How to be a Front Player
So you want to be a front player?
You want to be the guy out in the front shooting your opponents out of those bunkers? You want to be the star player on your team making all of the aggressive moves? You want too but do not know how? Sit back and read up on the basics of being a front player.
1. Off The Break
Run as fast as you can and gain as much ground as possible. You should try to get to a bunker far up the field or to a bunker that will allow you to move easily further down the field quickly. You can head to a side towards the tape or down the middle of the field. The tape lines give you more of an advantage as you do not have opposing players shooting at you from both sides. You can choose to run with your gun up and rolling (firing) or rely on your back players to shoot a lane for you. Discuss this with your team before the game starts.
Slide into your bunkers. Just running to your bunkers and slowing down will expose your body for a longer period of time. Knee slide, baseball slide or Superman dive into your bunkers to reduce the amount of time you are out in the open.
3. Eliminate your opponents
Shoot your angles. It is much easier to shoot a player at an angle and across the field than having a gun fight with someone directly in front of you. Your back players will call out the field positions of your opponents thus allowing you to concentrate on shooting them out when possible. When you have a few eliminations you may wish to complete a run through to send the last 1 or 2 players from the other team to the dead box. Only do this if needed as it can make or break a game. Play smart and be patient. Pick your shots and do not play over aggressive.
The most important thing in paintball is communicating with your team. Always call out eliminations and the bunker locations of the opposing team. Never stop communicating, ever! Teams that win on a regular basis have this down to a science, and most have codes for bunkers instead of the standard names.
Being a front player you want to have the lightest set up possible. You want a light, fast hopper, light marker with a smaller tank and only carry three to five pods. Much different than what your back players will have. You may want to use pads to cushion your sliding. I recommend some elbow/arm pads as well as knee pads. Do not put your pods back into your pack during the game. Wait until the game is over and then go and pick them up.
6. Walk the field before the game
Show up to the field early so you and your team can see what layout is being used. Talk to your team to discuss what bunkers you will go too, what lanes to shoot and plan your game out from start to finish. You will find blind spots that allow you to bump from one bunker to another with little to no chance of being eliminated. Have more than one game plan and secondary plans in effect in case you or your team mates are eliminated. Planning is key to being successful.
Being a front player is very difficult and demanding. You need to be quick and have stamina. Keep in shape and practice as much as possible. Work on playing both sides of your bunker if you are not used to that already. You want to be in the best possible shape to be a front player.
Stay tight in those bunkers and remember paintball is a game and should be fun.