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Paintball Practice Tips

Here's a short list of things you should practice to become better at paintball.  This is the boring type of practice - not necessarily the practice that comes with just playing and playing paintball; we're talking about training specific movements and skills to help sharpen your shooting skills and physical ability to move.  There are physical skills you can’t become a great player without. Here’s a short list:

-- Learning to shoot while moving.
-- Sliding into bunkers, trees, and other assorted coverings.
-- Shooting with your off-hand (left handed shooting for right handed people and visa versa).
-- Snap shooting.
-- Learning how to crawl.


Shooting on the move:  The game has gotten too fast and the playing field is too small to not have this skill in your toolbox.  There will often be times where you are shooting on the move - with the initial runout, at the game’s end and in one-on-one situations.
How to practice: Practice this like the snap shooting drill, but shoot during the run.  This is one you'll get better with quickly; you should see an improvement within the first hour of practicing this.  Realistically, you’ll wonder how you ever got by with your average skills.

Sliding into bunkers:  This is actually not that easy; it's common to slide right out of bounds, lose your feet or get hurt sliding.
How to practice: There’s no trick to sliding, but practice doing it at first without your gun.  Practice sliding feet first and head first.  Add the gun later.  Be careful, these movements can be dangerous, so stay within your physical abilities.  Paintball jerseys, pants with padding or at least baggy clothing will help protect you from getting hurt when sliding, diving or crawling.

Shooting with your off-hand: This is probably the most important skill a player can develop. Why? If you’re playing the left back bunker and shooting down your left tapeline, you will expose a lot of your body if you shoot right-handed.
How to practice:  Training to develop this is simple.... just do it, over and over again.  Go to the backyard, paintball field or wherever, and practice shooting off-handed.  It will seem awkward at first, but you will get better at it quickly.  Even if you never become as good a shooter off-handed as you are shooting naturally, it’s still better to shoot at seventy five percent accuracy from behind your
paintball bunker, than one hundred percent accurate with half your body exposed.

Snap shooting: This is when you can pull your gun up and immediately sight in your opponent, while firing off a string of accurate shots. Snap shooting is a great tool to have when you come to a stop while running, or when playing behind big bunkers, especially when you’re playing in close quarters to your opposition.
How to practice: Set up some coffee cans (or equivalent) about 125 feet from you.  Run 25 feet (to the 100 foot point from the targets), come to a dead stop while bringing your paintgun to the shooting position.  Snap shoot the targets.  Do this until you drop or run out of paint.  If you have several targets, try timing yourself from the start, to the time you hit all of the targets.

Crawling: This is a skill you need whether you play arena type of ball or in the woods.  In the arena (airball, Hyperball, etc.) you will need to crawl, especially if you play the snake.  If not in the snake, from low bunker to low bunker, at least from time to time. 
How to practice: Get on your belly and practice.  You’ll want to learn to stay low and move quickly.  Also practice shooting on your belly.  Practice drills where you're crawling, shooting and then get up quickly and immediately snap shoot.

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