Training tips? Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? Bear with me. We’ve had thousands of players come through our Bedlam gates and, over the decades, we’ve gained a solid knowledge of what makes a good paintball player. As regular readers of this blog will know, we like to impart this knowledge onto you guys – the paintball fans – in the hope that you can use it to improve your game the next time you grab a marker. So, with that in mind, here are a handful of simple exercises you can try at home.
Regular paintball fanatics will be able to testify that sliding behind a bunker or diving for cover is undoubtedly the most dangerous part of a paintball game. Assuming no one does anything stupid, then it’s actually pretty hard to hurt yourself during a game, but it’s important to know how to move and hide your body quickly, as doing it wrongly could end up with a little sprain or something. The only way to nail a good slide is to practise. Get out into your garden and stick a bin or something similar in the middle of your lawn (don’t tell your mum/partner, as you might end up ripping up their grass a little). Now run up to it at various speeds and slide behind it, one leg first in a side-on motion. It will take a few goes to find out what speed works best for you, and how low to the ground you need to be but, once you get it, there is nothing else you can pull off that is quite this cool.
Shooting from the hip
Some players call this ‘snap shooting’ as it mimics the old cowboy move of snapping a pistol up from the hip. Basically there is no need to hold your marker against your shoulder, as there is no recoil from a paintball marker – however it is easier for many players to aim with the marker at this height. However shooting from the hip is more practical in many ways, as it reduces your exposure, saves you time in bringing your marker up and aiming, and it can often catch the opposition off guard too. So to get good at shooting from the hip, set up a few small targets along the back of a safe target practise area, and give yourself about 20 metres. Start with your marker hanging loose and then flick it up with your wrist and try to hit them from a standing position.
Shooting on the move
Once you master the above move, add in some running so you get good at hitting a moving target. Once you can do this, you are pretty much a superb paintballer. Set up a small obstacle course in your garden – cones are good – and move round them in a figure of eight pattern, aiming for the same targets but (a) on the move and (b) from a different angle each time.
Nothing can stop you once you master all three!