Not for the feint hearted, but there is a way to get an edge on the paintball field. Like every competitive game or sport, by gaining the upper hand you stand a better chance of winning and, sometimes, this means literally scaring the opposition into a subordinate position.
Don’t worry, I don’t mean anything too harsh or underhand, I just mean trying out a few basic intimidation tactics. Most competitive sports have their own variations on these, as a psychological advantage can often be stronger than a physical advantage. So take note.
So first of all, just what is intimidation? The short of it is that it’s non-physical behaviour which is designed to get the competition worried and, ultimately, doubt their chances of winning over you. But how does it work? Mind over matter, literally.
Of course there are the basics, like having top-notch equipment which is in shiny, new condition. Sure this will show the other guys you mean business, but ultimately everyone knows a shiny marker doesn’t necessarily fire any better than a roughed-up one. It’s the person doing the firing that really counts. So take this nugget of information and use it. If your team enters the game zones as a single unit, confident, calm and orderly, the others will notice. Then get together into a small circle for a brief confab on what the plan of attack will be, before breaking up and each of you immediately assuming your position. Chances are the other team will just be standing there, waiting for the whistle to go, with no real plan of attack. It’s little touches like this that will get them questioning their moves.
Sounds obvious, but have as much confidence in the field as you, and be happy to project it to. Don’t be afraid to shout to your team mates and, if you happen to shout something in code that the opposition couldn’t possibly understand, then all the better.
Next follow your words with action and employ a couple of simple moves which will hopefully get the other team guessing some more. Pull a dummy manoeuvre or keep a man back in a bunker, despite it not being too obvious why, this will give the impression that you have a masterplan and it’s all going just fine. Of course, nothing intimidates more than actual skill. It’s one thing to walk the walk but another thing altogether to talk the talk. Don’t make any rash moves or bursts for freedom, keep considered and confident and, with a bit of luck, your team can worm your way to victory.