Boston Paintball - New Englands Number One Source for Paintball

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Trust the Trainer

Trust the Trainer
Last week, New England’s only pro team (187) shuttered its doors after 5 years.

I’m guessing that it was a bittersweet moment for Dave Painter, the founder and godfather of the 187 cRew. It’s a labor of love, running a pro team. It’s stressful and expensive and it gives you a glimpse into just how good the top teams are, up close and personal. As time wears on and you first start thinking about the end of your run, you worry about both taking care of your players and your legacy. At least I did. And when you decide to pull the plug, it hurts. And a week later, it hurts less. And two months later, you’re saying to yourself, “wow, how did I carry that weight that long?”

________________

Paintball is different than other sports in that a player’s ability to advance is predicated on his access to teams at the next level. If you grow up in an area without nationally competing teams, it’s really hard to get on a team that competes nationally. Saying it like that makes it sort of … duh. I know. But most sports have town leagues, high school teams, college teams. None of that exists in paintball. The strength of a region comes from the team OWNERS that exist in that area. People like Dave Painter, Beau Milo (NYO), Sean Wyatt and Brett Messer (Bay State), Dean Carleton (PMob), Rob Lospannato (Landslyde), Kermit (CTO), Arnold (MOB Crew) and Adam Zippin (Crusade) (and many more - New England is spoiled) aren’t so much created by NE paintball as much as they make NE paintball. The more of them that exist today, doing a good job running teams today, the more will exist tomorrow. When people like Dave hang ‘em up, teams die. When enough people like Dave hang ‘em up, regions die. 

Which brings me to the NEPL Combine. Boston Paintball’s 12-years running clinic-and-team-building extravaganza. Two years ago, Boston introduced the Coaches’ Clinic, hosted by Todd Martinez. This year the class is being taught by Rusty Glaze. And, with all due respect to the excellent pro players who come in to coach players, helping them refine their skills to the point where they are ready to join teams and advance their ‘careers’, the Coaches’ Clinic helps create the teams those players need to put those newfound skills to good use. 

I am attending Rusty’s clinic. Bluntly, I wonder about any serious team that doesn’t have someone attending. This is the guy who coaches DYNASTY. Forget all the years he played professionally and all the skills and knowledge he garnered playing with Infamous and Dynasty, the greatest team in the history of our sport hand selected him to lead them. 

If you are a coach, if you are a player who thinks he may someday become a coach, if you are a team captain, if you are a player on a team who wants to know how he can help the entire group move forward, find a coaching clinic taught by someone who actually knows their ****, and take advantage of it. Come with questions (I’m coming with a bunch for Rusty), pay very close attention. Without people learning what Rusty can teach, it won’t matter how good you are as a player. Ryan, Damian, Billy and Nick create players. What Rusty will be teaching can create a region.

 

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Regret Free Office Parties!

Regret Free Office Parties!

It happens every year, but we know you'd rather not talk about it, maybe you can't even remember what it is you're not talking about. It's ok. It's a new year and you can turn this all around! Paintball Office party - and before you say #notmyoffice paintball has changed. See these kids?

 

They played paintball - and you can to! Low Impact Paintball - its a thing - and its all the fun of paintball without all that ouch. Smaller ball, smaller lighter marker and soo much motivation - it will be the BEST OFFICE PARTY EVER and you'll only regret not doing it sooner! 

Want to know more? Read this! 

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New Faces of the Game: SplatMaster vs. Low Impact vs. Traditional Paintball

New Faces of the Game: SplatMaster vs. Low Impact vs. Traditional Paintball

Paintball vs LowImpact vs SplatMaster

Always wanted to play paintball or maybe it’s been suggested and you just aren’t sure it’s a good fit? Let’s talk - ok let’s read - about it! 

At Boston Paintball we now offer 3 different versions of the game:

Traditional .68 caliber Paintball (ages 10+)

Low Impact .50 caliber Paintball (ages 10+) and

SplatMaster .50 caliber (ages 8+)

Boston Paintball started it’s business almost 25 years ago with traditional .68 caliber paintball. Since there are now a few new options to help just about anyone enjoy the game, we've started to refer to it as exactly that -  Traditional Paintball to help distinguish from the other options we offer. 

