- Stretching saves lives: This might be a bit of an overstatement, but stretching is still crucial to your general well-being. Properly warming your arm up prevents injury that could affect your schooling, but can also help to increase the velocity of your throw through loosening up your arm. Stretching may save your life, but it won’t save the life of the shagger you’re about to throw at.
- Warm-up is a good place for improvement: Every chance you get to throw the ball is an opportunity to get better. When warming up in the Tuckey before a game, grab a ball and pick a brick 2 up from the ground on the back wall and try to only hit that brick. This exercise helps improve aim, but also creates muscle memory for low throws. Throwing low in games is crucial to hitting shaggers.
- Start off slow: Warm-up should be exactly what it sounds like. You are warming up the muscles and tendons in and around your shoulder. If you don’t start slow, and just start throwing hard immediately during warmups, you risk injury.
- Try new things: Warm-up is a great place to experiment. Mess around with the way you grip the ball to achieve a curve, without changing your mechanics. This will be deceptive to your target, and won’t mess with your throwing motion.
- Each arm is different: Do what feels natural to you and doesn’t cause you pain. Just because someone can do that cool underhand throw doesn’t mean that your arm will be capable of doing it too. Find what works for you.
- Momentum: A lot of people only take a small step before they throw, and while this could prevent you from stepping on the line, you’re losing a lot of potential velocity on your throw. Taking an extra step gives your arm more time to complete its natural movements, but also forces you to use your leg muscles to power yourself forward. Doing this will generate more energy in your body moving forward, and more speed on your ball.
- Avoid shoulder pain with a longer stride: If you use your legs and momentum, your arm will have to do less work. Taking a longer step before you throw takes pressure off your arm and lets the rest of your body do the work. Your stride length should be the same as your body length.
- Don’t be afraid to change it up: If something you try to incorporate into your throw isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to try something new. Just keep your arm and shoulder in a safe position while throwing, but feel free to try new things.
- Teamwork is key: 2 balls are harder to dodge than 1, this applies on and off the court. When stepping up to the line with your team, make sure you communicate with a teammate and pick the same target. If your team goes up and everyone throws a ball individually, your team will struggle to kill shaggers.
- Don’t always throw at the same shagger: Sometimes a shagger just has your number and regardless of how many times you throw at them, your ball just won’t hit them. Aiming for a new target every time can be a reset, and give yourself a little more confidence to hit that next shagger because you never gave them a chance to get in your head.
- Stay away from the corner: You might recognize who their best players are, and there’s a good chance they play in the corner. On the cycle or when you’re killing shaggers, throw your ball into the middle of the court. This gives you a chance to get your ball back and have another chance to get a kill. You will never get your ball back throwing into the corner and will destroy a game-winning cycle.
- Playing safe wins games: The easiest way to lose a game is by being careless in the final 30 seconds of a game. The losing team is desperate to get kills and will take chances to get themselves a 1v1 or a win. Go on the back wall and assess the situation before you panic and go for a kill. It is much easier to die when you’re in a panic and not on the back wall
- Become useful from the sidelines: If you’re on the sideline, let your players on the court know if they are up or down by signaling how many players they are up or down with your hands. The gym gets loud in the last 30 seconds and it is easier to use signals than to scream it at them.
General Tips and Tricks:
- Watch other games: Watching other teams play is the easiest way to learn interesting strategies and tactics you may not have heard about. Ask your liaison questions about what you’ve seen and try to incorporate them into your own game.
- Always be aware at the line: A stationary target is the easiest to hit and if you don’t see a ball coming, there’s no way you can dodge it. Your opponents will always try to get a high kill with someone who isn’t paying attention, especially in Doctor. Try to communicate with your teammates while paying attention to the other team.
- Be a good sport: No one wants to see you slam your ball when you get killed. The game is supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone, and bad sportsmanship is one way to ruin the fun.
- Every player is important: You may not have the biggest cannon on your team, but that’s ok. Playing smart is key to winning and if you can stay alive until the end, you’re just as valuable as the player with the biggest arm on your team. Every player is worth 1 life.
- Ice! Icing your arm is one of the biggest factors to recovery. Similarly, if there is a strain on your arm or shoulder muscle, alternate ice, and heat in order to correct the issue.
Article By: The (usually) awesome Kelsey Liaisons – Julia, Max, Jalyse, Carly, Harrison, Wyatt, Calvin, Brennan, Caelan, and Matt.