Special Ops Paintball: How to start a team - Special Ops Paintball

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#1 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:06 PM

I am interested in starting a team with the group of people that i play with. I was just wondering if anyone on an established solid team had any suggestsions on things that i should do or avoid doing. If someone walked through the structure of their team that would be very much appreciated. It would also help anyone else who is trying to or wants to make their own team.

thanks for the help.
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#2 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:21 PM

First - What is the goal for the team?

I say this because the expectation you have is going to be a large contributor to what winds up happening. Depending on the people you're starting with, it may succeed or fail based solely on this expectation (if you plan on serious competition and practice and they do not, they will quickly leave. If you plan a low key have-fun team, and they want a high end tournament team, they'll leave you for the more dedicated teams).

With this in mind, look at your initial guys. Do they share the same basic expectation? How dedicated are they to paintball?

Moving away from that to some advice from a team captain...

Do:

-Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure everybody knows what they're expected of up front and that they're good for it. Last minute warning or no warning will quickly tire any player (most of which have a real life and schedule as well). Phone calls or text messages are better than email or facebook posts, but anything is better than nothing. On the field, make sure everybody knows what the plan is, who is responsible for what, and everyone knows at least one fallback contingency when the plan fails.

-Push them to be better, but push yourself just as hard. Everybody on the team has more fun as they improve their skills in the game, so find ways to make it a challenge. If you've mastered the walk-ons at one field, go ahead and try to take on the field's sponsored team. Try other fields. Try new ideas. Always be pushing yourself at a healthy rate.

-Try to keep it fun. Any team that is no fun to be with will quickly cease to exist. In your quest for practice and improvement, don't make paintball a chore. Make it fun.

-Team build. During the off season or on a weekend you can't go paintball, try and get the guys to do something else together they all enjoy. Building the outside-of-the-field connection will grow the bond of the team, and helps keep it more cohesive.


Don't:

-Don't over do it. Goes as the corollary to "push everybody to improve." Going overboard will quickly end the fun for the guys and you'll be on your own.

-Don't rush for sponsorships right away. Say this out loud right now -- "Sponsorships are business opportunities." Got it? That means the field/store/company/whoever has to have a business reason to sponsor you. Don't focus on the sponsorship deals now, just do your best and have fun. Build up the team resume. Help out at the local field if you can. Become known in your area.


There's quite a bit more I could put down, but I'd have to sit down and think it all out. This should be a good start.

Hope it helps some.
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#3 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:31 PM

that helps a lot. i hadnt thought of some of those.

i ave a group of like 5-6 people that i play with regularly and we all have the same goals and ideas on and off the field and we are all friends. we always consider ourself a team and usually are at smaller local events. i just dont know how to get the recognition of a team other than just "that group of guys".

as for walk-on games, we actually went to one last weekend which we usually dont do. we usually only got eliminated by one of two guys there who had egos (the field has no ROF limit so it was an advantage), if at all.

We have also been to larger scenario's, but at things like that its hard to get the recognition with there being so many people playing. I dont know how to set us apart from everyone else thats there you know what i mean.
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#4 User is offline   Tommikka 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:55 PM

Form an identity.

e.g. a common uniform, and / or a team logo

If at a scenario make yourselves known to the commander and identify your team skills / preferences to get yourselves allocated tasks or missions.

View PostJAGERBOMB, on 11 August 2010 - 02:31 AM, said:

that helps a lot. i hadnt thought of some of those.

i ave a group of like 5-6 people that i play with regularly and we all have the same goals and ideas on and off the field and we are all friends. we always consider ourself a team and usually are at smaller local events. i just dont know how to get the recognition of a team other than just "that group of guys".

as for walk-on games, we actually went to one last weekend which we usually dont do. we usually only got eliminated by one of two guys there who had egos (the field has no ROF limit so it was an advantage), if at all.

We have also been to larger scenario's, but at things like that its hard to get the recognition with there being so many people playing. I dont know how to set us apart from everyone else thats there you know what i mean.

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#5 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:59 PM

Alright, the extra bit of information makes it a little easier to respond.

View PostJAGERBOMB, on 10 August 2010 - 08:31 PM, said:

i ave a group of like 5-6 people that i play with regularly and we all have the same goals and ideas on and off the field and we are all friends. we always consider ourself a team and usually are at smaller local events. i just dont know how to get the recognition of a team other than just "that group of guys".


Simple - Declare that you're a team. Make a name. Build a website. Put up a banner by your vehicles in the parking lot or by your part of the staging area if you want to make one.

The only difference between a group of guys who practice and play together and a team is the name.

Now, it may prove useful to try and get something that matches at events so people know you're a team. Nothing says "team players" than a group with matching jerseys or prominent team patches.

