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What's up, everybody? John Jackson here, Pro Edge paintball. We did a few pro tip videos. That was, last year, around World Cup when we were around to DJ and my brother Matt, and both did the little pro tip video. I've been meaning to do mine. I've got a few questions that people have asked me, and I just want to cover those. I appreciate you guys watching and checking in. A lot of people seem to like the pro tips, so hopefully we can bring you guys some more guys and girls, bring you some more pro tips, maybe some more drills. That's the focus for this year. Add another series to our YouTube channel, try to offer a little bit more than just basic product reviews and stuff like that. So, let me go ahead and get started.
First question, do I feel younger players should focus on doing drills or scrimmaging more and why? By the way, don't read phones and text and drive at the same time. It's dangerous. I just don't have a sidekick right now on my way to the field. So, I've got to do what I got to do. All right. So, the question was, do you feel young players, younger players should focus on doing drills or scrimmaging more and why?
So, when I growing up, I was all about the fundamentals. I feel like in the lower divisions, it has a lot to do with just individual gun skills. There's not as much, I guess the way I'm saying there's not as much game strategy. You don't have a ton of plays. You don't have a ton of calls. Most teams are super pumped. If everybody in the team remembers the kill count and all the bunker names, that's a really good starting point for newer teams that are just getting into it. So, with that said, I feel that younger players on their own time, not on a team scrim or a team day, if you're going to go out and play paintball at least for an hour every single time you go shoot your gun, you should be focusing on nothing but accuracy drills. You could be the fastest player out there. You could be the smartest player out there. But, if you can't hit what you're shooting at, I know that sounds super obvious, but if you can't hit what you're shooting at with the first three paint balls that are coming out of your gun, you're missing shots you shouldn't miss, you're losing games you shouldn't lose.
It's just not... You really got to take care of the fundamentals. In your basic three-on-three format, I don't feel like it's the break of the game is you're going snake-off break, running and shooting, shoot the guys out on the way in, dive in and snapshot everybody out of the game. I don't really think that's how it's going to happen. A lot of people are going to take three conservative spots and you are going to physically gunfight out of those spots until you move to your next spots and then you're going to gunfight. One of my personal rules on any team that I try to help out, I try to make sure that everybody's focusing on what you're going to actually do in a game over and over again. Some people love to do snapshooting drills. I think because it's the easiest, you're not running around, but also because you can stand still, you can shoot a target, you can have quick success with it, and that's great. But in a game, if you notice the smarter professional players, they gunfight less than most players because that's a high risk. You're coming out into a into a paintball.
You're physically fighting back and forth constantly, and you've got a high risk of dying. So, I don't think snapshot shooting should be the focus of most players. I think it should be actual in-game situations, maybe snapshot shooting at a pole, sliding into your spot, getting your gun up quick and shooting again to try to get that first ball accuracy. I think, that is the biggest difference between pro and divisional is you see some of these pro guys, they hit the shot every single time. Archie Montemayor, one of the most accurate players out there, Justin Rovikov, my brother Matt Jackson. If you've talked to anybody who's ever watched those guys play, their first ball accuracy is incredible. You look at them, you know you're probably getting shot if you're not tight, you're not playing quick and tight. So, as far back to the question, I think they should do more drills and I think that they should scrimmage only on layouts. And when they do layouts, I think they should be focusing on teamwork. Again, the fundamentals, teamwork and learning the field. I don't think you should spend team days doing drills. That's like spending team days to go work out at the gym.
That's, in my opinion, a personal thing that you should do and not take away from the team. Team time should be spent doing team activities, in my opinion. But, to give you to expand on that, a couple of drills that I think you should really be focused on. I do think snapshot is important. I just don't think you should spend the majority of your time on it. There is a walking and shooting video that I do, and it sounds super lame, but basically to give you an idea, it's all about working on your first ball accuracy. So, if you guys go to our YouTube channel, we have a playlist on there. It's called Pro Tips. It's got other videos like this one, and it actually has a couple of pro tip videos that I've done. And what it is, is you take two steps with your eyes looking either down to the ground or straight ahead, and you pick up your gun. And as you pick up your gun, you find the target with your eyes. So, instead of looking at the target, picking up your gun, aiming it, the idea is you're trying to simulate, you're trying to replicate the idea that you're running to your spot or you're getting to your spot, you see a target that you have to quickly shoot and you pick it up and hit it with that first ball. Anybody can hit a target.
