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Snap Shooting 101

Paintball Team Training

Snap Shooting. It is the core skill at the center of playing paintball. You are forced to snap shoot from the start of the game, through every moveand all the way to the last kill every game. It is the one skill you can’t avoid learning and yet one of the most difficult to perfect.
Here are some must follow tips for a fast and accurate snap shot:

1. Center your balance
Keeping a solid center of balance will make sure you are able to move fluently
and quickly without flailing. You keep your center of balance by keeping both feet planted to the ground, keeping your knees slightly bent and by using your core strength to control your movement in and out of the snap. The common tendency is for people to use their arms to move into the snapping motion. This creates a larger target and typically limits accuracy.

2. Create a single target
Creating a single target means keeping your loader lined up with your forehead and looking straight through your feedneck. This creates a singular small target and makes sure the first thing your opponent sees, is your paint. Many people tend to lean their loader inward (toward the bunker), but as a result, their elbow sticks out further. Also, as a result of keeping your loader inline with your forehead you will assure that your barrel is centered with your field of vision. This means, wherever you look, is where your paint goes.

3. Know when to stop
Knowing when to stop comes with being humble. The fact is gun fighting gives you a 50/50 chance of winning or losing. You have to apply consider two factors to determine if your gunfight is worth continuing. First, is the fight worth it? If you are not in a desperate position to where you are forced to gunfight, it most likely isn’t worth continuing. Second, who has the advantage? There are times when you can see that the opponent is coming out a little before you are or that they are plainly in a better position. Don’t depend on your gun fighting to win, use it when you need it.

4. Limit your movement
As in any movement in sport, the smaller the range of movement, the less room for error. Be sure to keep your barrel level and pointed straight forward the entire gunfight. The common tendency is for players to whip their barrel to the other side of the bunker, upward or even lower their barrel towards the ground. If you snap out once and miss by an inch, you should be able to make a slight adjustment to your aim and get closer every shot. If you don’t keep your movement small and whip your barrel, you are essentially guessing where your next ball is going to go every snap.

5. Get in, not out
The most important timing of the snap shot is getting back into your bunker, not snapping outward! Typically, you have a ½ second to snap outward, aim and pull the trigger before the other player reacts and their ball crosses the distance to you. At that point, whether or not you shoot them, the crucial part is getting out of the way of their shot. This timing stems from the first tip of keeping your center of balance. If you are centered, you will have just as much force coming back into the bunker as you did snapping out. If you kick your foot or whip your arms outward, you lose leverage and your chances of getting out of the way go way down!

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