Practice before Dallas by Nick Slowiak

Back to the basics. That is what are practices are all about. Going back over all of the basic skills of paintball and combining them with the event layout. 1 vs 1, snap shooting, laning, 3 on 2, 3 on 3, hopper ball, and just about any other creative thing Trosen can come up with involving a paintball gun.

Practice came bright and early over 3 days the week before the event. We went through our normal warm-up routine and then jumped right into shooting one another. One thing most need to realize is that we do not play that many games. We did play a “match” verse each other but we focus just on drills and breaking down the field. We break the field down by each side, dorito, snake, center, and then cross.

We spent on average about 5 hours on the field over 3 days and then had Friday off. While the guys did…well whatever they did, I made the drive up to Dallas to get tournament practice paint for the weekend. After a short 3 1/2 hour drive to Paintball Doctor, I headed back down to Legends paintball to drop off our paint for the following days practice against Impact. The boys at the field were very kind to wait for me and help hand unload 2 skids of paint…no easy task.

The next morning we had our first chance to play against the newly reformed Edmonton Impact. I would say things went fairly well this day as we ran plays called by Tro and learned what could work and not work. I have always felt that, especially with the way we practice, playing another team all day long is one of the best ways to bring a team together. After the intense practices we have against each other, we tend to get on each others nerves. Now united against another team you get to flex the muscle you’ve built while grind at practice.

As the we moved on to play Sunday, the rain came. When we got to the field, it had rained so much it looked like a giant lake. Practice was canceled and we had the day off to relax. Within an 30 minutes of getting back to the house almost everyone was asleep. It was so nice to be able to sleep. Something to add….each night we would have a team meeting after dinner to go over the days events and then the next days plans. This is huge for any team, in these meetings you need to go over things you need to work on. You need to set goals for the next day, you need to point out mistakes, if you haven’t at the field already, and find solutions. You need everyone to have a voice at these meetings.

As Monday rolled around we went back to Legends to finish our practice against the guys on Impact that could stay. I believe they had six players from their ten that could remain. They then proceeded to kick the crap out of us at practice. It didn’t really matter what they did or we did for that matter, we just couldn’t get things rolling. Now I know it is said that you don’t go into to practice to win every game, you go into it to learn. I really feel that we didn’t learn a whole lot there and that we as a team needed to take a break and regroup. We needed to calm down and go over the reasons why we were not working well as a team. We did not though and just pressed on with practice.

The day ended and the only good thing that I thought that came out of that day was the choice to get in another day of practice. This happened and we another day of drills commenced with a “match” against each other. All in all we had 6 full days of practice on the field and we went through almost 290 cases of paint.

Stay tuned for PSP Dallas 2013!