Paintballing is an exhilarating sport, even for beginners. However, it tends to get aggressive, and players won’t be kind to you if you can’t pull your weight. Having consistent marksmanship under pressure will impress your teammates and improve your confidence. Here are seven tips to help paintballers improve their aim.
1. Use an Appropriate Gun
First and foremost, you need to find a weapon that fits your experience level and preference. There are several types of paintball guns:
Pump and semi-automatic guns with long barrels are the best options for beginners. They prevent you from relying on rapid-fire, and the longer barrel helps with accuracy. These guns also usually have standard one-size-fits-all structures for left- and right-handed shooters. In contrast, other guns have fancy customization options that will only impede your early improvement.
Start with a simple gun with no accessories or attachments to weigh you down and distract you from the target. Work on your fundamentals first before moving on to an advanced weapon.
2. Take Care of Your Gun
Once you find your preferred weapon, you need to maintain its accuracy. Clean your paintball gun regularly to remove any debris that might impact the sights or the barrel. A dirty gun can change the paintball’s speed and trajectory, throwing off your shot even if you’re confident in your aim.
Find a safe testing ground and test-fire your gun before you play. It should fire with the same speed and precision as before. If something seems off, you probably just need to clean it.
3. Watch Your Posture
You need to have the right posture while firing your gun. Hold it upright. The gravity-fed paintballs may not fire correctly if it tilts too far to one side. Bring the weapon close to your chest and shoulder so it remains stable. The gun should stay in this fixed position even when you’re on the move. Your lower body movements should not impact your accuracy.
Be careful not to hunch over or lose tension in your upper body while firing. Keep your back straight and your head up. Your arms, shoulders and chest should remain stiff the whole time. Try to replicate this position every time you fire to improve your consistency. Finally, adhere to the rules of gun safety and keep your finger off the trigger until the rest of your body is ready to fire.
4. Do More Snap Shooting
Paintballers have to do a lot of ducking and dodging to avoid getting shot. Such sudden movements can throw off a beginner’s accuracy. Try to incorporate more snap shooting into your practice to work on these movements. Practice popping out from behind a bunker, shooting a target and hiding.
Get comfortable with hiding before and after you shoot. This simple skill will significantly improve your performance and help you earn your teammates’ trust.
5. Work on Moving Targets
Once you get more confident with your shooting, start working on moving targets. The key to hitting a moving target is to lead with your shot. Judge your target’s speed and aim slightly ahead of them. You want to shoot where they’re going, not where they already are. It will take time to find the sweet spot, but you’ll become a much better player once you figure it out.
6. Improve Your Physical Fitness
Your physical fitness should be an asset, not a weakness. Hit the weights and work on your conditioning. Some paintball fields require you to climb, roll and do other challenging physical tasks. You should be able to handle these obstacles without thinking. If you never get tired, your accuracy will be much more consistent, and you will have an advantage over your opponents as the match progresses.
7. Use Your Off Hand
The ability to use both hands can substantially improve your aim by helping you stabilize the gun and shoot from unorthodox angles. Practice using your off-hand in your free time. Brush your teeth, eat, open doors and do non-dominant hand exercises so it becomes second nature. Your gun will feel more comfortable in your hands when you pick it up, and you will feel more confident in your abilities.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You can apply all the advice above, but the only way to see real results is through lots of practice. Devote more time to improving your paintball skills. Use the right weapon, clean it often, shoot with proper form and incorporate more advanced techniques as you improve. Be patient with your progress and focus on improving each day.