Traditional paintballs are about the size of a dime and travel at approx 280 feet per second (just shy of 200 miles an hour) and that translates into it packing a little bit of a punch. You will certainly feel the pinch a tad more easily with traditional paintball if you don’t layer up appropriately but remember “Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever.” Nah it’s not that bad but it is usually the best type of play for players over 13, players that have played paintball before or for those who measure higher on the dare devil scale.  

Maybe you have a smaller, quieter, less daring Dare Devil and when you hear paintball you start imagining Rambo, camouflage and face paint and are thinking “Ummmm…. No. Pass. ” Now not so fast! Low Impact Paintball is the PERFECT fit! 

Low Impact paintballs are smaller and weigh in at .50cal (fifty caliber) so, what that means is that they are 40% the size and weight of a .68cal ball. Think marble size (.68) and half a marble size :) Low Impact paintballs travel at slower speed which if you like math means approximately 225 fps. There is much less 'force' on the ball and the paintball hurts a lot less when it makes contact.  

Another great side effect of low impact is that the paintball markers are able to be made much smaller and lighter because the equipment needs to do less work. This makes the .50cal set-ups much easier for smaller players to manage.

And lastly, our Splatmaster equipment uses a spring driven system to shoot a .50caliber paintball at a small portion of the speed of the first two examples. If your player has ever played with a Nerf gun, the Splatmaster gun will be very familiar. The idea is that reduced flight speed and lighter ball (again only 40% the size and weight of a traditional .68 caliber paintball, but now with less than 50% of the travel speed) will further reduce impact, leaving you with little to no 'ouch' factor at all. It is a great introducion to paintball for young players and easy on the mature kids too!

 

When trying to decide which is best consider there three things:

  1. The age of the players - different requirements for different versions 
  2. The experience of the players: 

If your players have already played regular .68 cal paintball, they may not want to do Low Impact and most players over 13 crave the “all in” version, to them it makes for better stories!

3. Composition of the group:

If all of the players are 10 yrs old+ and played a few times, but some of the players are just 10 and/or never played at all, then Low Impact would be a great place to get started because it is so visually similar to traditional paintball. 

 

Paintball has been a fun, safe and all inclusive game for decades and the new versions only make it even more so! More girls are playing paintball because of SplatMaster and Low Impact, more offices are getting in on the game and more families are having the time of their lives running around burning off some calories and energy and making memories that will be brought up time and time again.  Call your local field with questions, read all the info and check it out some weekend you are running errands.  We love our game and we want you to love it just as much #playpaintball !! 

 

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Paintball School and what it can do for you!

Paintball School and what it can do for you!

Boston Paintball’s Paintball University was created to be used as a tool for all aspiring paintball players to learn from more experienced players and to introduce players to other players. Not every person that finds paintball has a friend to bring along and not everyone has a paintball mento,  so when you have a need for something - you fill it!  

 

The goal of Paintball U is to provide an atmosphere of growth and comfortability, where players can expand their knowledge of the game. Our lead Professor and program creator Anthony Vitale 3 (AV3) on the how and why: “It’s personal because through my 12 years of playing competitive paintball there have been a countless number of friends and mentors who have helped me along the way. I wanted to give back to the community that gave me so much when I was growing up. 

 

Paintball taught me a lot about how to communicate with others to achieve a common goal, think creatively, and helped me handle responsibilities that were assigned to me. Along with the physically demanding aspects of the game we are also working to hone our mental skills. Paintball is a combination of physical strength and high speed decision making, through practice we will help fine tune your skills.” 

 

Paintball U combines the meet up point, the connections and the education to help players to keep playing, competing and getting better.  Unlike traditional sports, paintball doesn't have as many entry points so providing all of these fundamentals is important to ensure the growth of not only the player who plays but the sport as well.  

 

Classes are offered in sessions and usually meet on Friday Nights at the Chelsea location.  If you want to know more - follow the Boston Paintball Facebook Page or like PaintballU on Facebook! 

 

www.facebook.com/PlayBostonPaintball

 

www.facebook.com/PaintballU 

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No Coach? How to work around it

No Coach? How to work around it

No Coach?

