sessions where you can try your hand at the the beautiful sport of trapshooting, and safely learn to shoot a gun for the first time. Learn to shoot a shotgun:


Level 1. Introduction – Discovery

What is trapshooting, about shotguns, gun safety, all about the range, equipment and gear, what to expect from your coach, and what is required to succeed. On and off range trapshooting training is provided to ensure a safe and enjoyable introduction to shooting sports. Students do not have to own a shotgun. Protective gear is provided at no charge.


Level 2. Fundamentals – Learn to shoot

Position, Mount, Vision, Movement

The student will learn to shoot using the correct stance, alignment and balance. Eye dominance and correct type of vision and eye hold will ensure the student learns to acquire the target quickly and to focus correctly. The athlete will learn how to correctly move the gun in relation to the target. Foot and body position, stance, balance, head position, muscle tension are all key to a successful development of a good form. Gun mount (and gun fit) are addressed throughout the course.

Learn to shoot using proper form and avoid the bad habits. You will be glad you did!


Level 3. Competitive – Have fun!

Learn to shoot is only the biginning! Students who complete Level 2 and prove a solid understanding of the fundamentals and the desire to excel, are encouraged to enter the competitive arena. There is nothing to replace the thrills and intensity of a trapshooting match and we strongly advise our athletes to start competing as soon as the fundamentals are solid. Training as well as a competition plan is commonly developed by the athlete and the coach, goals and milestones are mutually agreed upon. Throughout the course, the coach will attend and assist the athlete compete, with the aide of video cameras, log books, chronographs and other materials. Attention to detail and constant observation and guidance will ensure success and prevent the unintended deviation from proper fundamentals and the bad habits that usually follow. The athletes are expected to own their own shotgun so that it can be tailored / adjusted to fit, as shotgun fit is paramount to a good form and correct execution.
Students who do not posses their own shotgun may use a loaner. Individual protective gear is required at this level. Your coach can assist you with choosing the right gear for you.


Advanced Level 1 – Fun, Refined!

Athletes at this level successfully and regularly compete in local and provincial / state events and work towards entering the national stage and / or compete in the Satellite Grand tournaments. They have mastered the technique and their fundamentals are “tweaked” to maximize their potential and take advantage of their natural physical and psychological abilities. It is now the time to learn to shoot at different venues, against various backgrounds, at home and abroad. Custom trapshooting training programs and competition schedules are tailored to each individual as a primary tool in assisting the athlete achieve his/her short and medium term goals on the path towards a realistic yet bold long term objective.

 Each class last about an hour and a half.

Are you ready? Learn to shoot trap right now! Contact us to inquire about availability.

Trapshooting Range

Our trapshooting range is based at the historic Hamilton Gun Club in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

The club offers beautiful target presentations and the best trapshooting range in the province.
Twelve brand new Pat traps with voice activated releases; knowledgeable and friendly staff; an active, vibrant membership; and regular registered and league trapshooting competitions for all skill levels contribute to making this facility the premiere trapshooting training venue in Ontario.

Depending on the level and each individual’s requirements, reservations and / or leasing of one or more traps are available to allow personalized, specific training regimens.

Last but not least, our own Mattarelli Olympic Wobble installation allows for specialized training in what is the most challenging and fun of the trapshooting disciplines, the International Trap or bunker!

The Trapshooting Range during OPTA Championship

High Performance Team – Spain 2014

Congratulations to Trapshooting Academy’s High Performance Team – Spain 2014 athletes!

Each and everyone of you worked hard and improved greatly!

We are glad to have been able to offer you the opportunity to experience training on Spain’s world-class range and to enjoy the hospitality and culture of Andalusia. We are looking forward to the upcoming competition season.

