Listen up, Buttercup. I've decided to break the drills into two groups; individual and/or pair and team. This week is the individual drills. It's best to work with a friend (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here) so there's somebody around to motivate you and keep you honest because we both know you're a slacker.
Here’s the deal. There is no magic formula. These drills will get you started but you only get out of ‘em what you put into ‘em. The focus this time is on bunker runs, suppression fire OTB and using edge control to initiate movement.
1) Let’s start with a simple warm-up. You’re gonna need some simple targets–a few empty plastic gallon (or however many liters you Eurokids use) jugs and assorted length 1-inch PVC pipes will work. Easy version first. Put one of your targets behind a bunker. Any bunker. Put yourself behind another bunker and on a go command make a bunker run. Don’t run wide. Run at the bunker, moron!
Did you miss? ‘Fess up. You missed. Do it again. You stumbled. Again. Don’t slow down. Again. You run like a drunken hippopotamus. That big old jug ain’t so big after all, is it? Do it from the right. Do it from the left. Do it over and over. Tuck in your elbow. Now do it some more. Keep your barrel tip up. Run at the target bunker and have your drill partner tell you which side to run past at the last moment in order to force you to switch hands sometimes. Hate it yet? You’re just getting started.
2) Time to add a bit of difficulty. Place at least three targets behind bunkers at different elevations arranged so that you can run a path between them. That’s right, make your run at multiple targets and switch hands as you go. Boy, do you look like a dork. Try it again. Think you’re getting the hang of it?
Have your workout partner set up the targets for you so that you don’t know exactly where they are behind the chosen bunkers. Seem too simple? Then you’re gonna feel pretty inept when you either miss ‘em or have to stop running in order to hit them, aren’t you? Are you deaf or just stupid? You don’t get to quit until you get it right. Better try Reball next time cause you’re gonna go broke using paint at this rate.
(And for you slow learners it’s acceptable to go slow at first if you need to in order to be accurate. You could be as fast as the Flash but if you can’t hit squat you’re still a loser. Go as fast as you can without sacrificing accuracy.)
3) Now that you’ve warmed up a bit and got the blood circulating let’s pick up the pace. Take your targets and place them behind bunkers at the opposite end of the field. At breakout distances. On the go call break out and run and gun yourself into your chosen primary. Pick different primaries that require different routes as you repeat the drill. And pick different target lanes. Keep mixing it up. Are you starting with your gun down and back? Why not? Are the refs gonna let you do it differently from everybody else? Is that it? No? Then make sure you go thru the correct motions in every detail as you repeat the drill.
I’m getting tired of repeating myself. From the left. From the right. If you aren’t hitting the targets or at least putting your paint on the right lane you are wasting my time and yours. Is the player looking to lane your ass into the deadbox gonna come off his edge if your paint isn’t on target? So do it again. I said run and gun. Not walk and shoot. Pick up the pace. Which one is your off hand? Run the drill from your off hand side 3 times for every 2 times you run it from your dominant hand side. No more excuses. Run it again.
4) I’m gonna cut you a bit of slack. You and your training partner begin in the starting boxes at opposite ends of the field. On the go call one of you will be the sweet-spotter and the other will run and gun. (If you've been paying attention you've seen a version of this before. That's because I love this drill. And you will do it until you love it too.) Take turns. The object is to suppress the sweet-spotter in order to make your primary. Run left. Run right. Again. Again. I know you’re getting fatigued. Focus. These are the situations where you begin to make real, enduring progress. If you can perform when you’re mentally and physically tired you just might make a real baller after all.
If you don’t have a whole or complete field available, improvise. Make adjustments. Do I have to tie your shoelaces and wipe your nose for you, too?
5) Okay, almost finished. For this one you and your training partner choose mirror bunkers that are insert bunkers that lead to other, wider field positions. Begin blind behind your bunker and on the go call the object is to gain edge control over your opponent and run and gun yourself into your next bunker as you rotate out to a wire. By now you should know the drill. (Yes, that’s a joke. Feel free to take a second to laugh.) Do it from the left and the right. Start in a standing position. Begin from a kneeling posture. With this one you either get the job done or you don’t. There is no "I tried." Either you succeed or you fail. Regardless you’re getting a taste of what is required when the paint is flying for real.
Now hit the showers. You stink.