 

Having a coach helps. A lot. But not having one isn’t a death sentence. You can still compete. It’ll just take a bit more work.

So, how do we plan around not having a coach?

The first step happens before you get to the event, at practices. Learn the field as best you can and create a ‘playbook’. Playbooks have fallen out of grace in recent years because they somewhat limit you. You have your ‘canned’ responses and are potentially limited (or at least, challenged to think outside the box in a time-sensitive, pressurized situation) to what you’ve already drawn up. But, without a coach, at least at the beginning, it will probably help because it’ll focus your thoughts onto a challenge you can deal with. Eventually you want to get away from a playbook but to start, a playbook will help you focus on controlling your pits and creating the calm, focused environment you want.

The second step: set up your first # points. Who is playing what breakout? Again, as with the playbook, you are accepting some limitations (flexibility) in exchange for some benefits (control, depressurizing). Eventually you’ll want to become more fluid and to create responses to the field in real time, but to start, this will help.

Next step: scout like hell. Watch every point of every team you play. Between scouting and the playbook, you’ll be able to map the first # points for each match 30 minutes before you play (in what will hopefully be a nice, calm team discussion).

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What Else You Should be Doing at Practice

What Else You Should be Doing at Practice

Ran a practice for Pip Pip Cheerio yesterday. Thought I'd put the practice notes up here in case it helps anyone.

Just to reiterate: I'm not a coach. I don't really 'do' drills and what not. So if you have a lot of questions, I'd suggest joining BKi and asking Grayson. That's the kind of stuff he does.

 

Practice.v3

 

Warm Up:

2 laps around the field

5-10 Min of stretching

 

Shuttle Run across the field & back - 1/3rd toe jogging (heels never touch the ground), 1/3rd knee high and 1/3rd butt kickers (heel hits your ass), on way back across field, side shuttle (about 25 seconds in) to the 50 and then sprint the rest of the way.

 

Plyometric Warm Up (8-15 Min). The goal here is to get a body warm up, get your sweating a bit, breathing a bit heavy. You’re going to have to be able to play through that in a match, so might as well practice that way.  We are stealing someone else’s exercise (Taylor Cormier) called the Hop Pivot Relay: Two teams, running a relay race against each other. First you hop to the 50 on your left leg, then to the far starting box on your right leg, turn around and hop back to the 40 on both legs (I guess that’s not really hopping, but…), then you do low lunges to the 50 and sprint back to where you started, tagging the next guy in line.

 

Individual Skill Drills

 

“Elastic” Snap Shooting: one shot at a time, snapping back behind cover after each shot, either against a target or one-on-one competition (with limited bunker use). Works on first shot accuracy. Fill your pack, snap your pack.  If time allows, do this twice (sandwiched around other drills)

 

Snap-and-Go: Two players in mirrored bunkers (let’s say they are each in the bunker that leads to the snake). They snap with each other until one can put the other in and bump cleanly into the snake. That player wins.

 

Snake Elevation: Specialized snap shooting where a dorito player snaps across field at a target above the snake (simulating the snake player popping the top). This is specifically first shot accuracy at the snake. I like to do this as a dorito side, one-on-one battle with occasional looks inside at the snake target.

 

Containment: 2 on 1: player 1 contains player A while player 2 tries to make a specific bunker

 

Run & Gun: Start in start box. Spin and shoot a target just before the corner/dorito1/snake1 or the widest bunker. When you have hit the target by spinning, run to an insert bunker, wrap on the back center and contain it by bursting with around 10 balls. Start slow and hit your targets and build up speed.

 

Game Simulations

Breakouts: One player runs to dorito/snake corner (can add a target to shoot at while running) while opposite player starts at 3 and guns for him. Can add another player (in runners’ starting box) to edge the gunner.  

 

Bowling Alleys: Snake/Dorito Side: 2-on-1, 2-on-2, 2-on-3

 

Closing Drills: 2-on-1, 3-on-2, 5-on-3…

 

30-Second Points: Uh… duh.

 

3-on-3 Tourney: End the day with something fun and the winner doesn’t have to help with cleanup (or something)

 

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Managing the Pit

Managing the Pit

 

Bluntly: you aren’t going to win anything if you spend all your energy fighting yourselves. Disorganized, unfocused, stressed out pits are a death sentence for any team.

