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Topics I've Started
10 January 2009 - 01:19 AMSomeone else asked me to provide the details for how I train people to be a Paintball Sniper. And although it is really long and complicated, I thought others might be interested in knowing at least the basics about it so here goes... Enjoy.
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A lot of it is general information and getting them into the mind set. If they canít get the right mind set then they are doomed to fail as a paintball sniper. I've actually been working on some videos for the last couple of years to help teach these traits. Here are the basics I go over with them, and then I'll dive into some of the tests.
1.. Make sure players know the difference between a real sniper and a paintball sniper. Just because we don't do everything alike does not mean paintball snipers don't exist as some often argue. But if that were true then there is no such thing as paintball assault, paintball heavy support, paintball demolitions, paintball medics, paintball artillery, paintball armor (tanks). Knowing that is the first half of it, but they also need to know that just because they put on a Ghillie suit and call themselves a sniper, does not make them one either. Sometimes a paintball sniper will spend hours on end searching for that one designated high value target to get with just one shot, knowing fully well that if anybody else sees you, the gig is up and you will fail. Other times, it means sneaking into the opposition base and stealing plans, or other item, and leaving again undetected. This can sometimes be accomplished by spies, but sometimes the Sniper has to fill that roll. Other times the paintball sniper is performing the role of a Scout. That means getting in behind opposition lines, and communicating back to base the opposition force movements, tank activity, overheard plans, or calling in artillery strikes on their location. And then there are the other times when your job is simply to bug the other team by getting behind their lines, then hitting one or two from behind (remaining undetected) This causes them to second guess everything and sometimes divides their numbers.
2.. Paintball snipers are much closer to the opposition than real world snipers. Because of that, we have to be masters of our immediate environment (everything within 100 feet of the paintball sniper), and our own psyche. Like the Ninja, Illusion is the Paintball snipers best friend. And to be effective, one must know how to utilize it. One must know the human factor. How does the human mind/eye work together and how can they be fooled? This part takes a lot of experience and is something that usually has to be shown in person, but will include these details in my videos. Paintballs hitting you at 200 mph hurt. If you are spotted trying to sneak through opposition lines, you are going to get hit with a hundred or so of them, so you better be good at it. Know the art of camouflage and how to use it with their own style is important. Equally important is knowing how to escape when detected, and knowing how to set up decoys or fool the opposition into shooting at each other.
3.. Patience. You can never be an effective paintball sniper without lots and lots of patience. If someone cannot master that, then itís not the role for them.
4.. Discipline. The self control to not move when your instincts tell you too and to not shoot when you are sure someone is pointing right at you and getting ready to shoot.
Before I train them to be a paintball sniper beyond what I said above, I train them to be a good "Spotter". Spotters go hand and hand with Snipers, and they are just as important in Paintball sniping. I'm not going to go into those details though. Let's stick to the Sniper portion of it. Letís talk about some of the testing I do. I usually do 1 on 1 testing for a while, then when I think the individual is ready, I give them the final tests. It's the FINAL tests I'm going to talk a little about.
1.. I have them make their own ghillie suit based on their own style of paintball sniping. The reason I have them make one instead of buy one, is it will first demonstrate what they have learned about how the human mind/eye work to spot oddities. Second, it requires them to have patience as a good ghillie suit made from scratch will take them between 60 and 100 hours of labor. Third, it gives them a sense of pride that they have accomplished so much. Finally, they will learn more from the mistakes they make and will improve on the next one.
2.. We will go to some private woods, and I will have them go and hide from me. Five minutes later I will go in and see if I can spot them, just walking through the woods. If I (having a trained eye) cannot spot them at least three times in a row, then they have learned to blend in with the environment. Next, and even more important, I carefully cheat. I watch where they are hiding, then when I go in looking for them, I will stand in close proximity to them (behind them) and say "I see you, stand up". If they ignore me every time and remain perfectly still (as they should), then they have learned how the human mind works. Often people will look right at you and say that, but when you do not move, they will accept that they are only talking to a bush, then will move on.
Now for the final tests you need a large paintball playing field. I would say no less than 30 sq. acres (which is multiple football fields in size). You also need a big game with at least 100 players, although I would recommend 1000 players to make it really challenging. The other players should not know anything about the sniper training. To them it should simply be a big game of paintball.
3.. Fully loaded with lots of paint, send the sniper trainee in to walk the full parameter of the paintball field without shooting (they are bound to run into the other team). It does not matter if they are seen or not. It is to test their ability to fight against their instincts by not shooting even though they have a full hopper. Follow them discretely to make sure.
4.. Again with a full hopper and all the paintballs they want, have them perform the "Pass maneuver". This is where you position yourself someplace where the other team (100 or more players) will have to pass right by (all around) or even right over the trainee. This is the part that takes the most discipline. Other players will say things and do things and look in ways that will make the trainee feel for sure he has been seen. If he/she follows the training, he will remain still and silent unless actually shot. If he panics and opens fire, he will be hit by hundreds of paintballs from all directions. With a full hopper it continues to challenge his wits. Itís actually hard for paintball players to NOT start shooting. This is probably the hardest test.
5.. Up to this point we have tested the trainee's ability to not use the paintball gun, against his/her instincts. But in the event of a firefight, they always had the option to use it, and that gives them a comfort zone. Time to remove that. Remove the traineeís hopper and all paint. Give him/her 5 paintballs to put directly in the neck where the hopper connects to the paintball gun. At this point, the trainee is again sent to walk the entire parameter of the paintball field. They are bound to run into the other team. The trainee must encounter the other team and must traverse the entire parameter within 3 hours (assuming a 30 acre field). The trainee must do this undetected by anybody including field refs/judges. You as the instructor will follow at a careful distance so you are not detected by the trainee or others. You have to be able to verify he did it but not give up the game. By having a few paintballs, they know they cannot get into a firefight, but the mind somehow still knows it has working ammunition and so the trainee is still fighting that instinct.
6.. Next you are going to see if they know how to set up decoys. Decoys will fool people into thinking someone is there, when there is not, or at least not at that location. Decoys come in all shapes and sizes and include mines. Steering the other team into a path (without them knowing you are steering them) where there are mines waiting for them.
7.. Finally, the final test. Again with only five paintballs, you are going to send them in to take out a specific person on the other team and to get back out, undetected. The target, is YOU. You will join the other team and keep your self in a location and situation to make it difficult for the Paintball Sniper Trainee to get to you and be able to take you out. Remember, you may actually sport the Sniper because you are an expert at it, but this is a test to see if the trainee has the ability to fool the rest of the team and to use the skills to accomplish the mission, You should play dumb to any knowledge you have about the snipers location. If the trainee accomplishes this task, then I call the trainee...
I hope this helps.
23 April 2008 - 08:48 PMIf any of you are in the area, you will find me at Splatter park (www.splatterpark.com) on May 4th for their spring big game. usually has around a thousand people. Mt. Gilead Ohio. (Central Ohio) Check out the web site for further details.
Hope to see you there.
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