High Performance Team - Spain 2014 : Las Gabias, Granada
2014 Spain Team: Las Gabias, Granada
High Performance Team - Spain 2014 : Visiting Alhambra
You cannot be in Granada and not visit Alhambra!
High Performance Team - Spain 2014, The Competition : Las Gabias, Granada
The competition at the end of the camp – and the winners

A warm thank you to our host Mr. Jesús Almirón, Manager CEAR Juan Carlos I, Las Gabias, Granada, Spain, the home of 51st ISSF World Championship, 6-20 September 2014!

High Performance Team - Spain 2014 with Mr. Jesús Almirón
Spain Team and Mr. Jesús Almirón


Our athletes at the 2010 Ontario Provincial Championships

Congratulations to all Trapshooting Academy athletes who performed again at their highest level.
Here are their accomplishments:
  • Dal Bean (Sponsored – Sub Jr.) – first registered shoot; highest score from 16 yards: 90
  • Henry Kristofferson (Sponsored – Sub Jr.) – first registered shoot; highest score from 16 yards: 70
  • Chloe MacDonald (Sponsored – Jr.) – Handicap Champion; HAA Lady Co-champion
  • Garret MacDonald (Sponsored – Jr.) – Class D Doubles (preliminary); Class C Doubles Champion; Junior Handicap; Class D HAA
  • Graham Marshall (Sponsored – Sub Jr.) – first registered shoot; highest score from 16 yards: 77 (Graham just started shooting in January 2010 – he trained for only 10 sessions, way to go Graham!)
  • Matthew VanHaren (Sponsored – Sub Jr.) – shot wonderful and ended with his best ever from 16 yards: 90 (up from an average of 65% last year!)
  • Keith A. – his personal best: 90 from 16 yards (up from a 72% average from last year); Keith successfully applied Bob Palmer’s techniques
  • Alex L. – amazing shooting (with borrowed guns & great disposition)
  • Dave L. – his personal best: 96 (Dave has started training just 2 months ago and had a total of 3 training sessions so far)
  • Phil M. – Class D Doubles; Handicap 18-21 yards; Class C HOA
  • Gyl M. – his personal best: 90 from 16 yards (up from a 73% average last year)
  • Dan M. – his personal best: 93 (Dan didn’t get a chance to train in almost a year)
  • Doug S. – his personal best: 97 from 16 yards (up from a 55% average last year)
  • Ben C. – improving every day, always positive, always ready to shoot, thanks for leading – with excellent form – our youth team in the preliminaries!
  • Alireza A. – your enthusiasm is contagious and your determination is impressive! Looking forward to seeing the same drive in international trap!
  • Ryan K. – First year of registered competitions broke a 97! Congratulations!
Congratulations to the All American Cody Davis for his Non-Resident HAA, it was a pleasure to have you and Gen again on Canadian soil. We are looking forward to your next visit, see you soon “down south”. Good luck at the Grand American!
We had lots of first 25 straight & a good number of first 50 straight.
Many thanks to all the Development Team members who came during the weekend and supported their Teams.
Special thanks to the Khan family – who arrived every day early in the morning, vigorously supported the Teams throughout the day, and were the last ones to say ‘see you tomorrow’ to their coaches every evening. Your dedication and amazing demeanor is greatly appreciated.
Thank you all our sponsors – another great year was made possible by your support. Thank you to the families of all the LTS athletes.
All in all – an amazing weekend!
Congratulations again to all Trapshooting Academy athletes (past and present): we are proud of you!
Your coaches


Hamilton Antlers & Hunters Association

Given the name of this club, one thinks you will laugh all the time there… but that’s not always true. Hamilton Anglers and Hunters Association is a wonderful small club (4 trap houses), situated in Ancaster. They are much more than a trap club, in fact, they have a pond where one can fish, a handgun/rifle range (quite noisy), an archery outdoor course, a few skeet fields, and whatnot. They host ATA shoots, as well as Skeet competitions, Archery tournaments, and from time to time Cowboy shoots. All in all – it’s a nice little place to be… except if you’re looking for good scores 🙂

Why? As nice as the club is, the background is pretty hard to shoot against – add the setting of the targets (a bit low), and the vicinity to the Hamilton Airport and you got yourself a nice challenge. Again, it is one of the nicest clubs around and I am all for going to as many (and as difficult) clubs as possible in order to gain experience and learn to adapt. Managing low 90s in any event at HAHA, almost guarantees mid-90s at HGC. Rather than using the background as an excuse for their results, one should not be disappointed in a lower than expected score, but embrace it as an extraordinary learning experience.

