Airsoft is a sport that requires good hand-eye coordination; you are required to shoot a tiny BB at high speed at a target while taking cover. To be able to continuously hit targets and avoid being hit yourself, you need to be reasonably gracious and coordinated.
Hand-eye coordination is the ability to do activities that require using your hands and eyes simultaneously. Most day-to-day activities use some degree of this, and even more so when it comes to sports. The main objective of improving hand-eye coordination is to strengthen the neuromuscular pathways between the eyes, brain and reflexes, so actions and reactions become second nature. If you want to step up your airsoft gaming, there are a few activities to try which can improve hand-eye coordination.
Juggling is one of the best ways to improve hand-eye coordination, as it helps to boost brain development and grows neural connections relating to memory, movement, vision and focus. It helps to increase reaction times, assists with spatial awareness, concentration and strategic thinking, all of which can be transferred to playing airsoft.
Practice juggling with a TV or radio on in the background, so you are inundated with stimuli, forcing you to focus more on the juggling. Once you have mastered it, the benefits of the activity stay with you.
Games in which you have to hit a ball and make it follow a certain trajectory can help develop hand-eye coordination. Tennis, squash and even badminton are good sports to take up to help with your balance and agility, which in turn helps with hand-eye coordination. In these sports, your body needs to be ready to read incoming shots and position itself to strike back with power. Having good coordination gives you the ability to hit the tennis ball in the best position on the racket, so you can hit the ball back where you want it to go. As you progress in playing tennis, you will quickly improve your body’s ability to read and exchange the movement of the ball or shuttlecock.
On a smaller scale, table tennis can also help with hand-eye coordination, as you are challenged to sync the location of the paddle to the trajectory of the ball. From playing tennis or squash, your reaction time is reduced in airsoft, and reactions can be better calculated. Quick responses to the position of the opposition and firing at them with your airsoft gun can help you win a skirmish.
Using a skipping rope is a classic conditioning exercise, and works on hand-feet coordination. In addition to that, it improves stamina, endurance and strength, which are needed if you want to last throughout a long skirmish. Skipping ropes, when used properly, can improve any exerciser or athlete; it’s common to see professional athletes using one as part of a warm-up exercise. Though it takes time to master using a skipping rope, you will soon notice your footwork improving, along with your balance and stamina, and therefore see improvement when playing airsoft.
Dribbling a tennis ball as you would with a basketball is more unpredictable, as you have less surface area to work with. You need to maintain the distance between your hand and the floor, the speed and pressure you put on the ball to make it bounce. You also need to be aware of the angles, so the ball will not fly off in a random direction. Like with juggling, trying with two balls at once can step up the difficulty.
One way to improve hand-eye coordination is by focusing on your non-dominant hand. Forcing the ‘wrong-hand’ to perform unfamiliar tasks helps to strengthen it and requires the brain to map new neural pathways, which rejuvenate the brain and hand. Easy ways to do this include holding a pen and writing in your non-dominant hand, drawing circles and squares, or outlines of things you can see.
Touch typing is easy to pick up when you are working with computers or laptops day-to-day and is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination. Practice writing out sentences you think in your head, and avoid looking at the keys as much as possible, and don’t move them from the ‘home position’ where your index fingers hover above the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys. There are few touch type games available to play online too, so building up the skill can be fun as well as useful.
Are there any tips or tricks you follow when it comes to improving your hand-eye coordination for playing airsoft? Let us know in the comments or over on our social media channels!