Many new, and even experienced, paintball players are susceptible to getting tunnel vision more often than not. Tunnel vision is the loss, or lack, of peripheral vision around you. Here is a scenario for you to consider:
You are on the field scoping out the surrounding playing area, when all of a sudden you become a part of a shoot out with a guy across the field hiding in a bunker. Your main focus is on the opposing player – you are gunning for him, paying complete and total attention on this one incidence. You are getting SO close! You can just see the paintballs flying at the guy, smashing into his vest. But meanwhile, to the side of you, all the action is going on…but you just aren’t paying it any attention. TUNNEL VISION!
Tunnel vision is a typical “disorder” with paintball players, particularly those that are new to the game. The only way to break free from this is to be completely and 100% aware of what is going on around you. If you ever find yourself becoming so focused on one player and are kind of “lost in the moment”, stop yourself and take a look around. There are other players, other dangers and others to shoot at other than the guy in the bunker.
If you are unable to stop shooting at the guy across the field, then be sure to yell over to your other teammates and ask them what is going on over on their side of the playing field. This will help to keep you aware and alert while you play.
To help you practice to avoid tunnel vision, consider doing the following prior to a game:
Set up a few bottles (3 or 4) to hang from various trees around your practice area. Space them out so that they are at either side of the field and require you to turn your head to look or shoot at them. Begin by turning your back to the bottles and then turn around and take 3 shots at each target (the bottles). The concept is to train your brain to think in multiple and varying angles. It does not matter if you hit or miss the bottles, just be sure to pay attention to all of the targets.
Do not look at one target constantly; make your moves quick and efficient. Once you have fired at one target three times, move to the next. Do not stop at any time just continue shooting.
Another variation to this practice is to turn around and “take a knee” while you shoot, or go all the way down to the ground. This will help you to practice from different styles of shooting and positions. This is not an easy drill, but it helps you to stay focused and to learn how to look at different angles.
Keep up the good work and learn this big skill of the paintball game. Being aware of the activity around you will help to avoid tunnel vision, and the danger of being shot at by other opposing players.
How do you avoid tunnel vision? Do you have any specific drills you and your team does before hitting the field? Leave your comments for us and show us insight into your drill practices.