“Oh yes it’s ladies night
And the feeling’s right
Oh yes it’s ladies night
Oh what a night (oh what a night)
This is your night, tonight, everything going to be all right”
I know this Kool & The Gang song is now stuck in your head and you very well may be singing it for the rest of the day and you want to thank me. You are welcome!
I went to Ladies Night at my local gun club last night and “Oh What a Night”…..
I went with a young woman who I had taken to the range for the first time about a month ago. To my surprise, she called me yesterday afternoon and asked if we could go again.The first time we went she was eager for the experience, yet very anxious, well maybe more like scared! We went through the basics and after watching others for a while she hesitantly agreed to give it a try. Of course after the first shot, she had that mixed look of “oh my gosh, I can’t believe I just did that” blended with the wide eyed look of “wow, that was loud, powerful and scary” topped off with a touch of the “that was cool!” look.
As we left that night, I sensed she was glad she did it, but that she didn’t have a great need to do much of it again. She thanked me and said she was grateful for the chance to try.So now we fast forward to yesterday. As I said, she called and asked to go shooting again. I was surprised and of course eager to go. What was fascinating about last night was her confidence and eagerness to shoot a variety of calibers and a genuine desire to learn more and get better. What had happened between the first time and this time?
I could see the excitement in her eyes as the adjustments she was making resulted in some very nice shot patterns in the target. She was HOOKED!
Meanwhile, in the lane next to us was a husband with his wife. It was obvious that this was her first time touching a gun. She was in agony. She was tense, uncomfortable and scared, After a short time, the husband asked if we would encourage his wife, because we were women and perhaps his wife would be more comfortable and encouraged by us.
All of a sudden, there was a “sisterhood”. She began to relax and with that she became comfortable and was asking questions and began to hit the center of the target. Everything about her demeanor changed. She was really enjoying it! What did I learn at Ladies Night, I learned two key ingredients that can change everything for new women shooters. One is time. My friend needed a month to process the experience and get to the place where she had the chance really absorb it, and once she had, she wanted more. The wife next to us, needed was encouragement, and although her husband was very patient and doing a great job with her, it was the encouragement of other women that seemed to be the key. This is a very foreign experience for most women. Women need time to absorb this “new land”, soak it in and relax enough to be open to explore it. The “sisterhood” that happens helps to make that happen. Once they do relax they then can begin to participate with confidence and eagerness. So, Ladies Night is an important opportunity to give women the opportunity to come together in a no pressure zone, access the landscape and find encouragement and comfort from other women.