The Oxford paintball team tackles the issue that newbie paintballers get as well as pro players experience more often than they actually like to admit. This is what some people like to call having a “gun blinders, or most people refers to as “Tunnel Vision”.
Tunnel Vision in paintball works like this – you are in a shoot-out, you see the guy you are supposed to be shooting at, you are really gunning for him, you really want this guy, you’re just getting so close, you can see the balls just right above his head and while you are so focused on your guy; suddenly, all the cool stuff is happening and you never see it. Because you are so focusing at this particular opponent, your guy has got to go out, thus the reason it is called “tunnel vision” – you are only looking at that one particular guy. We sometimes call it the “gun blinders” because this incident usually happens when people start shooting. The moment they cease fire, they will start looking around saying “what’s going on?”
Oxford Paintball: What to do
The most effective way to really breakout from this tunnel vision is to be aware that such incident is happening and to immediately stop shooting and look around. You also have the option to keep shooting and yell to a comrade, “Hey, what’s going on over here? ”
There is a drill that could help you break yourself out of tunnel vision. This drill is actually really easy and it’s really a lot of fun to do.
To set up the target, you have to first hang some bottles on a tree branch – about 3 to 5 bottles will do. Position the bottles where they are spaced apart and placed in various angles. Then, face away from your targets, and then immediately turn around facing your target and fire three shots on each. It does not matter if you hit or miss the targets, just take three shots at each target.
The idea here is to start training yourself to look and think in multiple and different angles, not just merely looking constantly at one target, you should be looking at least three of the targets and anticipate your move to the first, to the second, and to the succeeding targets.
Oxford paintball team’s drill to avoid tunnel vision
Another way for you can to do the same drill is to turn around, and then take a knee. You may also try when you are turning around; go all the way down to prone. That way you are training yourself to shoot on different positions as well as training yourself to get used to shooting multiple targets using different styles of shooting.
It would be an advantage if you can get someone else to help you out in this drill, it would be more exciting and more fun. As you are looking away from your target, your companion will shout out three turns; left right center; center left; left right center. You have to turn around and hit the targets in that order within each three short bursts.
This may not be easy, but then again you are learning how to shoot your paintball marker at multiple angles and you have to do it like how a real paintball game goes – with a little bit of pressure. The point of the drill is to just learn how to look at the angles.
Avoiding Tunnel vision is one of the big skills in paintball. If you can master this, you will have the capacity to keep your field awareness up. You will have the ability to be more sensitive on what is going around you giving you the advantage to choose your target based on which you think looks more dangerous.