That being said – my first HAHA shoot in a while was more pleasant than I expected. After a somewhat slow start (the shoot started around 10:30) it picked up the pace and ended pretty soon (4 PM we were all done). We were just a few squads, all trying to follow hard-to-follow targets. I, for one, had huge trouble seeing the targets flying towards the west, on the first 2 traps. But I learned my HAHA lesson a long time ago and I had lots of fun even with missing lots of left birds. 🙂

And how did the rest of the team faired? In my opinion – excellent! They got over the disappointing scores and by the time to shoot doubles they were having lots of fun. We all got a bit tired towards the end, with the exception of Frank who decided to clean the house. Which he thoroughly did, with the focus and decisiveness we all know he’s capable of. We all managed to finish close within our averages on all 3 events and at the end that’s what is most important.

We were blessed with a very nice day – mostly sunny, mostly hot, with a light breeze: one cannot ask for more. It’s true that for the new shooters it was a slight shock after Pennsylvania & Ohio (no, still no TV / Radio to channel onto to check the on-the-ready squad or the scores), but I actually felt good being there. I believe I missed HAHA this past year and I was glad to see the shoot ran as efficiently and competently as before.

Were there any lessons to learn from this experience? Sure thing – quite a lot.

First of all – whether shooting practice or competition, try to stick with the positive emotions. Any negative feedback will hunt you down pretty soon. For one subevent I left my emotions to fill my mind, and they were on the negative side… I worked hard the whole subevent to clear my mind and get myself back on track, and I managed to get everything to normal somewhere towards the beginning of the next subevent. So – always stay positive!

Another lesson – when everything else fails, fall back on having fun. This probably sounds like a broken LP already – but it’s essential. Missing is easy, and we need to work on what comes after a missed target. None of us has been born breaking 100 straight the first time – and each practice, each competition will put us face-to-face to the (dire) reality: at one point or another, we will miss one target. Everybody does, sooner or later. What we do after the miss is what separates the winners from the whiners. And the winners will end up smiling and focusing on the very next target (and only that one).

And the funniest point of the day: a gentleman telling me in a couple of years we’ll have a full squad. It took me a few moments until I got what he meant: he thought we are a family, with Chloe and Garret being my own, and William growing up to fill the squad soon. After an internal ROLF, I gently corrected him and explained that I ‘own’ only one of the kids, the rest are our students. He was taken aback – not sure what surprised him the most: that the young ones are not really mine or that there is a trapshooting school in Ontario?! But then William decided the gentleman’s idea was better and asked me if we could ‘get’ Chloe and Garret to be in our own family 🙂 and quickly added: ‘and Cody too!’

So after a day filled with lots of sun and warmth, some cute dogs to pet, a child totally absorbed by his ‘best girlfriend’ and some very nice coloured caterpillars one cannot ask for too much else, but a quiet dinner in the backyard, with good friends.

Wherever you are – enjoy your summer and have lots of fun!


Malcolm Gladwell

I am rarely as profoundly fascinated by an author as I was by Gladwell and his books. Might be his Canadian roots or simply his extraordinary power with the words. Whatever it is all I know is that when I get one of his books I won’t even breathe much until I’m done reading it.

That being said it is no surprise that today I got from the library his last book, ‘Outliers’, and I am almost halfway through.

And why in the peaceful world am I talking about his book here, on a trap shooting site?!

