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If you live in states or countries where your off-seasons get incredibly cold it can typically be counted as the time where you work on other skills rather than paintball. Today we plan to show you plenty of options you have at your fingertips to add practice to this time, from around your home and including firing practice volleys!
How Can You Practice Paintball at Home? There are a great many skills that you can practice at home which can lead to increasing your skills, snap shooting, target practice, visualization and more. Additionally, with reball and the newer pickle balls, you can actually fire rounds indoors without the mess!
Now that we know practice at home is a viable way to approach the off-season we can cover how and what you can do to get better at the sport. We will cover some viable practice options around snap shooting and then cover paint-free paintball options.
I would love to hear what you do when the off-season hits, do you continue to play and practice paintball or do you change to another sport or game instead?
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Why Practice For Paintball at Home?
When you decide to play paintball and are aiming to become more proficient at it the time you put in away from the field becomes invaluable to becoming a better player on the field. This is the time to work on many of the drills which will teach and hone your skills to perform better in the upcoming season.
Below are some of the most valuable skills you can get some work in on even when the temperatures are freezing outside. Each will help you to perform faster, more accurately, and with greater dexterity.
Practice Target Shooting
This is what you would expect, you want to set up a target at a specific distance away from your firing position, something like a can works well to help aim. Then what you want to do is work on aiming and firing with the marker and being able to instinctually know where your marker will hit when you fire.
Your final objective is to hit your target with just one single shot, specifically one trigger pull. The reason for this as your objective is that this will help you hit your opponents out before they can eliminate you, along with the benefit of saving ammo allowing you to play longer.
Practicing Paintball Snap Shooting
I have heard from many players that they can't practice without having teammates to practice with, while this can be helpful you can practice snap shooting without anyone else around!
What you are working and practicing is your ability to pop out from behind cover, fire, and return to cover without being hit. This means speed is the core factor along with quick target acquisition and firing.
How to Practice Paintball Snap Shooting
What you need to do is prepare your backyard or indoor area for play, you will want to set up a target that is about as tall as yourself and about half as wide. An easy way is a cardboard cutout, or plywood from a Home Depot, Lowes, or similar store (who can also help cut it).
You want to then craft or purchase the object you plan to hide behind, the easiest being your garbage can or if you have trees in your yard that would work well. Set the two things, target and your "bunker" a decent distance apart, similar to a game.
Next, you will want to get behind your bunker and practice the lean out and shot, then return to the same place while maintaining a low profile. Practice doing this out of both sides of the bunker, over the top of the bunker, and also swap hands so you get the practice with each hand which changes your firing lanes.
An additional method to practice is to use a mirror, this method is a non-firing practice meant to help you see how exposed you are when attempting to snap fire.
What the mirror exposes to you is how much of you is visible to your opponent when you are leaning out to snap shoot. What you want to do is to work on minimizing your exposure time or work on how to expose less of yourself while firing.
Practice Using Your Opposite Hand
One thing many players avoid is learning to aim and fire wit their opposite hand, typically because it takes a lot more effort to relearn and retrain your hand. What these players don't know is that changing your hand gives you entirely different shooting angles on the opposing team players making you even more impressive.
Additionally, training to use your offhand gives you the ability to accurately shoot regardless of position you find yourself on the field. Mastering this skill will make you a powerful and valuable player on the field for your team!
Managing and Learning to Reload
What you want to practice is how to reload, not only when out of paint but how you can reload while also shooting at the same time. What you are working to learn is the ability to pull out a pod from your harness and, while keeping eyes downfield on targets and firing as necessary, reload the pod while getting as much in your hopper as possible.
The first few times you try this you will end up dropping a decent chunk of paint on the ground, to limit the expenses you would look into purchasing Atom6 or reballs as these can get dirty and wet without being destroyed.
Practice Focusing and Visualizing
The reason to learn and practice visualization and focus is to be able to run through game situations and mentally prepare how you would react to an issue. The point is to have your brain already have a mental plan when that occurs in a real game, the more often you run different scenarios the better your reaction will be.
What you want to do is find a quiet place where you can visualize the field without interruption. You then will imagine yourself playing a different position while running through situations that are common in-game.
The plan is to understand how to handle the obstacles, players, and adrenaline rush at the same time to keep your wits about you. The more you visualize and practice in your head the better your performance will be in-game when the situation occurs.
How To Practice Fire Indoors?
When you want to get some practice in and you are limited to being inside you may think you are limited in your options. What you probably don't realize is that there has never been a better time to be able to practice indoors.
While in the earlier years of paintball the only options were standard paintballs which if fired in a home would require massive cleanup efforts. Today we have options for simulated paintballs that allow us to train but without the splatter mess to clean up.
What's Reball Paintball?
Reball stands for reusable paintball as they are a rubber version of a paintball, solid through but without the paint inside. The benefit is that they allow you to fire markers anywhere without creating any mess.
There are benefits to reballs when used in practice firing as they are solid so they fly more like paintballs over a longer distance, they come in multiple colors including yellow, black, and Reball brand name options.
Video: Review Of Reball Paintballs
What Are Atom6 Paintball Rounds?
Atom6 paintball rounds are a nice reusable simulated paintball which is more useful for easy indoor practice than standard paintballs. These "paintballs" are very safe to use indoors and inside a home, as they contain no paint within them.
The Atom6 paintball rounds are perfect for practicing snap shooting drills outside in your backyard or inside your house!
These are standard rounds in .68 caliber which work best with gravity fed hoppers due to the openings electronic hoppers will need eyes disabled in most cases. Additionally, adjusting the torque on your electronic hopper can help increase the reliability of firing.
As with all safety when you are firing projectiles you need to always wear your approved eye protection when within range of being hit.
One more awesome ability and use for these mock paintballs is to cover your land from rogue drone flyovers!
Video: Review of ATOM6 Paintballs
Best Option For Practice Paintballs
Out of the options that are available I feel the Atom6 balls from Atomic Pickle Industries is the best option to fill the role of non-paintball practice. These will allow you to constantly refill and fire until you have gotten the full value of the rounds.
These are the version 2.0 Atom6 balls which aren't solid so when practicing if you should have eyes then you will want to turn them off. Feeding won't work well if you have your eyes on as the laser will shoot every once in a while through the gap in the ball causing a dry fire.
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Taking some time each month while in the offseason can help you prepare and tweak your skills that will help lead you to more and more success. You become an expert by practice and repetition which is always going to be limited due to the need for players, field, and good weather.
Take time to expand on your understanding will help grant you much more game time in the field, while the practice in the snap shooting will increase your ability to eliminate other players will keep you in play longer also.
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!