What are some of the benefits of playing paintball? (Part 2)
Welcome back my enthusiastic readers! I hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of the benefits of playing paintball, but I’m sure you’re hungry for more and waiting anxiously for this next knowledge drop! Last time, I discussed the more physical benefits such as staying active and learning how to work hard and practice. This time, we’ll delve more into the mental attributes of the game that I love so much! Paintball is an almost infinitely dynamic sport of variables and skill sets. To improve at this game, you’ll gain the benefits of learning all sorts of skills and knowledge. The next two I’ll be discussing are teamwork and mental skills like problem solving and communication.
Paintball weather in the woods as a recreational game of fun, or the speedball sport version is a team activity. You can be the best individual player in the world, but you still need a team to win. Weather it be big games with massive teams, or one of the numerous formats of the sport such as 3 man, 5 man, 7 man, 10 man; you will have to learn how to work with other people to play and win the game. So you just got to the paintball field, and your gearing up to play. You put together your setup… paintball marker, paintball loader, and air system . You load up your paint and head out onto the playing field. Overly excited, you rush forward, tunnel visioned, looking for eliminations and playing Rambo style. Your quickly outnumbered and eliminated and sent back to the staging area to wait for the next game. Why? Because getting caught up playing your own game nearly always proves too difficult in this game, especially for newer players. Had you stuck with your team, worked together, and played as a unit, you may have not only survived the game but also had a far better chance at winning! Paintball is an absolute blast weather your winning or losing. But if your playing to win, you’ll find that this game can be very unforgiving for those that don’t know how to work together. For this reason, it’s an absolutely awesome tool to learn team-building skills. For starters, you’ll have to learn what positions there are to play and how to play yours. Regardless of the format there are always at least a few positions, but they can be summed up by front (aggressive) and back (defensive/support). Learning these positions and how each one plays a part toward the bigger picture of the game for your team is absolutely crucial and very helpful in accomplishing the goal of winning. This is a benefit that relates well to the real world and almost anything you do. There are different positions in companies that are completely separate, but all work together by doing each part and knowing they all add together as pieces of the puzzle of success. The sport version of paintball will also teach you the importance of doing your job. Lets say you know your position, and for example it’s playing the attacker on Dorito side. If right off the back, you immediately decide to hold a player up on the snake side of the field and you do this well by digging in and constantly firing your marker at his position. You are doing a job, but you are doing the wrong job. Yes, your doing a job that needs to be done, but another player in a position designed to do that job should already do that job. Your job is to attack the Dorito side, so no matter how well you are doing in holding that player up, you are not doing your designated duty to the team. They now have no one attacking up the field, and an extra person repeating the same action as another teammate. In this example, you can see just how important it is to do your job. Reflected on the real world, this would be the same as a pizza delivery person doing the dishes at a restaurant. They may be doing the dishes well, but they were hired to deliver, so if they are not doing that then no one is. If no one is, then no matter how well the dishes are washed, the overall goal is not accomplished and the company is not successful, all because of one person doing the wrong job.
Many organizations, companies and sports teams use paintball as a team building exercise because it can help engrain these lessons into team members so well!
The last benefit I’ll mention in this article is the improvement cognitive mental skills that paintball can bring. Paintball has players do more then fire paintballs at each other. It requires you to learn problem solving. “That player is hiding in the corner of the field and we can’t dig him out!” In order to do this you’ll have to use teamwork, communication and angles to eliminate the player. You will begin to learn angles similar to pool or hockey to find eliminations. You will have to make strategic moves like that of a chess game and learn decision making to find the key eliminations and how to work them out. And you will have to communicate with your teammates to do this! They cannot read your mind and visa versa, so communicating clearly and with the right information becomes extremely important in helping to win the game. Having conversations in the game will allow you and your teammates to get the information needed to plan moves and tactics for success. Even saying the right words and calling out the right positions can be the difference between winning and getting one of your teammates eliminated. The more you play and talk with your team, the better at communication and team problem solving you will become. And this benefit is nearly universal. Just like not clearly and accurately portraying information about the duty of a job may have an employee doing the wrong tasks, and leaving those tasks undone. If those tasks are left undone, the big picture does not succeed. Learning proper communication is one of the most key facets to problem solving with others, and doing most things in life correctly!
You may have first gone to the field to have a lot of fun, and fire paintballs at your friends. But every time you return and practice this game, you’re also soaking up the life improving benefits of teamwork, staying on task, and mental skills like problem solving, and communication!