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Dodgeball was once reserved for schoolkids, but it has made an incredible comeback and is now more popular than ever with young adults. If you have considered signing up for a dodgeball league, but you aren’t sure if your skills are up to par, here are seven tips for becoming the star of your team.
#1 – Throw Fast and Hard
Dodgeballs are designed in such a way that they bounce off the human body without causing major injuries. Many people, and especially adults, are afraid of throwing the ball too hard and hurting their opponents. Unfortunately, balls thrown fast and hard are the most difficult for players to dodge, so this is where you need to focus. Don’t be afraid of causing injury – you won’t.
#2 – Aim for Your Opponent’s Legs or Feet
Though many players believe it is in their best interest to aim for their opponents’ torsos because this provides the largest opportunity to actually strike them, it can present a challenge. Remember if your opponent catches the ball, it is you who is out of the game. Throwing the ball at your opponents’ feet does give them the opportunity to jump over it if they are quick enough, but there’s a lesser chance that your ball will be caught at the same time.
#3 – Stay in the Back if You’re Tall
If you’re one of the tallest people on your team, you can serve your team well by catching as many balls as possible. Whether you hit someone with a ball or catch an opponents’ ball doesn’t matter as long as you are removing players from the opposing team. With that said, taller people have an advantage when it comes to catching, so stay in the back and be ready to catch balls your shorter teammates dodge.
#4 – Don’t Stop Moving
If you’re standing still, you are the easiest target on your team. Move around constantly, even if you’ve just caught a ball. Many people catch an opposing ball and then stand there observing their surroundings, but this spells trouble. The longer you stand still, the better the target you become. Always keep moving, and always keep watching for opportunities to catch balls or help your team.
#5 – Give Teammates the Ball when Necessary
If you’re lacking upper body strength or you simply don’t have the best aim, one of the best things you can possibly do in order to be a team player involves passing the ball off to your taller, stronger opponents. Remember that dodgeball is a team game. There is no one winner – the entire team wins or loses. As such, don’t be afraid to pass off the ball if it gives your team the upper hand.
#6 – Be Observant
One of the best tips for being a better dodgeball player involves learning how to be incredibly observant and aware of your surroundings. If you don’t know who has the ball, you don’t know who to watch, and there’s a much bigger chance someone will hit you when you aren’t paying attention. What’s more, if you have the ball, make sure you know who isn’t paying any attention, so you can pick easy targets, too.
#7 – Play Often
The old adage “use it or lose it” does ring true in this case, and practice really does make perfect. Get some friends together, head over to the gym, and have some fun. Ask them to toss balls at you so you can practice your dodging skills, and if you want to practice throwing the ball harder and faster, set up a makeshift target in your backyard. When you can dodge the ball, hit your target, and throw the ball hard, you are ready to serve your team well.
Dodgeball is a great sport that can help you get tons of needed exercise. When you play on a team and in a local league, you can also build friendships at the same time. Don’t be afraid of being a bad dodgeball player; anyone can get good at this game by following the tips above, having fun, and playing often.
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