I say most anybody can hit a target with 10 paintballs. If you're still not at the point where you can hit a target quickly with 10 paintballs, then make your goal where you can hit a target quickly with 10 paintballs, and then work your down to the first five paintballs, and then work your down your way down to the first two paintballs. But this drill, I love it because it doesn't cost a lot of paint. You can physically do it between games without wearing yourself out and without costing yourself a lot of money. You take a couple of steps, you pick up your gun, you shoot a target.
When you're looking at that target, a lot of people like to shoot the netting poles. Netting pulls are terrible for accuracy drills because it's vertically. A paintball drops, obviously drops straight. So, if you're aiming at the pole up here and you're aiming up here, but it hits down here, you're really only aiming left to right. You're only working on your accuracy left to right. Your vertical aim is not very good. So, what I like to do is I'll pick a target on that pole, a black notch on the pole, a paint spot.
That's one really good thing. If you've already shot the pole a couple of times or whatnot, you can try to shoot that exact paint spot before. You have to be very specific on the horizontal axis and the vertical axis when you're talking about drills and accuracy, and stuff like that. Because everybody knows depth perception and the elevation of your shot when you see a barrel sticking out of a bunker or a goggles tip or an elbow from far away, you have to get that ball the correct X-axis, the correct height and the vertical axis as far as obviously as the height, sorry, and where you're at on the target. So, be very careful. But anyways, the walking shooting drill is a great one for me. Do your fundamentals left hand, your right-hand, as far as snap shooting goes. If you're terrible at snap shooting left handed, my personal rule, as miserable as it sounds and as it actually is, snap shoot twice as much with your offhand as you do with your on-hand. You want to be as confident because that has a lot to do with it as well. If you're not confident left handed, then you're not going to be as good left handed
You could be way better left handed. I feel that some of the most blood shots that I've ever made and some of our most important matches that I've played in my life, I've hit with my left hand. But if you said, Hey, which would I prefer to gunfight with? It'd probably be my right-hand because I'm just right-hand dominant. So, go on that one. And then running a shooting is one of those things I don't think a lot of people should spend a ton of time on. It's an advanced skill. But, I would say third drill, if you had to pick one, maybe, let's say, shooting off break. We've had experience over the years, I've had experience over the years where your front player wants to shoot off break, because they don't practice it and they don't do it a lot at practice, the team isn't confident in them doing that. So, even if you're a front player, a lot of front players don't spend any time shooting off break. I would say practice shooting off break because the more round of a player you are, I don't mean physically, I mean the more well rounded you are as a player, if you can shoot off break and then run to the snake corner and then get in the snake, you're going to get more playing time.
You're going to be more of an asset than the player that can only run fast with his head down. So, again, shooting off break, you do every single game. And shooting off break, I really think, is probably the most important skill that you can have success at. Because if you shoot a guy at break or a girl at break and shoot a player at break, you're talking about playing like a three on two or a five on four instead of... I mean, it just increases your odds of winning that game significantly. So, shooting at break, I would say focus on that one. And again, be very specific about it. When I shoot off break drill, there's a local field TXR paintball that I play at, they have spools. It's easy to hit a giant four-foot spool, but every spool has a hole in it. Try to shoot for the hole in the center of the spool. That helps you at long-distance getting your elevation on your X-axis, vertical axis accurate, get your eyes trained for that depth, for that distance, and I think you should be very specific on it. Sorry, I went off on a ran on that one. That's a super important one for me.
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All right, next question. What advice would you give to players? This one says, Who are injured or aren't playing well at an event but still want to be a part of the team? I've had an experience... Basically, to clarify the question, let's say you're not playing very well or you're a newer player on the team, but you still going to the event, you're not really expecting a lot of play time. This question is saying, What should your role be? It's really tough because it's a very emotional answer or it's a very emotional decision once you get to the field. You may think you're okay with supporting a team and watching everybody else have fun and compete, and play paintball because you want your shot to be good and be helpful and contribute. But, when you get there, it's really bad. It's really not any fun if you are maybe somebody's playing bad even and you think you play better. You're just fired up inside. You hate that feeling of maybe not valued or people don't think you're that good.
