What can make your team’s success go from good to great? Communication! No matter how good your strategy, or how great your players, this is a team sport. And the way to embrace the team is to embrace communicating with it. Communication is a secret that many amateur paintballers don’t know of, or if they do, don’t value enough.
Why is communication so important?
Let’s say you’ve got a great strategy. Maybe you’re using the side strategy, and you’ve chosen the three players moving in from the side, you’ve chosen your defending players, and you’ve chosen the ones to go in from the front.
Suddenly something unexpected happens: an enemy player has just appeared out of nowhere and you see hum approaching one of your team members. If you don’t have communication in this vital moment, your teammate might just be out. But if your team keeps constant eye contact with each other, you can alarm him in time.
Communication doesn’t have to be verbal.
You know all those movies where police officers and the S.W.A.T team use hand gestures to communicate? Well this can apply here, too. If you see an opponent approaching one of your teammates, you don’t just want to shout out “HEY! THERE’S A GUY APPROACHING YOU!” Ideally, you want constant eye contact, a hand signal that catches attention, and then a hand gesture or signal that means that someone is approaching. This way your teammate knows exactly what’s going on, and you haven said a single word using your mouth.
What hand signals to use?
This can be completely up to you, as it is your team and your rules. Whenever I play, we always make them up on the spot, s it always varies, but we make sure to keep them simple and comprehensible. Also make sure that two signals aren’t too similar, to avoid miscommunication, something that can be even worse than no communication at all. But get the basics down; catch attention, someone’s approaching, you approach, stay back, go forward, direction, etc. And make eye contact a top priority of your team. Everyone should know where everyone is, if you are playing a well-structured game.
If you do use verbal communication, make sure to stay as quiet and simple as possible. You don’t want to give away your position by letting your voice guide your enemy to you.
Communication is a huge part of paintball, and is, in my opinion, one of the basics to be mastered to become successful. Paintball is a team game, and team games are won by perfect communication. Constant communication can help you identify opportunities to attack, defend, and detect, so be sure to include it in your arsenal the next time you play.