Because in ‘Outliers’ he speaks about ‘The story of success’ – how and why some get to the top and others don’t. I always knew it’s a matter of context (we are NOT born equal and I have strong opinions about this equal thing) and I always knew it’s also a matter of opportunities and hard work. But this is the first time when I see it so specifically written down in black on white: it is a matter of context (which we cannot control too much), of opportunities (which is in our power to take when they cross our paths), and – most important of all – it is a matter of hard work (which is absolutely, 100% under our control).

Doesn’t matter how talented one is – if he/she doesn’t practice he/she will lose the ‘edge’, will become just one other mediocrity. Doesn’t matter how not-so-talented one is – if he/she practices diligently he/she will become a star.

And no, going to the clubs for Sunday’s competitions doesn’t count as practice. If you don’t have the opportunity to practice a lot between competitions, a sunny disposition and a positive attitude at the competition will go a long way.

The 10,000-hour rule explains why people like Leo & Harlan can go 1,200 hundred targets straight… The more you break them, the easier they will break 🙂 Does it sound familiar?

If you have the opportunity to read any of Gladwell’s books you won’t be disappointed: I loved all of them. The title of his second is very interesting for us as well: ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’.

So practice, practice, practice, and remember: it’s always See, Smooth, Smoke ONE!


Toronto International

The second competition of the season came after a short break – at the beginning of June, when one can expect nice late 20s temperatures, right? Wrong! The forecast was bleak (max of 18, morning showers) and the reality beat it by miles (I don’t believe it ever went over 14, and those showers were scattered throughout the day, and the only good part was that those showers were more like clouds shaking above us.

We met the whole team at Toronto International Trap & Skeet Club (yes, you can figure it was founded and named by young males… all you need is to read the big acronym written … where else could have been more prominent?… on the chimney… in huge letters!) – everyone well dressed and the only specks of gold visible on the hats.

We managed to confuse a few nice gentlemen at the office, luckily for us, they were patient enough to squad our 7 member teams exactly as we planned, no more mishaps this time. By the end of the season, I believe we will get the squading done in less than the usual half an hour it takes now. By the time we have paid everything – it was already time to get on the line and so we did.

The singles – no big surprises. Everyone worked hard, and considering the ‘wonderful’ conditions – everyone did very well. Techniques are being fine-tuned, competition mode is being embraced by everyone; the coach is happy – athletes (hopefully) are happy as well.

The day progressed, and although we were a handful of people (11 squads) – we somehow managed to start the handicap pretty late. Well, it’s actually normal – when you compare our home club to any other club, it’s like Gulliver with the Lilliputians. And if you start doing the math – 11 squads on 2 banks (4 traps) will go well over 3 hours… start around 10 am and you’ll find yourself contemplating the handicap around 2 PM.

This would have been fine and dandy… if the light hadn’t changed suddenly. A very strange one, which made the targets a very muddy gray instead of the beautiful orange they are. Add to this an amazing coldness, and a light breeze and you have the ‘perfect mix’ for such an event. So you prepare yourself, tell yourself all the right things and then call for your target; the target comes out of the trap house, you follow it with your eyes (always with your eyes!) and then… suddenly… where is the target?! it should have been there… but it’s not… and for a few moments, you are wondering, then if you are lucky enough you’ll find it (far, far away) in the sky. In those cases when you aren’t that lucky you take a guess (more or less educated, depending on experience) and shoot in a region where the target should have been. Well – anybody can figure out what such a context can do to your scores. The trick in a case like this (where you have absolutely NO control over the conditions) is to keep it light, and remember you are in for fun. Of course, there would be the special cases when young eyes have no trouble following the target on the gray sky… and those young minds & eyes owners should be grateful for the gift they have been given 🙂 The rest of us – we split in 2: the ones who get upset, and the ones who’ll keep laughing. Luckily for me, nature gave me a sunny disposition so I could keep laughing the whole 4 sub-events. Why? Because while I was missing targets one after another I knew there wasn’t anything in the whole world I could do differently; I was trying my best and that made me happy. That and the odd flying ‘saucer’ I would get every now and then.

