LESSON #1 - Throwing and Precognitive Dodging
Two of the main aspects of Dodgeball is, of course, throwing and dodging. At first thought, the average player would think to themselves "What do I need to learn about throwing and dodging?" After all, isn't throwing all about speed and accuracy? Isn't dodging all about getting out of the way? Yes, you could play by these statements...if you want to be a mediocre dodgeball player. But if you want to be a master, you need to look deeper into throwing and dodging. First, let's take a look at what I call the Precognitive Dodge.
Now, if you are familiar with Spiderman, you may think to yourself "AWESOME! I WANT TO LEARN A PRECOGNITIVE DODGE!" Well, unless your a seasoned dodgeball player, chances are you already know it. But don't get too excited yet, for in this game, the Precognitive dodge is NOT, I repeat NOT, a good thing. Think about it, a precognitive dodge is a dodge that takes place BEFORE the throw. Why is this a bad thing? Dodging before the ball leaves the throwers hand gives him time to adjust his throw to where you are dodging. When a thrower throws, he has to predict where his target will dodge to in order to see where he must throw. When you dodge before the throw, you are basically telling the thrower exactly where you are going to be, which makes YOU and easy target.
So the moral of the story is DON'T DODGE EARLY! Likewise, don't dodge too late because it might just be too late. You need to focus and learn to dodge at the moment that the ball has left the hand of the thrower. If you can train yourself to do that, you will be able to dodge among the best of them/
Let's take a look at the other side: Throwing...
Now, 9 out of 10 people will tell you that a good thrower can hurl a dodgeball incredibly fast. This is a valid statement, throwing fast does make a good thrower, but its not the only thing. Accuracy could be something else, but not what we're looking for. A good thrower needs to be able to spot a target when one presents itself. What is one such target? That's right, a precognitive dodger.
The good thing about being a thrower hunting for a precognitive dodger is that they are so easy to pick out. In the first few moments of a game, keep on the look out of every throw hurled at the other team. The best way to spot a PC dodger is to look for people who dodge even when the ball is no where near them. This tells you that they aren't paying attention to the throw, only that there is a throw.
Once you have a target, set your sights and watch as you begin to throw. The dodger will most likely run a certain direction, or better, jump straight up in the air (the worst precognitive dodge is a jump in the air). When you see them go, shift your throw to hit them as they dodge. Most won't do a second dodge and they'll be sitting ducks for your throw.
Another good thing about being able to spot and hit precognitive dodgers is that you will be able to hit them over and over. Most people cannot train themselves to dodge correctly in one day, so chances are if you can get them once, you got them all day.
A small story to prove how effective this type of throwing is. Those who play with me know I am not a strong thrower. I don't throw fast at all. Last week, I noticed one of the guys I play with was dodging before the throw. To make things better, he was dodging by either jumping straight up in the air, or by turning his back. Needless to say, the next ball I got nailed him. For about 7 games after that, I got him out, time after time, because he dodged before I threw and I shifted my throw.
See the thing is is that there are many many people who dodge like this. And it's not just inexperienced or sucky players either. The guy in my story is probably the best thrower (speed and accuracy) we have on my team. Some of the best players you play with might be precognitive dodgers. If you can notice and hit them everytime, you'll be a hero on your team for getting the opposing teams best player(s) out everytime.
But don't just aim for the best players. Aim for ANYONE who dodges like this. Get out whoever you can.
To review, when dodging, don't make yourself a target, wait to dodge until the ball has left the hand. When throwing, pick out the people who you identify as precognitive dodgers, then get them out time and time again. Remember:
You don't need the throw fast to be a good thrower.
Being a good thrower doesn't make you a good player.
Being a smart thrower and a smart dodger will get you far in the world of dodgeball...