You don't have to standardize all your gear (actually, as a team captain I discourage this because everybody has their own preferences on marker/hopper/mask/etc), just a matching "uniform" will do. One group up in my area for the longest time used a homemade headwrap as their signature (they still use them, but also adopted jerseys). You saw those headwraps and knew they were part of that group.

Quote

We have also been to larger scenario's, but at things like that its hard to get the recognition with there being so many people playing. I dont know how to set us apart from everyone else thats there you know what i mean.


The two things that come to mind for a scenario game:

1. Stand out in appearance -- Remember that signature look I mentioned? Do this. You may have to go for something less subtle than a patch, and more obvious at distance like a specific jersey (either a commercially available one or a custom one) or a specific head gear or something. Travel together and be seen by your friendly forces (and once the firefight starts, by your enemies as well. Part of notoriety in scenario paintball is the enemy reporting the crazy guys with snakeskin jerseys clearing out a force twice their size to take the big objective)

The idea is you want it to be unique enough to be memorable, especially when combined with...

2. Stand out in actions -- So you look good, but time to stand out for real. Do something crazy. Take out objectives outnumbered. Rally the walk-on morale with some well placed verbal encouragement. Find a way to communicate with the general ahead of the game, and then update him when important events occur or you obtain valuable information.

At a recent scenario, when the chips were down for our side, myself and one other team member rallied a dozen or so walk-ons and formed a resistance movement behind the enemy lines. People didn't know the walk-ons, but they saw the guys running the act. We popped out of nowhere, would retake an objective from behind the line, and move on.

Stories were told about that.

Another example -- I still to this day remember the member of the 716th Infantry at Oklahoma D-Day 2009 who ran around flying a large Jolly Roger at the final battle.
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#6 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 07:05 PM

4 of us all have the exact same blue empire jersey that we usually wear. at the end of playing sometimes i hear people referring to "the blue guy" knowing it was one of us.

i guess other than that we just have to represent oursleves as much as possible like you were saying or do something off the wall to get noticed. any others suggestsions of ways to do this? its extremely helpful to know and i thank you both.

I also want this thread to help other people, not just myself. so what about sponsorship? i know a lot of people would be interested in that if they made a team, but what are the best ways to approach it?

I'll also throw in my two cents on team making. Try to keep it small if at all possible. a small effective team that communicates well is going to be far more adventageous than one that is large and unorganized. Also, if you are specifically a scenario player, try to play speedball at least once. The snapshooting, communication, and fundementals of it will also help you improve your scenario game and vice versa.

This post has been edited by JAGERBOMB: 10 August 2010 - 07:42 PM

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#7 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 07:44 PM

View PostJAGERBOMB, on 10 August 2010 - 09:05 PM, said:

4 of us all have the exact same blue empire jersey that we usually wear. at the end of playing sometimes i hear people referring to "the blue guy" knowing it was one of us.


Off to a good start there.

Quote

i guess other than that we just have to represent oursleves as much as possible like you were saying or do something off the wall to get noticed. any others suggestsions of ways to do this? its extremely helpful to know and i thank you both.


Some ways to get noticed...

1. Find the general before the game and ask him what he needs done. Do it well and do it fast.

2. Report often (radio preferred, but a messenger works too) to give the general a clear idea of what's going on in as close to real time as feasible.

3. Do something unusual that ends up helping the team through the day.

4. Be where you're needed, and do the hard missions nobody wants but have to be done.

5. At walk-on games, help the refs out. Pick up trash after the day is done. Volunteer to help clean the rental gear with them so it goes faster. Try to be a part of the solution to their day, and not part of the problems.

Quote

i know if i dont ask someone will. what about sponsorship?


Already got it covered. :)

View PostThalion, on 10 August 2010 - 08:21 PM, said:

-Don't rush for sponsorships right away. Say this out loud right now -- "Sponsorships are business opportunities." Got it? That means the field/store/company/whoever has to have a business reason to sponsor you. Don't focus on the sponsorship deals now, just do your best and have fun. Build up the team resume. Help out at the local field if you can. Become known in your area.



But if you want ideas, it depends on the kind of sponsorship you're looking for. If it's a home field you want, look at #5 up there ^ and do that. Then volunteer to help ref the private party or something. Find out what the field needs done and ask if they want you're help doing it. Once they know you and see you're willing to work (and you do your tasks well), that opens the door for a deal.

If your looking at gear/products, then focus on winning awards at local events (MVP, MVT, sportsmanship award, etc at scenarios, and try to place at local tournaments). Companies want players who are honest, professional, and can win (or do well) while representing their products.

For your first year, don't even bother asking - they'll all just say no. A first year team is a bad risk investment for a business, and they'll want to see something to prove you are who you claim you'll be.
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#8 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

View PostThalion, on 10 August 2010 - 10:44 PM, said:

Some ways to get noticed...

1. Find the general before the game and ask him what he needs done. Do it well and do it fast.

2. Report often (radio preferred, but a messenger works too) to give the general a clear idea of what's going on in as close to real time as feasible.

