I wanted to share some thoughts from a newb's perspective to a newb
in the hope that there's something new to be gained. There's plenty of posts on gear and everything else that pertain to airsoft so I will obviously not go into that sort of stuff.
This is especially true for those who can't play airsoft everyday due to their location(ex. living in a city). Consider the amount of downtime between games. If you're only going to play once a week, I highly suggest the running.
A lot of this will depend on how you enjoy playing the game, but if you're like me and enjoy getting dirty, or diving for cover you're going to wake up sore the next day - trust me, I'm really sore right now. :\
Running distances in Airsoft can vary depending where you're playing, and with all the gear you're wearing (don't forget your rifle) you're going to expend a lot of energy quickly. Add Adrenaline + Occasional Sprints to and from cover, and a person can start to gas out quickly.
Cry in the Dojo; Laugh on the battlefield
. The theory is, if you train hard the physical and mental demand of real combat will be easy. Airsoft isn't real combat but it is combat in a controlled setting* so it's definitely going to simulate the experience to some degree.
If you can, get out and run at least 4 times a week. 3 can cut it, but to notice good cardiovascular change 4 tends to be minimum.
If you've never run before start slow. 5 min run - 2min walk - 5min run - 2min walk - 5min run - 2min walk. I suggest doing that for one or two weeks depending on your starting physical condition then build up to less walking and more running. You don't want to stress your heart too much, especially if you're above 30 years of age. After that I suggest running for at least 30mins even though 45 is recommended. You will see a good improvement with 30mins so long as you run often.
(If running is too hard on your shins, or knees the Elliptical is probably the best way to get into cardiovascular shape. Very easy on the body and also works various parts of your upper body simultaneously.)
I'm stressing physical conditioning because this will add to the enjoyment of the game
. In order for tactics to be used to their maximum potential you have to have energy to execute them. If you're gassing out, you're going to move slower. If you move slower you're increasing your chances of getting hit. If you're getting
hit and not hitting
it's not as fun.
Often in Airsoft shots will start ringing around your position before they begin to you hit so you have to be ready to move in an instant.
Be Aware of What's Around You.
Every time you move you need to know what's around you. It doesn't matter if you plan on flanking left, going straight or camping, you have no idea where the fighting will force you to move so there's always the chance you will have to change position at any given second.
Last night I got shot in the back of the head. Laugh it up....Moving on:
I got shot in the back of the head at probably 10-15 ft range by a friendly. All I had on was a Boonie Hat and let me tell you it hurt. Actually the right side of my head is near numb from a nerve I pinched in my spine and it still fucking hurt a lot. But it was ENTIRELY
I had to two friendlies with me. One to the right and one to the left. I saw the right side guy run up at a 45 degree angle and figured I'd go straight. The left guy moved up too but I didn't pay attention to where he was going and that was to my detriment.
It was obvious he was going into the building on my left to shoot out one of the bottom windows, but since I didn't notice, I ended up crossing his path without thinking and taking one to the back of the head. All I had to do was duck and I would have been safe.
The shot hit me pretty hard and fast and I quickly understood why people wear face masks. Do not kid yourself - this sport is dangerous. Being aware of what's around is really about safety, not just tactical movement.
HOLD YOUR FIRE!
I reached a corner and quickly peaked around to see what was coming. I saw someone rush, so I figured I'd duck back in hopes they would rush me
thinking I ran the other direction. I peaked around the corner again when I thought it was time and yelled, "FREEZE!" He stopped 4 feet from me and out of impulse, fired a single shot right between my eyes. I have to hand it to him, it was a beautiful shot, but that could have turned out exceptionally bad had I not been wearing protection.
Where he hit me isn't really the point. You can get shot anywhere and it can do damage at 4 feet range. Image your nuts getting hit at 350FPS from 4 ft? The only thing you'd banging after that is the wall for a couple weeks out of frustration.
Safety has been mentioned in many posts, but we all know not everyone searches the forums, and perhaps there are some parents reading about the sport before buying their child a gun. Besides, it's a point worth mentioning twice.
There's nothing "badass" about getting hurt. It ends up being long waits in waiting rooms, painful for loved ones to watch and experience, or worse, permanent damage to yourself. You're not invincible and yes, it can happen to you.
Learn how to fix and clean your rifle.
Had a good lesson learned last night. Gun broke down and forced me to learn quickly what to do.
BRING YOUR CLEANING ROD
. I'm lucky someone had one that fit my rifle, even though solving the problem ended up requiring me to open up the gun.
I'm not saying you need to know how to fix a gearbox, but you should at least know how to dissemble the gun in order to properly clean it. I was thinking cleaning would simply involve a cleaning rod, and a few baby wipes, but little did I know, crawling on your belly is a quick way to get dirt and sand in every little opening on the gun.
You should come with all the tools required for this. It doesn't matter how "good" your gun is, shit happens, so come prepared
The rest is a steep learning curve.
Be open to failure. Understand where you're going wrong (ex. is your shadow betraying you every time you go right because of the light?). Don't blame the enemy, blame yourself and ask, "what do I need to do differently?"
Make sure your sights are set. Mine were off last night and it was frustrating at times.
Last: winning is not the only thing...IT'S EVERYTHING! Just kidding, lol...have fun! This is a great game, and a great way to relieve some stress!
*Combat in a Controlled Setting basically means it's real but you won't die. Much like horror movies the reason people enjoy them is because they can feel the real fear and anxiety but once the movie is over they can go about their normal lives. Sparring in martial arts is also the same thing.
It's part of what is called "Recapitulation Theory" in Leisure Sciences. It says humans have a deep seeded need to re-live our ancestral roots of combat by performing activities that resemble it. Hunting, Play Fighting, Sparring, etc... all fall into this category