I would highly recommend anyone interested in improving their capabilities with a handgun go to one of their local ranges and enter into any competition that they may be conducting. Ask your shooting buddies if you need recommendations on where and when these matches occur in your neighborhood.
To date, the only one I’ve tried has been an IDPA style match. A friend I had met at a Sheriff’s Academy class turned me on to a local match that occurred the third Saturday of every month, was only $25, and was about 20 minutes from the house. I had no idea what to expect the first time but I do recall being anxious. I was mostly concerned that I would do something stupid (not unsafe though) that would make me look like a jackass in front of the other shooters. Thankfully, I shot through all five stages and avoided any dumb mistakes.
One thing about participating in these events is that everyone there is just like you and is very interested in learning from anyone that will teach them and is likewise anxious that first time. I did not kid myself on that first event that I would be even remotely competitive, so that did take quite a bit of pressure off me mentally.
Here is a short little video to give you a flavor of what its like. The specific scenario you are seeing here is that you have come on a damsel in distress that is having car trouble. You, as the noble person that you are, stop and help her with the car trouble only to find out that this is actually an ambush with the intent of robbing and/or killing you. Once the timer starts, its up to you to fight through as quickly and accurately as possible. It is a lot more fun than simply shooting a static bullseye target.