And then – the final event, the one I love the most: doubles. Luckily for us – the light changed back to normal, the breeze stopped and somehow the air warmed up as well. We were on the second squad and had the opportunity to watch the master (Paul Shaw) smoking targets on the first squad, right before us. It’s always a pleasure to watch Paul in doubles (it’s a pleasure to watch him in any type of events): he has a very calm way of being and his call is a very the-whole-world-can-be-mine-and-I-have-no-worries ‘Phaaa’. On that first trap, the targets were funny (to say the least), but you can’t do much about them. If you correct one issue, you’ll end up with another. So we simply did what the coach taught us all: we looked for our first target, smoked it, then looked for our second one, and smoked that one too.

So what have we learned from this trip to T.I.T.S.?

First of all – a successful day is measured not by scores, but by accomplishments. And this is how we need to set out goals: towards technique, not towards scores. Like Paul puts it so boldly in the last number (June) of Trap&Field magazine: setting goals in measuring scores is like trying to lose weight by stepping on the scale daily. Diets don’t work; you should not aim to lose 10 lbs but to move towards a more nutritious, more balanced, healthier diet. If you try to break scores, you’ll become tight-up and targets will elude you forever. If you have the proper technique, the proper swing, a fitted gun, and a sunny disposition (as in relaxed) – scores will automatically follow. And sooner than you think!

Second – when it happens to miss targets: slow down. Going faster and faster will just ensure you miss more and more and become frustrated. The opposite is always true: breathe, relax, and wait to see the target. I know I say this a lot – but breathing is, actually, paramount. And if you would take the time to analyze you’ll also realize that most of the time when you go fast you probably hold your breath as well. Breathing is probably the simplest way to ‘fix’ most things.

Third – in conditions less than perfect (wouldn’t be that much fun to have perfect conditions at all times, would it?!) all you can do is enjoy. The more you enjoy, the more fun you’ll have; the more fun you’ll have, well – when you have fun any lesson will be easier to learn.

And last, but not least – get on the line prepared. With all the excitement of the day (and all the buzzing from William) I stepped on the line for doubles and I followed my routine: Squad ready? Marker ready? Let’s see a pair! all the time something was strange, but I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly was the ‘thing’. Well – I mounted my gun, I called for my pair and, like Chloe said ‘boom’… literarily. Not much to do when you still have a second target to blast… so ‘boom’ the second one. Then – ‘BOOM’… Phil’s first shell. The second one – I couldn’t hear much anyhow 🙂 By the time it was again my turn I managed to plug my ears properly. Lesson learned 🙂 And sorry, Chloe, for rushing when it was your turn… usually Chloe is on my right, so I am not accustomed to waiting for a female voice before my turn but after… Anyway, being the nice sport that she is, Chloe wouldn’t be bothered by such a nuisance.

So – another day, another LearnTrapshooting.ca success!

Thank you all again for the sportsmanship you displayed and for the focus and energy you managed to gather and share! I know some of you might be hard on yourself expecting higher scores, but trust me – you should not be. What you should be is proud of yourself: you kept remembering the lessons your coach taught, and you kept listening to his advice during the competition. You delivered your best in the conditions and that’s all it counts at the end of the day.

Remember: relax, enjoy, and have fun!

Looking forward to many days filled with your smiles and laughter!

P.S. These Jones Soda messages seem to be an integral part of the LTS outings… I am going to buy some; maybe I’ll finally find a name for my gun 🙂

P.P.S. To Chloe: beware you are now being used as the ‘example’ in our household. E.g. William doesn’t really care for ham sandwiches (he doesn’t really care for meat that much yet) so last night after I put one in front of him and I got the usual ‘I don’t like this, mama’. Exasperated, I exclaimed: ‘I’ll tell you a secret! This is Chloe’s favourite!’… ‘Mmmm… it’s really yummy, mommy!’