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Snapshooting; skill breakdown

Discussion in 'Tactics and Technique' started by hipjaw, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. hipjaw pbplayr.blogspot.co.uk // Reading Entity // #22

    hipjaw
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    Hi all.

    I've just started my own blog, PBPlayR covering all things tournament paintball in the UK and as a part of this I will be breaking down individual skills and offering different drill ideas to utilize them as time goes on.

    I started with Snapshooting and while I'm aware there are plenty of guides everywhere, this is my detailed take on it.

    As I can't emphasise enough, I am not a pro player by any means, but I train very often and want to share what I have learnt through trial and error and from other sources be it more experienced players or videos online. Therefore I welcome constructive criticism and will amend my guides if people suggest better / alternative ideas.

    http://pbplayr.com/?p=33
     
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  2. hipjaw pbplayr.blogspot.co.uk // Reading Entity // #22

    hipjaw
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    To make things easier, here it is:

    ‘Snapshooting’, ‘snapping’, ‘the snapshot’ is THE key skill that is paramount to any paintballer, from the guy just starting out to the guys at the top of the pro ranks – everyone who wants to perform well needs to practice this skill more.

    What is a snapshot?

    To snapshoot, a player will lean out of cover to take a single shot before returning back to cover. To improve your snapshooting you aim to increase the accuracy of the shot whilst minimising the time and distance by which you leave your cover.



    Why is it so important?

    Good snapshooting wins gunfights and at the end of the day, paintball is a game where people fight – with guns! In a straight gunfight, the player who stays tighter to their bunker, shoots more accurately and returns in and out of cover quicker has a higher chance of shooting the other player and less chance of being hit. I use the word chance as paintball has so many variables that the weaker player always has a lucky chance of winning a gunfight – it’s just about making the odds stack in your favour).

    Often, you will find yourself in a position where your opponent is shooting a stream of paint at you / the gap between you and your next bunker (controlling/dominating). You need to get into that bunker and the chances are, you’re not going to make it running through their paint. If you can snap out without getting hit and get the paint at least close to your opponent, they are going to flinch away from your paint, giving you a small window to get dominance, by putting them in the situation you were in – suppressed and having to try and shoot through your paint.

    Snapshooting drills are the best time to analyse and improve your form, which will in turn improve your snapshooting, which will improve your form.. which will – bla bla you get it, but you can see why this drill is key throughout one’s paintball career. If you only ever worked on this one skill, your game will improve – whether you play tournaments, walk-ons, scenario, mil-sim, magfed or pump.



    Use of cover

    To learn how to effectively snapshoot, you first need to adopt good stance behind your cover. When using cover the easiest place to shoot from is that which allows you to stand comfortably with a straight, mostly verticle edge to lean in and out of. When standing at full height you are ready to move if you need to and you are in the most comfortable position you can be in a game situation. A verticle edge is best as shooting left or right is easier than fighting gravity to shoot over the top of your cover. Also when using sides you can control who is able to see you – if you’re shooting over the top of your cover you can be shot from any angle!



    Standing behind cover – toe to head

    Feet: have your feet shoulder width apart and pointing towards your opponent. Face your target with your whole body, don’t stand side on as it will put you off balance and make it harder to change hands / sides. Be careful that your feet are not sticking out so that they can be shot.

    Legs: bend your legs slightly in an athletic stance so you are ready to react and move if you need to.

    Back: when you are holding a gun, you want to keep your back straight and relaxed as opposed to tensing up and hunching over. This helps you stay balanced and keeps your movements on one axis, you only need to worry about moving left and right and your pack wont be sticking out of the bunker to those shooting cross-field at you.

    Arms: Bring the bottle of your gun to your shoulder and aim down the barrel. Keep the top of your hopper pointing straight upwards at all times throughout, to minimise your profile and keep your elbow and wrist in place. You should hold your gun with your outside hand, keeping your inside hand on the front grip. Many players get tempted to ‘claw’ and put thumbs and fingers around over the feedneck and over the top of the gun – I’ve been there myself and it may feel comfortable at first, but since I have gone back to holding a gun upright and as it is meant to be held, my technique feels better than ever and I look less awkward and wonky, especially when changing hands.

    Head: Keep your head upright like a meerkat, not hunched down like a teenager waiting for a bus. keeping your head upright will keep you more relaxed and also more aware of your surroundings – you don’t want to miss the guy running down the field in your peripheral vision! Plus you’ll be able see where incoming paint is passing you.

    To the training field!

    So you’re behind your bunker, sitting pretty. You got your legs apart, knees slightly bent, head up, gun up and a target set up somewhere in front of you. You’re ready to snapshoot. Do a quick head check, just peek your head round real quick to visualize your target. Whilst you’re returning back into cover, imagine you can still see that same target through your cover and keep your gun trained on it. Now lean out and shoot at the target before coming back in behind cover – keeping that visual, keeping your gun on it. Repeat this drill just taking one shot each time before coming back in. It is VERY important that you keep your gun up, still pointing it at the target when you come back into cover. This means you don’t have to adjust your aim, as long as your leans are consistent, your paint will be hitting the same spot.

