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General >> General Slinging Discussion >> A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
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Message started by MickR on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 6:45am

Title: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 6:45am
So I was out in my yard today, getting in some practice. My yard is really, despite what I may have said to the contrary in the past, a good place to sling. The side yard from front to back would be at least 30 metres, but the thing that makes it great is the variety. On no two days will I be faced with the same obstacles work around. I have set my target at relatively close range as I'm relatively new at this slinging stuff.
My target is fairly simple. I get a tea towel and wrap it around the apex of the kids swing frame and peg it at the back. This gives me a truncated triangular target about the size of a mans neck and top of shoulders, providing he's not too broad. At first I was going for the top 'hole' of the A. However I was finding it diffiult to tell weather I was putting the ball through this area or not, thus a nice red Tea towel.
I still shoot off to the left a bit, but I'm working on correcting that, and my wife helps too. Today I had to shoot over her car parked right in my shooting lane. It was a help too, as I managed to hit the target many times from about 8 metres, and only hit her car twice. Thankfully when she wasn't there to see. She never saw the first shot that I made either...No one ever sees when you make a perfect first shot! And she was there then, so I suppose you take the good with the bad.
The kids help to focus my eye as well, especially when they decide they want their swing set back and I'm not ready to give up for the day. They've discovered that the netting around the trampoline is not only good for preventing them falling off! It's great to cower behind as well!
My dog is a bonus. I can lay out five tennis balls and shoot the same one over and over again, without ever having to reach for a fresh one. Today, however, may have changed that, for keen as he is to help, he lit out before the shot to get a head start. And a head start is what he got! If I was hunting Jack Russell with a rock I would have come home a real man. A more perfect kill shot couldn't have been made if I tried...I missed my target by some few feet to the left and low... and sent my poor dog into a somersault with a tennis ball to the back of the head.
I'm not sure he's forgiven me yet...We'll see if he's still a keen collector tomorrow. ;)

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by LightSlinger on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 6:51am
Aw, poor guy!  Looks like he's the first to sustain Funda Ball contact!  


Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 6:57am
I believe my last words to him were, "Don't bring this one back dog, I'm knackered!". I guess he just didn't listen. But in all seriousness, he's fine...Or just really really tough!  :)


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by squirrelslinger on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 3:19pm
If I did that to my dog, he would never forgive me.

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 8:03pm
Nah, he's all good SS. He's been back at it, bringing my ammo back for me this morning. My aim is improving as well. I seem to be bringing my shots more into the line that I want, so my technique is definately improving. Soon I will just have to work on my release timing to get the right height  :). Not bad for someone that's really only just got started in this. Get that lot down and I will start changing my distances and shooting from random points to really put the pressure on. Don't see that happening for a while yet though. I don't expect to make perfect shots all the time (well, actually I do, but the reality is that I've started too late in life for that to ever happen), but getting a reasonable percentage will suffice.


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by timu on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 8:43pm
A Kodak moment!

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by Bill Skinner on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 8:49pm
Just guessing, you may be hitting left because you are bending forward just a little before you release, or as you start to release, instead of pivoting your hip and stepping into the throw with your back straight, you bend at the waist and then release.

I haven't managed to hit one of my dogs but I did manage to dead center the windshield of my car once.  Thank the stars that it was a tennis ball and not a rock or golf ball...

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 3rd, 2013 at 1:57am
Thanks for the tip Bill, I'll keep an eye open for any bending forward. I don't think I do it, as I try, for now, just to remain standing and slinging relatively gently, trying to put just the power into the throw to fly straight to the target with little if any parabolic arc. I am using only a short distance (measured today and it's just short of 33ft or 11 metres if you're metricated) so straight and true is a reasonable expectation isn't it?
I'll pay closer attention to what the body is doing at any rate. I've been concentrating on what the arm is doing, but stopping my focus at that.
If you haven't clocked your dogs yet Bill, they're either smarter or faster than my bloke :).


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by Bill Skinner on Apr 3rd, 2013 at 12:58pm
The two Labs would think it was great fun, the English Pointers and the Golden Retriever would get hurt feelings, The Mighty and Magnificent Dog (Mikey D for short) would run and hide and Cleo the queen dog would bite me.