3. Do something unusual that ends up helping the team through the day.

4. Be where you're needed, and do the hard missions nobody wants but have to be done.

5. At walk-on games, help the refs out. Pick up trash after the day is done. Volunteer to help clean the rental gear with them so it goes faster. Try to be a part of the solution to their day, and not part of the problems.




I was thinking the easiest way to get noticed would be at walk on games where larger scenarios are held. if at the end of the day the people there know that your good on the field then thats a decent amount that would probably know at the larger games and they will tell people. nothing beats word of mouth in my opinion, other than actually seeing people who are good on the field and nice and professional off of it.
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#9 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:56 PM

there should be enough info here now to hlep anyone who is trying to start a team. at least they will have a general idea of what they should do and how to do it, but any more info is always welcome
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#10 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 02:31 PM

Here you go: http://www.deltapain...-scenario-team/

Or you can read my weekly OpEd on Jungle Online (http://www.jungle-ma...om/indexjm.php) about starting a team.
Coming soon.
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#11 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 02:34 PM

View Postdeltapaintball, on 11 August 2010 - 05:31 PM, said:

Here you go: http://www.deltapain...-scenario-team/

Or you can read my weekly OpEd on Jungle Online (http://www.jungle-ma...om/indexjm.php) about starting a team.



thats great man. thanks.
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#12 User is offline   Krazy8 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:04 PM

Delta....that is a huge help there. If anyone wants to follow a solid leader in the paintball team community...Delta is a great place to look!


As for a structure...ug...there is no winning plan.

Through the years I have wittnessed teams self destruct by trying far to hard. As mentioned...have a goal, but remember that this should be fun for everybody.

The Irregulators are a very fine example of loose organization. We were started with the idea of having a mutual support system for our sport. I wanted the ability to goto a game and not have to take everything under the roof to have a good time. With just a few guys you can create a great support system that relies on each person handling a portion of the work.
As a team we help each other out. We travle, carpool, eat and share motels rooms together. Some packs a tent, someone else bring the cooking gear...someone else brings the food...etc

Our goals when we started were simple...so we kept the organization of the team simple. No manditory anything.
Meetings, dues, uniform, gear....nothing is set in stone. If you want to play in a floral tutu...go ahead, just let me get the camera befor we hit the field!

The only true rules we have in or team...Play safe, play fair, have fun!

Yes we have a team shirt...and jersey design. But those go right back to helping each other...we ordered those items in bulk to save costs. We have team mates who did the design work....team mates who make our stickers...blahblahblah. But in no way do I require a team member to buy these things to be apart of our team.

In a way our team is far closer to an extended family than anything else. We use the events we attend like a reunion. The love held for each other is deep and possibly stronger than some families actually are. We have all gone out of our way to help each other over the years and the bond of our friendship just keeps getting stronger.

The team name is quite possibly the hardest part of the gig. Some just fell on their name easy...ours took seven hours of driving and brainstorming in 2005 to finally nail down! Our logo was hammered out during the same trip.

Personally I think a good name is a very huge factor on your recognition factor. And the name needs to be fitting to the team. And when you think you have it down...please do a google search and see if somewhere out there another group of five did not have the exact same idea you did! I have countless examples of the exact same team name and structure existing on opposite sides of the country without the two ever knowing until they find each other on Facebook!

Sit down with your buddies, Bang out a name and start using it. Eventually you will either move on with life and disolve or you will continue to build on just the name and have yourself an established organization.

Man I can ramble on with no real direction.

I will stop now...
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#13 User is offline   JAGERBOMB 

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:28 PM

lol. your rumbling helped a lot. i've had a paintball team fail before and i dont want it to happen again so im trying to get as much info as i can, and im sure having it on here will help many others.
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#14 User is offline   Tommikka 

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:41 AM

Regarding the magic word 'sponsorship':

What are you after?

If it's lots of free stuff then think again.
What have you got to offer to give them value for their investment? Especially in current economies.

Even if you don't get free stuff, what do you do to deserve being associated with their brand?

In tournament paintball you can show how amazing you are by winning everything, but winning with a reputation of being dirty players may not be good for their brand.
In scenario paintball a good reputation can go a long way.

Other than free stuff you can negotiate discounts. You won't necessarily need to be associated to a brand and require sponsorship, you can go to a supplier and say you intend to buy from them in bulk etc an get a discount. Build up a reputation and they will be happy to get associated with you.

When a company is promoting a product even if they are not giving free sponsorship they may like to give generous discounts to get kit seen by reputable teams.
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#15 User is offline   deltapaintball 

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:09 PM

It is WAY to early for him to talk sponsorships.

The way people thought of "the pros and big teams" getting a full free ride are long over. I know from our experience and that of other "pro teams" that they are not getting anything like the days of 2007.
Coming soon.
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