Paintball’s fun, but it’s a lot more fun when you win—especially if you’re playing for bragging rights against your coworkers.
The good news? There are some things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Read on for a roundup of 5 tactics that will help you be victorious in your next team building paintball session.
1. Get to know your equipment
Different levels of play require different paintball guns. Knowing which gun you need and how to use it can help you hit the ground running—literally and figuratively.
While operating a paintball gun isn’t “hard,” practice makes perfect. Varying both pressure and speed directly impacts firing rates.
Plus, the more you practice, the more muscle memory you’ll build up.
Not to mention that proficiency with your gun will help you avoid issues like jamming and fumbling around on the field while attempting to reload.
2. Have a plan
No great military general ever won a battle by winging it. The same applies on the paintball field.
Study the game zones in advance to understand the field and identify spots to potentially use as cover, and be sure to do a walk through with your teammates before the game begins.
This is also an opportunity to ensure that you’re on the same page regarding your expectations for each other for everything from positions to strategy.
Establishing these things in advance will help improve your team’s confidence and efficiency.
3. Use your teammates
Your teammates can be an asset or a liability. Proactive communication is often the differentiating factor between the two.
Stopping to reload, or getting ready to make a big move? Signal your teammates to cover you. (Just avoid tipping off your opponents by yelling.)
4. Keep moving
From eliminating your opponents to capturing the flag, different paintball games can have different objectives. However, securing as much of the field as possible gives you a major advantage in every scenario.
While it can be tempting to spend your time hiding to try to “wait it out,” this gives the other team the advantage over the field. The longer you stand still or stay in the same places, the greater the odds that your opponents will spot you and either maneuver around you or eliminate you.
The takeaway? Hanging back will only get you so far and does nothing to advance your team.
In addition to moving your body, keep moving your eyes. It’s easy to get stuck in tunnel vision, especially if you think you might see someone hiding in a particular place. However, keeping your attention there can make you blind to other threats, such as being flanked by the enemy while you’re distracted.
Speaking of moving, paintball is an extremely physical game. Practicing loading and firing your gun while sitting in your living room won’t prepare you for how it feels while you’re maneuvering around the field. Spend some time replicating these tasks while running in your backyard. (It may feel silly, but it works!)
5. Learn how to “snap shoot.”
Once you get the hang of the basics of handling your paintball gun, you can move onto more advanced skills, like snap shooting. While this technique takes some time to master, it makes a huge difference during a paintball game.
Instead of repeatedly popping up like a prairie dog from behind a bunker (which makes you a target), snap shooting involves “snapping” out, shooting off some rounds, then quickly “snapping” back behind your bunker.
You don’t even bother to confirm your hits with snap shooting. It’s all about speed and the element of surprise. On that note, be sure to vary things like number of shots fired, shooting position, and time between snapshots. Predictable patterns will turn you into the target of an experienced, attentive player.
One last thing to keep in mind? Just like in the workplace, your paintball team is only as good as its weakest player. Once you’ve got these tips and tricks down, be sure to share them with your teammates to reign supreme at your next team building paintball event.