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 3rd, 2013 at 6:13pm
Now that there sounds like a great family you have, Bill. Wish I could have that many hounds around me.  :)


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by LightSlinger on Apr 4th, 2013 at 1:27am
Me too!  They sound like a pack of fun (pun quite definately intended..).

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by Yurek on Apr 5th, 2013 at 4:05pm
I have accidentally hit my dog either with a tennis ball or light snow balls. The hits didn't hurt him so much because in the all cases he was far away. But I really wouldn't want to hit him from a closer distance.

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 6th, 2013 at 9:49am
Yeah, but I throw like a girl Yurek.  ;D


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by Yurek on Apr 6th, 2013 at 10:46am
Mick,

Anyway, be careful. You don't know the day when your shots will become devastating. The day is coming, no doubts :) My dog often chases bouncing back tennis balls. When he is between me and a target I don't use any overhand style so as not to shoot too low accidentally. I always keep him behind the plane of the lash. You have a nice dog. I am sure he is a good slinger's comrade.

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 6th, 2013 at 7:20pm
Thanks Yurek.  :)
And yes, he is a good mate, and slingers helper. I do my utmost to keep him safe. Looked after better than my children in some cases I suspect...Although I've never bowled one of them over with a tennis ball to date. Hopefully I never do either.  :)

Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by timothy42b on Apr 8th, 2013 at 10:42am

Bill Skinner wrote on Apr 2nd, 2013 at 8:49pm:
I haven't managed to hit one of my dogs but I did manage to dead center the windshield of my car once.  Thank the stars that it was a tennis ball and not a rock or golf ball...


You don't want to do it with a golf ball.  DAMHIK.

When we had a bull terrier, he was accidentally hit with a dart, the steel tip kind, not the soft tip.  

He didn't seem to to notice, though it was hanging out of his flank.  Tough dog (and no he wasn't a fighter, just a lovable family pet).

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by squirrelslinger on Apr 8th, 2013 at 9:26pm
Well, I know to keep my dog well back when I sling:)
I am getting too powerful with my slings to sling in my backyard, might hit other houses. Starting to scare neighbors, even with tennis balls.

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 9th, 2013 at 1:54am
Power is not a great concern of mine at the moment. I know I can hit hard, but my range sucks at the moment, however I have noticed it is improving, even though I think I'm being gentle in my throws. I guess my technique is getting better, sadly, my aim seems to be consistantly the same.


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by squirrelslinger on Apr 10th, 2013 at 9:07pm
LOL, get your technique down!
Then go for accuracy....

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 11th, 2013 at 1:37am
I night have just nailed my technique and gained accuracy (over the short distance) as of yesterday, thanks to watching Brian Grubbs tutorial on fig. 8 style on youtube. My problem was, that I was locking my body into a fixed position, and only using my arm and shoulder. Rotating my body and using my weight to add force has got me shooting to within half a metre of the target if not bang on target with much more power. My target is a 12in wide by 24in tall plank of wood set at 8 metres at the moment (too many obstacles in the form of the mother-in-laws car in my regular shooting lane). Otherwise my target would be a bit smaller and set at chest/head height (5.5' - 6') off the ground with a variable range up to 20 metres (although I generally don't exceed 11 metres just yet).


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by Masiakasaurus on Apr 11th, 2013 at 11:05am

Mick wrote on Apr 11th, 2013 at 1:37am:
(too many obstacles in the form of the mother-in-laws car in my regular shooting lane)


Mick

I think you misspelled secondary target.

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 11th, 2013 at 5:46pm
Yeah but I already know I can hit a phalanx of Romans...It's the individual targeting skills I'm working on  ;).


Mick

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by squirrelslinger on Apr 11th, 2013 at 6:45pm

Mick wrote on Apr 11th, 2013 at 5:46pm:
Yeah but I already know I can hit a phalanx of Romans...It's the individual targeting skills I'm working on  ;).


Mick

Remember, go for the commander;)
(centurian)
You will do a lot more damage;)

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by LightSlinger on Apr 12th, 2013 at 11:55pm
Not the commander,  the GENERAL. (He's worth 5 points!)

Title: Re: A good thing tennis balls don't hurt...Much.
Post by MickR on Apr 13th, 2013 at 2:42am
Thus the practice...Well, if it wasn't bloody raining all the time this week.  :)


Mick

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