Trapshooting Training

Trapshooting Training

Trapshooting Training
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 to seasoned trap shooter. All our classes are taught by certified / trained coaches possessing a wealth of experience.

This is a fun, safe and rich learning environment where students not only learn, practice and excel in the sport of trapshooting but also appreciate the increased sense of responsibility, discipline and attention to detail the program inspires.

All students must be dressed appropriately and wear the required ear and eye protection. Loaners are available for introductory sessions as well as Level 1 students.

The Trapshooting Academy offers scheduled group introductory sessions where you can try your hand at the the beautiful sport of trapshooting, shooting a gun for the first time. The duration of the session depends on the size of the group. Contact us to inquire about availability.

Would you like to start right now? We offer professional one on one and group instruction for trapshooting athletes of all levels as well as advanced coaching for high performance athletes.


Level 1. Introduction

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

Position, Mount, Vision, Movement

The student will learn the correct stance, alignment and balance to break the target anywhere during its flight path.

His/her correct mount will allow a hold of the gun in the best position to respond both mechanically and visually to the target.

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.


Level 3. Competitive

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.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

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.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 for 1.5 hours.

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

2014 Canadian Championship

2014 Canadian Championship

Congratulations Trapshooting Academy’s

Matthew Van Haaren


Trapshooting Academy at the 2014 Canadian Championship


2014 Ontario Singles SJ Champion

2014 Ontario Doubles SJ Champion

2014 Ontario High Over All SJ Champion

2014 Ontario High All Around SJ Champion

2014 National ATA Singles Champion (199/200)

2014 National  ATA High Over All Open Champion (384/400)


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

Toronto International

After an extremely tiresome week (the first LTS camp and 2 BIG 50 shoots) we gathered again in Cookstown, next to the model airplanes and (a new addition to the mix) some parachutes. This time weather was more gentle (although I wouldn’t say it was a summer day, more like spring; and it’s middle of July!), and the team even bigger.

We had 2 full squads for singles – with Matthew competing for the first time in Ontario (thank you, Alireza for watching him closely – literarily) and a very brand new member of the Senior’s Team: Sacha – Welcome to the team, Sacha! And welcome to the team Alex as well! I know he’s sulking he couldn’t make it this weekend, but I also know he’ll probably tie Mike up when he returns home and come with us next time 🙂 Mike, you’ve been forewarned!

This time I found a solution for not ambushing the nice gentlemen at classification / squadding and all went smoother than a smoothie: positions were handed out in no time, and everyone stood in line to get their cards swiped and their money happily “invested”… life as a trapshooter 🙂

As soon as we all had our stubs in the pocket we went outside to watch the targets and wait for our squads to start – and the LTS crowd being larger than ever before time passed quickly with lots of stories (meant to tease or encourage the newcomers; although I am sure some stories might have discouraged some 🙂 – time will tell). We shot singles on the last 2 traps – and if any of our students wonder what had happened with their scores on the second trap – stop wondering. You did nothing wrong! It’s the actual trap that made it extremely hard for one to shoot targets. The reason: because of firearms regulations, Toronto Club management had to actually physically rotate the trap house towards the left while the concrete pads were left intact. As we know from the handicap event – an event a few degrees at the trap house make a lot of difference out there, at the target. That being said – as I explained a few times already, harder conditions made the human brain be more disciplined: you know you have to pay more attention, you know you have to “behave yourself”… and that’s how you smoke more targets! When all conditions are perfect one tends to let down the guard and think ‘oh, this is easy!’ and that’s when the ‘oops’ moments occur.

Anyhow – I was impressed by all our team members; smoke after smoke and targets disappearing in little black puffs… at one point I was actually happily laughing with Frank which made it interesting for us to mind our own targets. But we did! And I watched the other team – they were having as much fun as possible (on the exact same 2 traps). Some interesting competitions arose on the spot – it still amazes me how these young minds find a way to compete over any single thing that’s crossing their way… But, please, always remember to keep the fun in!

Although the shoot was supposed to be a small one (with most of the top shooters being away to Cicero, NY for the NY State Championship) we somehow managed to get to 15 squads of singles. Luckily for us, Steve opened the third bank and so time-wise we finished shooting earlier than last time!

Handicap went by with another first 25 straight – this time from Chloe who managed to step exactly in my footprints. My first year of competition, at the exact same shoot (July 16th was the exact date in 2006 and I know because I took the accomplishment as a gift for our Canada anniversary; we arrived in Canada on July 15th a few years back) I ran my first 25 straight ever in handicap, to finish with a score of 89. What did Chloe do? She ran her very first ever 25 straight in handicap, to finish with a score of… you guessed it, right?! 89!

Add to that Alireza’s first 25 straight (in singles), Anthony’s first 50 straight (to a very nice score of 99), Garret’s almost 25 (his eyes followed one of the parachutes instead of the orange dome), and now we have quite a few hats to shoot at! Not too shabby for a team that started to train (with the exception of our young “veteran” Anthony) just a few months back!

Congratulations Garret, Phil, Alireza, Anthony, and Chloe! Looking forward to the hat ceremony during the LTS Summer Games on August 29! 🙂

The morale of today’s story? Enthusiasm and dedication, discipline and attention to detail, listening to the coach, and, last but not least, how well we keep the fun in the game makes it all possible. I’ll let everyone enjoy their successes. Bask in your happiness and coat yourself with it.

For all of you – come and shoot the BIG 50s this week – Tuesday and Thursday (July 14/16). It’s a nice way to gain experience in the comfortable settings of Hamilton GC.

And, of course, enjoy the summer and enjoy your targets! Smoke them all!


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!