Forming your first Paintball team – The Friday Frag

Welcome to this weeks addition of The Friday Frag. I left last weeks column (Starting with a solid foundation) with the question about how many people you feel is needed to form the “core group” for your new team. The answer to this is all dependent upon on what type of team you are looking to form. There really is no set group needed to form a team, so don’t feel you need x-amount of people; otherwise you can not start a team. Trust me when I say that should not be the case at all. I have seen some really good teams that were comprised of only two players. All teams have to start somewhere, need it be 2 friends from school, or a group of people from work. What is crucial is that you all get along and share the same mindset, the numbers will come.

When you are establishing your team, you should come up with a checklist of sorts to keep your new team on the right track. A sample checklist would consist of setting bylaws, forming a chain of command, divvying out duties to everyone and so on. This is important because when you are including everyone in the team formation process, they tend to feel that they have more of an ownership in the teams’ survival and will be less likely to leave if the team hit hard times down the road. (A side note, all teams hit the wall sooner or later, no team is perfect, every team has dealt with drama, because after all we are all human.)

Chicago Aftershock started small. Photo: PBX3

Paintball teams start small. Photo: Chicago Aftershock via PaintballX3.com

Now, the chain of command on a paintball team is one of the most important things to get out of the way in the early stages of the team formation period. In the beginning, you should only have 1 Team Captain and 1 XO or Co-Captain, as this cuts down on the confusion from newer members when looking for a answer to any questions they may have on different issues. (From what marker brand to use, to team uniform.) Some teams work well with more then 1 Team Captain, but from my experience with the issue, it is too much of a pain due to different people having different opinions, and this can lead to a division amongst your team. The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method works best, as it will cut down on a lot of the major problems the team will run into.

When you are first forming your team, you have to be mindful that no one wants to join a new team to become a private and be yelled at. However, in the same mindset, you can not have everyone who is joining the team become an officer of some sort. The expression that best fits this description is “Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians.” This goes back with forming the chain of command, to many times I have seen a new team that was 75% “officers” of some sort with the rest of the bottom ranks being comprised of the new players. In situations such as this, it is best to tread lightly when you are bringing new members on, as it will quickly get old for the people on the bottom.

After the chain of command has been established, you will need to get started with divvying out duties to the people on the team. Not only will this take all the work off of your shoulders, but will help give the people a purpose for being on the team. These jobs can range from setting up practices, to contacting fields about upcoming events to creating a website. You being the team captain can not do it all. (I have tried and it quickly grows old!) When you are giving out roles to your core group, be sure to take note of their talents. One player may be good with computers, so having him make your website would be a no brainer. The same should go with everything else, one member maybe good with math, so having him handle the money for events would be wise.

This weeks question is: How many captains do you think there should be on a new team?

Next week we will be discussing the issue of recruitment.

Until next time.
Josh Foote

Comments

  1. Tupac

    That article was terrible.

    You are talking about team uniforms, bylaws and “divying out duties” which are some of the absolute LAST things that any team needs when they start out. I think you missed the point of your own acronym..

    What you need for a new team is a group of friends. Go to your local field and get stomped on until you learn from your mistakes (make sure you play together as much as possible). Work as friends and try to learn from your mistakes on the field. Once you feel confident you wont get destroyed in a tournament, enter a small event in the lowest division and go from there.

    1. dk

      my first team tried to buy the same gun and new players needed advice. i think that is all he is suggesting,, people are going to ask questions and need someone to look up to.

      otherwise you both seem to be saying the same thing

    2. Josh Foote

      “Tupac”,

      I think you missed who this article was directed towards, Scenario players and teams. As these are all part of an ongoing series, I will touch on the teams first event later on in the series. You see, these articles do not represent a foot race, I am taking the issues that face new scenario teams and breaking them down into sections as to better explain each issue in detail. Anything less would be a disservice to be honest.

      Thanks for posting though, and hopefully you make it back now knowing where these articles are directed towards.

    3. george

      Tupac, this article has nothing to do with tournament paintball. You have strayed into the scenario section, there is a different mindset at play here. Josh’s team is celebrating it’s tenth year, a rare occurance in paintball of any type. I’m pretty sure he knows a little bit about how to form and run a successful team.

  2. Tupac

    The site is called “propaintball.com” didn’t think that assuming we were playing tournaments here was such a big assumption…

    Either way, secenario or speedball, I still don’t think that setting up bylaws and forming the constitution of a team should be top priority. Teams that get tired of the sport and quit are the ones getting handled every event, that gets old. Ones that win, continue to do so and find every way possible to continue to win. That starts with forming a solid relationship with your teammates and actually playing paintball. This sport will never be respected until we spend more time on the field practicing than we do reading bullshit on the internet.

    1. Josh Foote

      “Tupac”,

      If you look at the top of the website, between Teams and Store there is an section titled Scenario. Also, when you come to the website, you can read at the top: Paintball News | Professional Gear, Scenario Paintball — Paintball news, gear and rumors

      I don’t know how much experience or success you have had, but my track record speaks for itself in this instance. Again, you are viewing this topic as the end all, be all, when it is not. It is a PART of an ongoing SERIES of articles.

      End of the day, no one is holding a gun to your head to read it, but I appreciate your feedback either way.

  3. "Deuce" Captain of Team Genesis

    All, I am Captain of Team Genesis a highly awarded and respected tactical team based out of Hudson Fl. My team started with 6 players in Aug ’11. We are now at 19 with more folks in the pipeline. You may be asking yourself…”How do they get so many players in such short time?” Because, I run my team almost exactly to the letter of everything Josh has said in his articles, and maybe a bit stricter. (I use a military approach/format). The team runs smooth as silk and is constantly being approached by players both at practices and games that want to join the team due to the fact that they see how well the team is handled and run, and want to be part of a well structured team that has their shit together. There is the occasional issue but that is quickly put to bed by those below me. We have even just built the nicest paintball hooch I’ve ever seen that each of the members contributed both time and money to build.(Another awesome recruitting tool!) You can never have too many players on your roster.

    Our basic progression was as follows:
    1. Elected Team Officers – CO, XO, Battlefield Commander, Tresurer, Secretary.
    2. Bylaws were written up, reviewed and voted on. These outlined everything from structure, chain of command, meetings, uniforms, equipment, dues, attendance, and behavior both on and off the field. (These are important cause it lets everyone know there are rules and structure within your team, and consequences if they are not adhered to.) Example: You get caught wiping, you are off the team and I will ask you to pack your gear and leave the field.
    3. Had a FB and website created.
    4. Developed the fire squads and assigned leaders and positions. We play Daggers, Sabres, Ambushes, and Heavy Gunners.
    5. Found a new home for the team that ran 4 scenarios a year and allowed the team to grow and prosper.
    6. Assigned additional duties and areas of responsibility to the players. Everyone helps out.

    I remind them at every meeting/debrief, It’s their team, I was just lucky enough to be voted their Captain and run the team. And I mean that. I always get choked up addressing them at the game debriefs. They are not members, they are my family of misfits and I love each and everyone of them, and I’m proud as hell to be their leader.

    So if your questioning these articles, DON’T! Take it from me he is right on the mark. He’s even simplifing it for all of you. It’s extremely hard running a team!!

    1. Robert

      Thanks for posting. Those are some powerful words. I would love to be a part of a team like yours.
      I belong to an amateur group in Calgary. Hopefully we could become great too!
      One tip I would like to add to the thread. Try using http://www.whoozin.com to track who’s coming to your next paintball event. Our Captain uses it and it works like a charm. Works from your computer or smartphone. It’s free too.

      Good luck guys!

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