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5 Steps to Starting Your Own Paintball Team
Now that paintball is established as a major international sport played at every level, it couldn’t be easier to get started with your very own team. The world’s fastest-growing extreme sport is played globally by millions of casuals and amateurs, but the success of the league and tournament sides is inspiring millions more to load up and take to the field. Its mix of strategy, physical exertion and adrenaline make it irresistible. Here’s how to go about founding your very own team in five easy steps.
Step One - Players
First, find your players. There is such a variety of game situations, from solo play to full tournament occasions, so there’s no required fixed number of players. To make it a fun, rewarding experience that’s both sporty and social, you probably want at least five in your team - maybe more if you think you need reserves. Like any team sport, it requires a chemistry and sense of collaboration to make it both successful and enjoyable. Friendship and empathy are crucial. You may not already be friends, but bonding over the game can be more than enough to bring you and keep you together. Don’t forget that any sport requires commitment, so your team members need to be able to dedicate enough time and energy to make it worthwhile for everyone
Step Two - Aspirations
When you’ve got a settled, serious group of players, you need to decide what your team wants to achieve. What’s your group’s attitude and realistic goals? More than likely, there will be beginners and novices among you, so be realistic about the level you start from and where you’re aiming to reach. Is your team mainly about having fun with a few local tournaments thrown in? Are you interested in forming a platoon to play in scenario games? Or do you want to make your mark locally and then fight your way up the regional and national leagues? The sky may be the limit, but it pays to have a realistic sense of how far you have the ambition and the ability to go.
Step Three - Look the Part
Next, you really should think about your look. Team uniform and livery is important in any sport. Just look at the Raiders with their knee-length leggings, mesh shirts and shiny helmets; the Dallas Cowboys with the iconic blue star; or the sharp pinstripes of the New York Yankees. Who can forget the blazing red tracksuits of the Soviet Union’s Olympic athletes? Your uniform does two things: it makes you feel confident and strong, and it gives you a powerful sense of unity by having one team, one uniform, and one mind. Sure, there’s room for personalization, but you should agree on the overall look, from pants and jersey right down to your face masks, like the super-comfortable JT Proflex X. The same goes for the markers you choose, like the entry-level Empire Mini GS. Look professional and you’ll feel professional, and your opponents will take you very seriously.
Step Four - Get Organized
Next, it’s time for organizational issues. You should find a home field for regular practice as well as competition games, ideally under a contractual agreement with the field owner that makes your obligations and rights clear. At the same time, you need to start assigning responsibilities among yourselves. You should choose a Team Captain - someone who has both leadership and negotiating skills. Then, you should pick someone to manage the team’s marketing, website and social media affairs and at least one person should get fully trained in the maintenance of your markers, loaders and other equipment. It probably makes sense for the same team member to ensure conformity with the team’s uniform code.
Step Five - Practice Makes Perfect
Now that you’ve got your players together and made these big decisions, it’s time to put in the work. Don’t neglect the imperatives of training and practice. It’s not all about the excitement of field play; there’s a lot involved in getting and keeping yourselves match-fit. Record and analyze the results of your practice games, learn from your mistakes and build on your strengths. However, never lose sight of the reason you got together in the first place: to have a good time. Don’t make paintball the only thing you do together. Bowling, fishing, softball, and movies are all great ways to build and maintain the friendships that will sustain the winning team spirit that is the goal of every paintball team.