Survival-Pax Blog: Paintball - Great Team-Building

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paintball - Great Team-Building

A few weeks ago, I was able to go with a group of friends to play paintball. I don't know how many of you have ever gone before, but if you haven't, it's a lot of fun and I recommend it. I used to play paintball much more in college than I do now, but I still enjoy going every once in a while.

Here's me taking cover behind a bunker in a game of Speedball.
Thinking back on the experience, apart from seeing all my bruises and welts, I saw it as an important team-building activity.

As many of you follow the WROL Scenario's that I have been doing, I hope that you are starting to see that the focus is becoming more on the community rather than the individual.

We humans are societal beings. We are meant to live together in communities, sharing the workload, thus accomplishing more together than any one of us could do alone. Whenever there is a larger-scale disaster or emergency, or even in just simple everyday life, we rely on others to help us out. Sure we can hold off on our own for a while if we are prepared, and it very well may be necessary to hold down the fort for a while, but eventually we all run out of supplies and will have to rely on our communities again to help us rebuild and survive.

How does this relate to Paintball?

Nice view of how it feels like to peek out
from behind a bunker.
Well, some of you that have taken preparation and survival seriously have already formed networks of families to rely on in case something should happen. These networks don't have to be official, either. Your network may very well consist of your neighbors, or members of your family that live close by. It is important, however, that your network consists of people that you can easily contact and that are in close proximity to where you live. This is your community and these will be the people that you will rely on and also help out should anything bad happen.

In order for any community to work well together, they need to have had practice working as a team. In doing so, natural leaders will arise and the strengths and weaknesses of each individual will be shown. This information is very important in delegating jobs and in just understanding each other. Even if a disaster never were to happen, sharing experiences with your community is part of the foundation for solid friendships that will last a lifetime.

Paintball may be just one of many fun experiences for you to share with your community/network. It's a fairly stressful sport, that can show the integrity and character of the people you're with. Natural leaders will emerge and lessons will be learned.

Some of the lessons that I learned during my last outing were the importance of teamwork and communication. I saw that only in working together could we effectively beat the other team.

After a long day, you walk off the field not really caring
if you won or lost. A good time was had by all.
Going hand in hand with teamwork is communication. Without walkie-talkies, it is very difficult to communicate over any reasonable distance. We relied on shouting, which worked somewhat. However, in the middle of a firefight, you quickly forget the importance of communication and the team quickly breaks down after communication is lost.

Learning to maintain a clear mind in the middle of a stressful situation is crucial in order to make right judgments. Analyzing the times when I did get shot, I noticed that I had made some silly mistakes that should have been obvious to me. However, in the middle of getting shot at, these simple things are often overlooked and dumb mistakes are made.

So, if you haven't played paintball before, I highly recommend it. It's not as scary as you may think and getting shot doesn't hurt that much. The lessons learned are definitely worth the price you pay in welts. :)

Take care!

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

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