If you have dreams of being a professional paintball player, you will never get their on your own. This requires competing in big, professional tournaments and this can only be accomplished as a sports team. The fastest and easiest route is to get into an already speeding sports car and get on someone else’s team. The more difficult path (however ultimately more rewarding) is to start your own. The amount of work you put into making the team is incomparable to the amount of work required to actually get the team going in the right direction. The first step is to establish yourself as a solid player. You don’t need to be the most experienced or have the most expensive gear, but you should show other players you are easy to work with and is totally dependable. Show this to people during actual games by protecting other player’s backs and working hard to help achieve the game’s mission. Show other players how committed and ready you are to play and devote time to bettering your skills.
Putting out much effort like this will attract others who have the same desires as you and it shouldn’t be hard finding people who are willing to work. While working on becoming a better paintball athlete, keep your radar open for observing other players who have the same mindset and qualities that will benefit your team. In tournament style paintball, players hold certain positions on the field, so you will need to look for people who will fill them all for a complete team. The best teams are made of players who are adept at multiple areas on the field rather than just their own position. This will give you an automatic back up system just in case one of your players it out. Besides just filling spots on the field however, look for certain traits in players that will make them easy to work with and help propel your team to victories. For example, choose players who are aggressive on the field and always moving forward. People that are too hesitant and scared to do anything will be dead weight on your team. On the other hand, try to find people who are also smart with their movement and don’t just kamikaze rush out in every situation.
Another big asset to your team will be to have players who don’t mind working hard in practice. Getting good as a team requires much practice as a team. If you have members who don’t enjoy practicing or can’t make it very often, it will be hard to get better and can be distracting to other team mates. This makes a good reason to put a team together with more players than what you actually need. If you’re putting together a 5-man team, don’t stop recruiting after your fifth player; continue searching until you have eight. This way you have back up players in case something happens and full enough practices to get something done. While there are many drills and exercises that can be done with just a couple guys, practicing with your full team is important for perfecting certain plays and strategies. It’s also important you choose team mates who are not afraid to work hard, practicing every drill over and over again until they have it down. Your team will only be as strong as its weakest link, so allowing lazy people in will guarantee holes in your game.
Perhaps one of the most important traits to look for in a team mate when putting together a winning roster is the ability to take criticism and also give constructive feedback. While practicing, other team mates will be watching you and you will get a lot better a lot faster if they can evaluate your performance and give you feedback on ways you might do better. The player who can take this information and use it to improve rather than seeing it as an insult will be the easiest to work with and provide the most forward growth for the team. These qualities are not easy to find and it is rare you will find people with all of them, but try to search for people’s strengths as they would relate to your team’s performance (both on and off the field) for winning competitions. Most of these characteristics can be figured out by playing with them on the field, but take your time studying certain players to make sure they fit what you’re looking for before announcing an open spot on your team. Maybe even have them try out so you can evaluate them in certain situations.
Once you’ve hand-picked your players, you will need a team captain. While this is often the person who put the team together however doesn’t have to be. Decide within your ranks who wants to take on the job but realize he will be the heart and soul of the team. The captain is in charge of working on plays, reviewing field layouts, developing drills, contacting potential sponsors and coordinating practices and training events. He will organize and run practices and also find out about tournaments so he can set the team’s schedule. Team members should be willing to handle tasks delegated from the captain to ease some of his workload. If you have a team that’s big enough, you can elect other ‘offices’ like a treasurer or secretary who can handle other tasks like taking care of the finances and setting up travel plans. Decide if you’re going to have monthly dues or just split up costs equally as they occur, however a plan on how to handle this aspect is important as many partnerships have dissolved because of rifts over finances. Without sponsors, travel, entry fees, equipment, food and the regular expenses of paint will have to be paid for and an intelligent plan from the beginning will offset most concerns.