    The lean:

    There are different schools of thought on the best ways to lean out of your bunker whilst making the shot whether you just ‘edge’ out in a straight line or you ‘roll’ out with just your upper torso. In my honest opinion, you can over-think these things to death, you just got to find the way that works for you. I probably do a combination of the two – If you only roll your torso it’s hard to keep your hopper from hanging out the bunker but if you only edge out you have to move your legs a lot!

    Composure:

    You may not hit it first time, or the second but that’s why you’re here. Just freestyle it for a few turns until you feel comfortable hitting the target. When you’re ready, start thinking about every single piece of your body, ask yourself these questions in between shots:-

    1. Are my feet staying on the floor? I personally had and sometimes still suffer from pulling my inside leg off the ground when I shoot – it looks bad and puts you off balance
    2. Am I starting to hunch over my gun? Relax… Keep that back straight and your head up
    3. Have I taken a breath since I started this drill? It’s easy to tense up and forget to breath! Remember to keep the oxygen coming in
    4. Am I coming out of my bunker too far? You only need to leave the bunker far enough for the tip of your barrel to be past it so you can make a clear shot, don’t give them any more than the edge of your goggles, gun and arm
    5. Am I coming back in far enough after my shot so that I’m behind cover and my opponent can’t see me? When training against an inanimate object, it’s easy to get sloppy and only come back halfway, an opponent can read where you are coming out or get a shot on you if they can see part of you permanently sticking out.
    6. Could I make my movements quicker? Not as important than the above but once you’re getting accurate it’s time to start working on your speed. The faster you are the higher your chances of survival.
    Most importantly, are you composed? If not take a deep breath, relax, picture someone doing yoga on an island in a tranquil pond, whatever works – stop yourself from tensing up, focus on the target, breath out, take the shot.

    You want to be relaxed and level headed on the paintball field. I don’t think anyone on the field today stays calm and collected every single point, things happen and you get surprised or intimidated by an aggressor and you start to lose your cool, but the calmer you can remain the closer you become to maximising your odds of winning.



    The aim when perfecting this technique, is to minimise the amount of movement and energy required to perform it. When you’re getting it right you will be keeping your gun up the entire time, only making a movement of a few inches and doing it so fast that you only get a flash look at your target and your paint leaving the barrel. You wont need to watch it hit your target, you’ll just know that you blew it up in the face.



    Those are the fundamentals behind snapshooting. You will never be perfect, nobody is, but work at it every training session and you’ll see your survivability and your G-counts steadily rise.



    Summary:

    • Keep calm, focused and composed
    • Visualize your target at all times
    • Keep your gun up and pointing at the target at all times
    • Be aware of where your body is – don’t come out too far or come in too little
    • Minimize your movements
    • Increase your speed once you improve your accuracy
     
    Muxas, Paddrow, H and 6 others like this.
  3. frobinson #14 Din Eidyn

    frobinson
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    This. This is so bang on. Having come straight into the modern tournament era of paintball where there exists a plethora of media and videos surrounding techniques and stuff, honestly the hardest part of beginning to learn to snapshoot (I feel like it's something you never really stop perfecting...) was trying to decide which style or technique to adopt. I think you're exactly right that each person can have a slightly different and equally as effective method and there's no hard and fast rule. I'm still working on it, but I like the whole twitching in and out, moving my legs more!

    Great post and I hope to see you doing more. Definitely things I'll bear in mind when working on my snap :)
     
  4. Russell Hill Just a little bit more crazy than yesterday.

    Russell Hill
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    I have to say well done, really well written. Think I maybe following your blog from now on!
     
  5. hipjaw pbplayr.blogspot.co.uk // Reading Entity // #22

    hipjaw
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    Thanks guys, I will be polishing off and publishing my Running & Gunning and Break-shooting breakdowns soon, followed by some drills incorporating them over the coming weeks.
     
  6. Aracanid Member

    Aracanid
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    Really well put together and definitely gets the point across. I'll be looking forward to the running and gunning one as its something I'm hoping to improve upon
     
  7. Doctor Of Chaos Banned

    Doctor Of Chaos
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    Great post, it was a really good read with useful information.
     
  8. Guerrero Well-Known Member

    Guerrero
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    Just in case someone hasn't watched this yet...

     
  9. lulemurfan Member

    lulemurfan
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    This and the video were very useful. Was explained this on Sunday as one of the first things to learn. Will be trying this in front of the mirror!
     
  10. Superfastferret Member

    Superfastferret
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    Good read! I will take some of this to my next training session
     

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