To answer that question, I would say the only answer to what you should do is bury that deep inside when you're out the field. You show up to the tournament. Once you step out of that car, you are a team. Your team is going to win, no individual wins a five-on-five tournament, or a three-on-three tournament, or an X-ball tournament. Not an individual. A team wins that. If you really truly support your team and you want to be a team player and you want to show the captain or coach or team owner or team dad, whatever it is, or team mom, whatever it is, if you really want to show them that you're a team player and you want to show your other players that are on your team that you deserve a shot, do your part. Fill pods. Be motivated. Give them high fives when they do a good job. Slap them on the back when they do a bad job and tell them, Hey, get them next time. Be positive. Be motivated. Because that energy that you carry in the pit, when they walk back in and you're pouting in the corner, does nobody any good. It just doesn't help the situation. The coach probably wants you out of it because if, let's say your team is hyped up and you just had a good point, but you're bringing everybody down, it's not good energy.
So, fill pods, wipe off people, have a gun ready to go help somebody get air. But don't just pick and choose. Do that the whole time. So, basically, you're being a true team player. Be ready to go at any single time. Make sure you're doing your part. Don't moat, don't whine about it. However, if you're on a team that takes advantage of you and is never letting you get a chance and never letting you get play time, maybe it's time to go find another team. I'm not saying that should happen in a month of you practicing with a new team or joining a new team, or if you are new to Tournament Paintball. I don't think that should happen very quickly. It has a lot to do with the confidence in the team as a player. You have to understand too, the core of the players that maybe have already been on the team, they have to trust you. You're not going to go jump out of an airplane and expect somebody that just has never packed your parachute before to pack your parachute. It's important. They got to be able to depend on you. You have to build that trust over time with going and going, going, and whatnot.
Again, if a team is taking advantage of you and you're never going to play and it doesn't look like that, then maybe that team isn't right for you. But, as far as a team that you're confident with and that you enjoy being around and you get play time and practice and maybe a handful at the tournament, just do your part. Don't moat, though. Don't whine. Don't complain in the middle of the tournament. It's not about you. When that tournament starts, it is not about you as an individual. It's not about any of us as individuals. It is about the team winning, the team energy, and the team focus. So, don't be a baby. I mean, as uncomfortable as that might be or as unenjoyable as that will be everybody experiences at some point in your life. I played my very first team at very first event with AC. Dallas. I played one point. I think it was the last or second to last point I played, and I had never experienced that before. And it was terrible, absolutely terrible.
Eight inches of water and mud on the pants that I was wearing because the pits were muddy and nasty. And I just got to watch everybody around me play. And I had to talk with the coach afterwards and told him straight up, like, hey, if you don't think I'm good enough, then don't put me on the team. I'll be here and support them, but I'm not going to stand around and play just because of whatever the reason behind it was. I didn't understand it, but I believe it was the coach didn't have confidence in me because we had just met. I just joined the team as my first event with the team. And so, there was no confidence there until I built that confidence. I didn't get playing time. And so I understood that we had an open communication, but I didn't pout, I didn't throw a fit, I didn't storm off, and I didn't quit the team. I made sure I went and communicated maturely. I didn't scream anything like that maturely with the owner and got it out of the way. All right, so hopefully that answered that question.
All right. And then what is the most important mental or physical skill? I would say a back center player should constantly improve on.
This is kind of cool because I had a question the other day on my Instagram that a player said, do I do any preparation before I practice on a layout? So, this has to do with a back player and just me as a general. I'm very technical player. I love knowing the field and how the field works and operates. But one thing I think a lot of players don't do is I treat a layout and a tournament.
The tournament is a test. The practices are your reviews, your practice exams, your quizzes, whatever you want to call it, that's what your practices are. And I don't think players do that. I think all players are worried about winning too much at practice. Of course, the end game, the big goal, is to win every game at practice.
But, if you win every single game, you're not learning. And again, you're going to use these practices should be to learn. So, one important skill I think every back player should do, because you have to understand the field. I think you have to understand the field better than anybody. Because a back player in the middle of the game can rotate left down the dorito on side, it can rotate right down the snake side.
It can go up the center of the field. Whereas snake player may never even see a dorito bunker except for the people he's shooting at. He or she's shooting at. So, I would say, as a back player, first cool little tip that you can do on your own. And I think it should be very important that you put into your routine is you need to study a layout.
