Okay, so you’ve been chosen to be captain of your paintball team, and you’re about to get your team ready to get that flag! First, you gear up.
- Helmut or safety hat to protect your noggin: check
- Goggles to protect your eyes: check
- Long sleeve sweatshirt to protect your upper body: check
- Gloves to protect your hands: check
- Long loose pants to protect, well, you know what! check
- Football or soccer cleats, army or hiking boots, anything to protect and keep your feet safely moving: check
- Paintball gun loaded: check
Now that you’ve got your gear on, what do you do next? How do you get to the winning place?
I want to share a story with you that may help you get that flag quicker than you’ve ever imagined!
You might be surprised to learn that I’m a 67-year-old woman. Not your typical paintball player, right? About 7 years ago, I participated in an outdoor training program put on by Peak Potentials. It was called, “Ultimate Leadership Camp.” It was held in upstate New York at a training facility that was used to train the Navy Seals. Yep, you heard me, the Navy Seals! Oh my God, what was I getting myself into? How was I going to keep up with all of those young whipper-snappers?
Being there for 5 days was probably the most physically, mentally and emotionally challenging experience I have ever had in my entire life!
The Paintball Experience
When we first arrived, everyone was assembled together on two tennis courts and then they broke us all up into different troupes. Our assignment was to take turns being leaders within our particular troupes through extreme predicaments and situations. We were presented with various tests of our leadership, teamwork and following skills.
As a team player, I followed my leaders, and did the very best I could in every way, no matter the circumstance or situation. I was always striving to be a good team member.
Then, it was my turn to be the leader. My mission was to be the captain of the paintball operation. I had NEVER EVER, (did I say never?) participated in a paintball experience, let along ever having been to a paintball place! I had no idea what the point was or what I was supposed to be doing. All I knew was that I wanted to succeed and make our troupe proud.
After our initial instruction from the head paintball master, we geared up and got ready to go. Before we entered the fenced-in area, I directed our team to look at where the flag was placed.
Then I asked everyone to close their eyes and use the NASA model of visualizing what it feels like to have already gotten the flag. We stayed silent, with our eyes closed, while the feeling was building.
The Nasa Model
The NASA model was used years ago when we first got a man on the moon. The engineers said, “Okay, we got a man on the moon. How did we get him there?” And, then they reverse engineered the things they “did” to get that man on the moon by visualizing the end result first.
As we stood there, I asked everyone to pump themselves up even more with the excitement of snatching that flag. We jumped up and down, feeling totally certain that we were the triumphant winners. We grabbed that flag easily and effortlessly, and had a great time doing it! Taking fun seriously was seriously fun!
It was time. We entered the gate and the games began. We took cover immediately, and then began to strategically move closer to our target. One by one, we darted about, hiding behind trees, running from here to there, ducking and avoiding the ammunition that was flying our way.
BAM, SPLAT! We got someone. BAM, SPLAT! Another one down! BAM, SPLAT! And another opponent bit the dust. More opponents quickly began to fall, one right after the other.
It was the fastest 10 minutes ever! Not a single one of us got hit, which was a miracle in and of itself, and that flag was snagged so fast they (and we) didn’t even know what hit us (or didn’t hit us, I should say).
So, we walked out with the flag, victorious! The mission was accomplished easily and effortlessly, just as we imagined it would be. We jumped up and down and experienced the exact same feelings we had even before we began.
Visualization works. Those engineers at NASA really knew how powerful it was to envision the outcome first and then work backwards. The most important part of paintballing or anything in life is to enjoy the journey, have a blast and work as a team!
What are some of your favorite strategies for your exciting paintball experience?