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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Living the Dream: A Series on Tournament Paintball

Living the Dream: A Series on Tournament Paintball

Video clip: Heroes for a Day: the XSV Story intro speech

Anyone who has watched the epic paintball movies from the past decade has this idea in their heads.  Everyone wants that “Cereal Killerz” moment, or the “Heroes for a Day” season that gets remembered for years to come.  It all comes back to one idea: Living the Dream, traveling the world playing paintball with your friends.  It seems like it could be so simple, but there are endless hours of work and dedication that go into getting to that place, to forge the connections to have the opportunities to play paintball at the highest level.  

There's a reason they call it a dream: it's hard to reach that level of competitive paintball.  It's even harder to stay there.

I’m going to start posting a segment called “Living the Dream” to highlight some of my experiences over this past NPPL season and the early years, to give newer players and idea of the steps to take if they also want to seriously play paintball and chase the dream.  I will continue this segment in a series of posts which I hope people will find my insight to be helpful in their journeys.

Topics will include: 

  • Getting into speedball and starting to play tournaments, from local series with throw-together teams, up to getting onto an established team and playing national events.  The team dynamic really comes into play for national events, as your teammates will become your family during the weekends and trips out of town for tournaments.
  • A comparison on event scale between local single-day events, weekend-long national events, and even a few scenario days.
  • The lifetime connections that come from playing on a committed team, getting sponsors and working tournaments to give back to the paintball community.  Opportunities to help and pit for professional and higher-level teams are also great experiences
  • Giving back to the paintball community: setting up, promoting an running local events.
  • Finally, I will raise the dark question that is in the back of every paintballer's mind that nobody wants to acknowledge: Sustainability.  Is it possible to keep up a competitive traveling paintball lifestyle as life and real commitments begin to get in the way?  How can players afford to keep up with costs of weekly practices and far off events, while also missing time at work to attend?  Any way you cut it, if you're serious about paintball, you will have to invest a great deal of time and money. 

All of these questions will be covered over the next few weeks, so check back for updates!  If anyone has any requests for insight or other topics to cover, feel free to ask!