The old cliché stands true; your team should feel like family. The more you are able to trust your teammates, the better you will be able to perform as a team on the field. Yet, every tournament you see the same thing. A team loses a point and immediately players are at each other’s throats passing blame and pointing fingers. There is no benefit to argument when it comes to building a team. Consciously or unconsciously, argument creates distrust, grudges and an overall feeling of chaos amongst a team.
As a competitive player, especially those with higher levels of experience, your opinion on the game has merit. The fact is, whether your opinion is right or wrong, it will never benefit your team or create a winning game plan if every time you speak up, you create argument. So how do you voice yourself and strengthen your team with out argument?
The answer is in your approach. How you confront a problem with a teammate or a game plan will completely determine the reaction you receive. If you immediately point fingers as to who deserves blame or why a loss sits on the shoulders of a teammate, you are bound to light the fire for an argument. Between human nature and the adrenaline rush of paintball, no one will take an attack on their game light heartedly. Instead, focus on how you can fix the problem. Present an alternative that you believe could work better than the current plan or player’s positions.
Argument starter: “Well if Jim stops getting shot off the break we might actually be able to win a point.”
Alternative: “Jim, we keep getting you killed going there. Where can we get you in alive? Who’s shooting you? Can I pressure him for you?”
Clearly, the first example is an attack on a teammate. Even if this statement doesn’t create an argument, it is guaranteed to distract everyone from the game itself. Jim will end up down on himself and likely not perform any better the next point. The second example is how you solve a problem. You gather input and attempt to fix it by changing the game plan. Paintball is
very different from other sports. In soccer, football or baseball it is very easy to follow one ball and understand what a player is thinking during each move. In paintball, there are thousands of paintballs flying through the air at any point in time and it can become difficult to track each players thought process in a move. This is why it is important to understand the problem from your teammate’s perspective before you try to command change.