Remember I mentioned The A-Team the other day? Well, it’s a current example so I’ll use it again. In a team like that (not ex-cons, just dedicated and successful) you need a strong leader who can motivate, direct and, above all else, take charge. How does this relate to paintball? Well even though every paintball game has a marshal or referee on-site to make sure the objectives are being stuck to, it’s often a good move for a team to appoint their own John “Hannibal” Smith too, as it’s great when a plan comes together.
This isn’t some foolhardy ‘hands up if you want to be team leader’ role either, as leading a team takes guts, it takes a calm head under fire and it takes the respect of men (or women, children, work colleagues etc). Even in a game like paintball, where the actions of individuals make or break a game, having a solid strategy certainly helps; and that’s where a head honcho can give you the edge. So, next time you’re about to don your mask and pick up your marker, take a look around your squad and consider if anyone fit’s the necessary prerequisites of a game-changing team leader.
1. A team leader should be experienced. It doesn’t matter one bit if your leader has played the particular Game Zone before, or even been to the paintball site you’re on, but they should know what makes a successful and powerful team. Whether the game requires patiently waiting for the opposition to muck up, or hard-hitting, unforgiving attack, your boss should know what action to take to deliver results, and this comes from ‘time in the field’.
2. Whether it’s Maud the dinner lady or your best mate Gav, the team leader should naturally command respect. If there is no one in your team who can successfully handle the task, then don’t bother electing anyone. But you will know the guy or girl who has the balls and smarts to turn a game into victory, they’ll be the quietly confident one already sussing out the strategy while you’re still strapping on your overalls. They should be able to deliver orders without spoiling the fun and, above all else, they should be more than willing to be the guy on the frontline: as this shows faith in their decision-making.
3. A good commander doesn’t necessarily need to be particularly fit either, but they do need to be creative. In a game of attack and defend for example, there’s no point doing exactly what your opposition would do; as that’s what they will prepare for. A strategist will assess all options without even breaking a sweat and, with a knowing smirk, suggest something that’s so crazy it just might work.
4. They should have a way with communication that would make Captain James T. Kirk reassess his abilities. There’s no point in having great ideas if you can’t get them across to your team (whilst little balls of paint are hurtling towards you), so a good leader should talk with authority, have strong convictions and lead by example. And, of course, they definitely shouldn’t ever try and pass the buck should the defecation hit the rotation, so to speak.
Good luck out there, let us know how you get on. For more tips like this, sign up to our newsletter via the little box to the right.