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Those too poor to fight as a hoplite would serve as lightly equipped infantry, usually with a javelin, stones or a sling. Lead shot was often used by the Greeks, which would be carried in small bags. These lead bullets were sometimes inscribed with such messages as “Take this!”
Farmers and shepherds would be capable slingers. When watching your flocks, you have plenty of time to practice with the weapon which can protect your livelihood from predators. This skill was no doubt put to good use against their enemies.
Xenophon says the people of Rhodes were particularly effective as slingers.