So, well that before you play on it one time, before you even see the layout in person, you can turn a blank piece of paper over or the backside of your printed layout, and you can draw the entire layout without looking at it by memory. The reason why I think it's such so important is you are able to now in your head while playing, you're not trying to figure out the field, you know the field, you know at least where the bunkers are, so then your brain can put together the pieces. If you don't know that there's a gap between the snake one and snake two and you go sliding in and you die in the middle of middle of your practice, you're going to learn, obviously, but imagine skipping that learning curve because you had the field memorized already. And so, I think it helps your learning curve of knowing the layout ten times faster. I even come up with spots that I think I can eliminate off break
I'm like, okay, well that looks like a pretty good spot, or that spot looks terrible. There's too big spot and too much stuff in the way. Don't think I can shoot that shot off break. So, I kind of get these generalizations before I play on an event or before I play on a layout. But, of course you can't just be black and white and be like oh, that won't work on the piece of paper because obviously a piece of paper are 100%.
But, you want to study and get the fundamentals down the position of the bunkers. And so as a back player you can do all that as a physical skill. One thing I think you should work on, of course, is your off brake shots. You have to be able to shoot off break right handed, your strong hand most for most people and left handed, if you're left handed, you have to be able to play strong with your right handed. You can't just only always shoot right handed.
All we played a team way back in the day that only shot right handed off break, no matter what side of the field they switch. It was kind of a cool idea. No matter what, they always shot right handed, which was great for them if nobody ever picked up on it. But we did pick up on it and we would run literally to like the 50 dorito on the opposite side of the field. We did that three or four points in a row, ₩1 our match, because we scouted them and said, you got to be kidding me.
Everybody only shoots right handed. I mean, it's unique and nobody would scout them. They could have done it. So be great at right handed and left handed shooting on break. And then of course, Gun fighting I think is super important. You have to be anchor, you have to be dependable, and you have to be that last person alive on the field. If you're dying out of the back center spot, you're losing most of your communication for your team. You're the central piece that puts both sides together, so you have to stay alive. And then you got to get that kill off break. If you're playing in an event and you didn't kill a single person off break as a back player, you didn't do your job.
I don't think you've done your job. I'm not saying you should kill every single person, every single point, but the one thing you can guarantee, every point that somebody's running somewhere and you get a shoot at them. If your team is playing well in the middle of a point, it's really hard for a back player unless you're going to run through the center to really get easy kills. Because if your front players and your twos on each side of you are very strong, they do a really good job of controlling the players in front of you. And then it's just kind of your job to kind of work the center, get communication across, and close out the game strong and stay alive.
So, shoot off break for the drill. Shoot off break. Hammer it out left handed, right handed. Be very specific as you get better at shooting off break. I think a lot of people think it's very easy.
You can start moving your shots back. So, let's say there's a snake corner that people are going to and they're dying a lot. That's only going to happen early in prelims with the teams that aren't as experienced as you play against better teams and you get to the finals, you've ever played in the finals, you know, those teams start tightening up. They're like, okay, well, that spot, everybody dies going to. We're going to go one shorter than that. We're not going to take that risk. We want to keep five buys, five bodies alive or three bodies alive, but we're not going to take the risk. Imagine being able to shoot the person 10ft off the box. Go, go. They die going into the stand up can on the snake side, even though they thought they weren't taking any risk because they weren't going wide, but you still shot them because you were that good at shooting off break.
Probably, one of the most enjoyable things to do as a back player is to shoot a shot that that player doesn't think he can be shot at. And then he walks up to you, he or she walks up to you and they go, I just died. And I have no idea how you just laugh. You're like, because my quick shot off break is so quick and so accurate because I practiced so much and put so much time in it. I shot a player that thought he had it he or she made it, had it made gravy to go into that spot. So, work on your quick shot. But that is definitely second than just working on your accuracy off break with left handed and right handed.
So, I hope that helps answer a lot of questions. I know it's a little bit longer video, but as always, if you guys have any questions, anybody has any questions, you can message me on our Pro Edge Paintball Instagram at Pro Edge Paintball or you can find me on Instagram at JohnJackson_22 and I will be more than happy to answer any of your questions. If I don't reply back immediately, feel free to message me again.
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