Mike ought to need no introduction and, while his messages are often provocative, they usually include some worthwhile advice or observation.
Not so this time around.
The video seems to be directed at younger players and suggests that the first thing they need to do in order to start down the path to team stardom is…to…
wear the same clothes.
The remainder of the video continues in a similar vein with advice that I consider inappropriate if not actually potentially ruinous.
The proper way to start a team, the way to start one that ensures the greatest possibility of future success, is for those players looking to start one to become familiarized with all of the requirements, demands and realities of team play in paintball. This may even include, for younger players, involving the parents (who will be footing the bill).
One such piece of information that should be communicated immediately is the fact that having a team does not mean free play for everyone. Learning the realities of sponsorship in the paintball industry is crucial, as many teams fail once it becomes obvious that a sugar daddy is not waiting at the field to drop tens of thousands of dollars a year on the new kids on the block.
The first task for new-team wannabes is to decide what their goals as a team will be. What formats are they going to play, how serious are they going to be, what kind of players do they want. Names, uniforms, sponsorship and all the rest will be wasted if the goals are not determined. You may have all the players you need, but if some of them want to play scenario only, some of them want to play PSP only and some of them only want to compete in tournament play locally, you do not have a TEAM.
What you have are a bunch of misled individuals who are going to waste time and money and experience a lot of aggravation and disappointment while they figure out that their individuals goals are not compatible.
Another first step in forming a team – based on the goal(s) decided upon – is – where is the money going to come from? How is the team going to be financed? Not through sponsorship, I can promise you that. You don’t have a team if everyone spends their available paintball money on practice (necessary practice) and has nothing left for the events. And if you shave on practice in order to pay for the event, you’re going to have a disappointing, money-wasting tournament because without practice your team will just not be ready.
There are a host of additional pitfalls that can destroy a team in a single weekend if they aren’t anticipated and planned for in advance: what happens when your star players are cherry-picked by the team that does have some decent sponsorship and reputation? What happens when mom says Billy can’t play until he gets his grades up? (And you need Billy to fill out the tournament roster?) How do you divide up the winnings (if you ever get any?) How do you pay for the events? Which parent is going to sign for the hotel rooms for the under-aged team?
Players that start teams and fail at it often become ex-players. If we want to see team play grow, it behooves all of us to help out by giving them good, solid practical information, not wardrobe advice.