Parents View on Paintball
Mom, dad, parent, guardian, paintball is a sport where players carry guns and shoot each other. I am not going to beat around the bush about it. Naturally, you do not want your loved one involved in this. I would not blame you. But let me tell you some facts about paintball that you may not know. You may be suprised that paintball teaches some important life skills.
Safety is very important since projectiles are used to mark players. This is regulated by the ASTM International and dictates safety requirements for fields, playing equipment and safety equipment. Players must use goggles and is strictly enforced by the field staff on regulated fields. Many fields require one to two on-gun safety devices to work. That being a trigger lock (called a safety) and/or a barrel plug to stop paintballs from exiting the barrel incase of an accidental discharge.
Not only that, because of the enforcement of safety, respect is learned. For both the guns they use to fellow players. Offending players of such safety rules will more than likely be kicked out of the game. Keeping with unsafe practice will be cause for being banned from the field. This also helps in obeying authority. Argue with the field staff and you won’t get to play. Responsibility for their own actions is learned. There are rules in paintball. Whether it is field, safety, or the game rules, if you don’t follow them, you will be told and probably will not be able to play. In paintball, cheaters are not welcome.
Paintball helps build character. As the individual, it encourages problem solving and decision making. I have yet to play a game that is the same situation. Always different circumstances. Situations arise that needs to be solved so that it is in their (and the teams) favor. Try something really dumb and fail. The only thing hurt may be your pride. Paintball is full of calculated risks. You’re always trying to think ahead. “If that team goes that way, this is what will happen. But if I go there, I could keep them from achieving that” can be a common thought process. Being responsible for ones actions and weighing the pros and cons is always foremost in a typical game.
The individual effort is built. It is not easy being the only person on your team against some 4 or 5 on the opposing team. But sometimes, that may be the situation even if it is not the fault of others or yourself. I have found myself in this situation many times. Applying oneself without the help of others is very positive. In life, you’re not always going to have others to rely upon. This builds confidence in you.
Working with others on a one-on-one or team basis is also learned. Many individuals will only rely on oneself at the very start of the game. In paintball, relying on yourself will get you tagged out faster. Working on a team level to achieve a goal is very rewarding. Who knows, their being in a position on the field may be of great help to the team. Also, working one-on-one is also built upon. This one-on-one relationship is not only on the field, but also off. Having problems with a marker will need assistance from the more experienced players. We all do not act the same. Therefore, the interaction with different people will help the individual.
Teaching ones limitations. As teens, they know everything. Paintball shows the individual their limitations. Forces them to work within that. Only so much air and paint can be carried at one time while being light on your feet.
Unlike videogames teaching hand-eye coordination, paintball offers that with the addition of interaction of other people of many ages and getting excercise. When experience is gained, leadership skills are gained. Coordinating efforts and getting the “team” to work as one is not easy. They need to evaluate the individuals abilities and use it to the teams advantage.
Last, through hard work, goals will be achieved. A very rewarding accomplishment. Through teamwork, knowing oneself limitations, and individual effort, achieving tasks is a great feeling. Then there is the other side of the coin and learning to accept losses. Even with hard work and doing everything right will not always gain a win in the game. With that, it encourages thinking of doing something else to increase the chances of a win in the next game.
Let me also add that on fields, there is always adult supervision. No alcohol or drugs are allowed on their premises. You need a clear mind to play. If you’re high or intoxicated, you will end up hurting yourself. Unsafe practices can and will be grounds for dismissal from the field. There are no “Non-Smoking” fields. So you will need to instill the wrongs in that
I have seen positive results and relationships strengthened by the participation of you, the parent. You would not be the only parent/child to walk on to a field to play. I have seen many do this. Many of the field staff and the players like seeing this and think that it is so cool for dad and junior to play. Think of it this way, your taking an interest in what your child likes. A definite plus from your child’s standpoint. If you’re not up to the task of actually playing, maybe stand there on the sidelines and watch the action. Or help out there at the staging area.
That is the hidden aspect of playing paintball that can teach your lifes lessons in a fun environment. To see what is involved in the sport and what to expect in a game, read through my one articles on that subject. Particularly the “What to Expect” section. Also, paintball is one of the safer sports that is open to young and old. Insurance companies and medical companies have shown how safe paintball is as compared to other sports that are seemingly innocent. Look over some of the statistics.
As guardians of our children, we try our best to protect them from harm. Yet, this is almost impossible in many situations. Learning is usually trial and error. Life in general is not fair to us adults. We all at one time or another have wished we could start over. Paintball offers the motivation to try and change a loosing streak. There is always another game to improve oneself.