My eye is fixed on the target. I pull the trigger and bam! Paint splatters everywhere. I hit the bull’s-eye.
This all started when I went to my best friend’s birthday party. It was a paintball party. I was so nervous that for the first round I stayed hiding in the broken-down shed bunker, watching carefully to try to understand how to avoid being hit. By the second round I worked up enough courage to enter the paintball battlefield. I ran out watching carefully for any movement. Out of the corner of my eye I saw an enemy player, I fired the paintball gun: direct hit to his arm. As I saw white paint splatter all over my target, I smiled and thought to myself, “This isn’t too hard, it’s actually kind of fun.”
But while I was standing there feeling proud of myself, I felt a sharp pain in my leg. I’d been hit. I fell to the ground holding my thigh in pain. The rules are that once you’ve been hit, you’re out for that round. So I walked over to the exit.
Some may think that paintball is only about pulling the trigger and hitting the target, but there’s a lot more to it. I decided I wanted to take up paintball as my hobby with my dad helping me learn the sport. We went shopping for a paintball gun, mask, air canister, paintballs and gloves. A basic paintball gun costs up to $100.
Once I had all of the equipment, I was ready to start. I put the mask and gloves on and went out into the backyard with my dad. The first thing my dad taught me was whenever you aren’t shooting or handing the gun off, you keep the gun’s safety lock on, which means you can’t pull back the trigger so it doesn’t accidentally fire. He taught me how to stand and how to use the sight properly.
It took me about two weeks to hit the target each time I shot because when I just started, I wasn’t used to holding the gun. Every time I shot, the paintball would fly to the other side of the target. From then on I started working on my paintball skills every weekend to improve.
To be accurate in paintball, it takes incredible hand-eye coordination, concentration, patience and dedication. Paintballing is an awesome hobby.
Stefanie Baldante’s fifth-grade class, W.S. Mount Elementary School, Stony Brook