11 April 2009 : This morning we had another practice. The practice is a much more awaited and motivated especially for me since now I already have my own goggle and paintball pants. Our team decided to gear up and started off with the goggle a few weeks ago. It was supposed to be last week but the rain stop us from training. Last night I went to Werdna Hol to buy my paintball pants which is part of our sponsorship deal with the proshop. So now I have my new pants and will get the shirt, gloves and harness later. So Team Yakuza will be wearing the red Redz.
Progression of the team. Using own goggle already. We'll soon be fully geared.
For once the whole team met up at Astaka for our training. We started off with the break out and then snap shooting practice. Of course at this level of skill acquisation that is the cognitive stage we are having problem with reaction and smooth movement of snapping and shooting.
Ananda Wong who was watching approached us and gave some tips on how and why of snap shooting. He told us the objective of the training that is to tell the muscle to move automatically without having to think before doing. While listening to him I knew that he was describing about Motor Learning and Motor Skills.
Wikipedia define Motor learning as the process of improving the motor skills, the smoothness and accuracy of movements. It is obviously necessary for complicated movements such as speaking, playing the piano, climbing trees and eating bananas but it is also important for calibrating simple movements like reflexes, as parameters of the body and environment change over time. The cerebellum and basal ganglia are critical for motor learning.
In paintball and as in other sports, there are two types of skills, close skill and open skills. Skills is trained as a close skill. Player learn the best way to execute a particular skill and train until it become automatic. When an action has become automatic, a player doesn't have to think the sequence of action to be taken because messages sent by the brain to the muscle through the nerves has been saved and retrieve when it is needed. For that reason the correct application of skill is necessary from the start of skill learning.
Dr Maxwell Maltz in his book Psycho Cybernatics said that when one repeat a particular action for more than 21 time it will become a habit. So, in sports training, skill acquisation has to be train until it become a habit.
We also did pressure training with a team who like us is new to paintball. Maybe our advantage is that we had played once in the My-NPL. Pressure training as it name implies is training under pressure. We played with the team when we are five up against seven in the other team. So instead of concentrating and eliminating five players we have to do it on seven. We won most of the games and lost a few. Another aspect that I experience today is the challenge on my fitness. We played two games consecutively without ample rest between the games. It was really a pressure on my fitness level and I have to pull myself to the side for a breather to avoid collapsing on the field.
With the new pants on me, I could feel that I play with more confidently especially doing some slides and commando crawl when playing snake. For the first time in training today I was not hit on the major parts of my body.