Speedball Tips – The Front Player’s Objective

Speedball Tips – The Front Player’s Objective

Article by Paulie Branton

Front, the position that gets all the glory, the position that everyone watches. This is where the action is, this is where the adrenaline is pumping into your ears making your head want to explode.

I talk to a lot of people who proclaim themselves the almighty front player. If you take a poll I’d bet 85% of the people would say they play front. But what really is front? Well front is actually seperated into 3 different playing positions:

Deep Front- Some teams have them, some don’t. These guys are the ones who hit either the 50 (center of the field) or the 60 (past the center) off the break and do little more then scare the $ **t out of you. The idea is that while your focusing on him as the immediate threat, his back players are going jolly all over your face.

Snake- This guy is the one who is the silent killer. It is prolly the toughest position to play on a field but is the most rewarding. Stay tuned for an article on playing the snake in the coming weeks.

General Front- This guy is your teams killer. He is the one who should be getting the credit with 75% of your teams kills. His job is to hit the 40 or 50 off the break and take his time making sure he takes out those back players.

Now let’s look at your role fro the start:Before the day starts: walk the field, you are looking for what bunkers you can see from where. Maybe you’ll find a lovely blind shot, or a spot that you can wrap and pin a back can. You also want to look at the field from your eye level…the ground. Too many fronts walk the field standing up, well that works if you play standing up, but most of us don’t. What your also looking for is walls. Sometimes two bunkers are not even near each other, but at a certain angle it creates a vertual wall that you could dance to your bunker behind.

Off the break: You need to be moving fast. I usually like to stay very low so that there is no chance my back players could hit me by accident. Also, DO NOT SHOOT, I shake my head everytime I see a front player pick up his gun to shoot while running for his bunker…it takes too long and your just wasting paint. I would also recomend running with your gun in the hand that is facing the starting box…why? Because your gun is a 100% assured break, your arm is not. So put your gun behind your body to protect it from a possible break.

When you reach your bunker: SLIDE…some people are scared at this thought, so practice often. Heck sometimes I’ll just go find a grassy hill and practice my slides…after a while it’s freaken entertaining You also have to watch what has been nick-named “Pretty time”. This is the amount of time you take once you get into your bunker getting yourself ready to shoot. I try to slide in to my bunker in the position i’ll be shooting from so that I can have my gun firing seconds after I get in. Some of the better front players will actually start shooting while they are sliding in. The longer time you spedn getting Pretty, the more distance their fronts can cover and the less help you are to your team.

Snap shoot the backs: Remember, once their backs die their fronts will have no communication or fire support. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to take out those back players. Let your back players worry about their fronts making a mistake and running into a blizzard of paint.

Listen: Your ears are your most powerful weapon. You have to be in communication with your back players at ALL times. I have been known to discuss other games scores with my back players just to keep the communication flowing. You also need to listen to your bunker..where are those balls coming from? Are they coming in at an angle? Are they fast or slow to say if it’s a back or front shooting at you? Is that someone’s feet I hear coming at me on the left side? These are all things you have to listen to to know what is going on.

Obey: Your back player is your master, you will serve him or you will die. I am great friends with my back player both on and off the field because I know the more we know each other, the more we trust each other. There have been far too many games for me to count that I hear Larry tell me “Rob, move your head to the left 1 inch” I do it and the next thing I know there is a stream of 18 bps buzzing over my head just inches over my face plate as larry keys an opponents front. When your back player says look left, you don’t finish your last shot…you freaken look left. I do not know how many teams do not trust their back players and it hurts them in the long run. I can not stress enough. You are nothing more then a “Remote Control Death Machine”

Blind shooting is worthless: Sticking your gun around the corner and firing only works in the movies. If you can stick your gun out and fire, chances are you can stick your head out too. You’ll save paint, and maybe actually hit something other then the ref.

Be flexible: Sometimes the inevitable happens and people start to light your bunker up. WHen this happens you have to squeeze as much as possible to take up as little room as possible, check out some pictures or videos and watch how other players tuck in…sometimes I thing a yoga teacher would be proud…

Other then that, practice, practice, practice. The more you do something the faster you can do it. And playing Front is all about speed

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