The army has a saying, “Men need to be led.” Make no mistake about it, pits need to be controlled. Own the pit. Get everyone focused in the same (and hopefully right) direction. 

Each case is different, so there is no cure-all I can offer, just high level directions.

Get everyone to the point where they understand and buy into the idea that the team is bigger than any individual. The team is greater than the sum of its parts. The name on the front of your jersey is more important than the one you the back. Maybe that starts with a coach or captain who the team listens to (the coach or captain, standing in for the team, is bigger than each individual). Eventually, though, people need to realize that it is the team that they are there for, not themselves. The team is bigger than the individual.

Get everyone focused on things they can control. You can’t control the reffing. You can’t control the paint. You can’t even control your teammates. So don’t waste time on it. Fix what YOU can fix, which is only, ever, yourself. Trust your teammates to do the same. But no finger should ever be pointed at something you can’t fix or have no control over.

Get everyone focused on the next point. How you got shot only matters as a mistake-driven learning opportunity. If you bounced a guy, it only matters so the next point everyone knows that shot. If the other guy wiped or the ref made a bad call, get over it. You have another point coming up in just a few minutes, but you have all night after the event to cry about life’s great injustices. 

Don’t get caught up in past successes. That’s a trap. Each year, you have to evaluate what your CHANGING needs are. What worked for you one year may or may not work for you the next. Each team has to find its own answer for each challenge, and sometimes each challenge, each time, because what the team needs changes as players, coaches, sponsors and expectations come and go.

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System Goals for YOUR teams Best Operating Strategy

System Goals for YOUR teams Best Operating Strategy

System Goals

The primary goal of my ‘system’ is to disperse responsibilities so that each part of the organization can focus on just one thing, and do that one thing to the best of its ability. This creates an environment where players need focus only on playing, so they can do that to their full and best ability. This also creates pits that are compartmentalized, organized, prepared and depressurized. 

Take the Bandits. The players play, that’s all they do. There is a “pit boss” who runs the pits. I explained how I wanted things to run and he took it and made it his own. It is his only responsibility and he has complete authority. No one (but me) overrules him and I very very rarely overrule him. There is a coach who owns the X’s and O’s of paintball. That is his only responsibility and he has complete authority. No one, including myself, overrules him (although he usually listens to my suggestions when I make them). Nobody is trying to eat the elephant. Everyone is taking just their individual bite. The end result is a system and organization that has dispersed responsibilities and tension and is better prepared to deal with the unexpected fuck-ups and general stressors of a tournament. 

Not everyone has a pit boss and a coach at their disposal. So I would suggest to most teams that you target the 80% of the 80/20 rule.

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Does Paintball Hurt?

Does Paintball Hurt?

This is by far the most common question about paintball and the "pain" part of paintball can be a little intimidating.  Won't lie. The answer is that paintball CAN hurt but the more informed you are about what makes it hurt can help make it hurt a LOT less.  There are a few things you can do to ensure that worrying about what it will feel like won’t take away from the experience - paintball IS after all one of those Bucket List things that you just have to try at least once!

What you wear and where you play are the two biggest factors involved in the ouch factor.  Yeah, it may be 80 degrees in the middle of July but shorts and a tank top are not really how you want to do this! Layers are key - the more the better and if it's just too hot - at least make sure there is no bare skin to speak of.  A long sleeve t-shirt and some sweatpants will be well worth the effort.  And ladies, Yoga pants? We would leave them in the car for the ride home and opt for loose, baggy pants.  Bring thin gloves if you have them, a beanie or a baseball hat flipped backwards helps too.  Sneakers or boots will work - opened toe shoes are a definite NO! 

Now where you play and why it matters.

There are a LOT of woods and abandoned properties out there and they are usually just begging for someone to bust out a paintball game - awesome! But, this experience can easily give first time players a not so great impression of the game and here's why. Paintball playing fields NEED you to have a good experience, one that may make you want to come back.  To ensure this they make sure the guns used on their fields are operating within safe operating guidelines.  Paintball guns shoot in Feet Per Second (FPS) and it is how we measure velocity.  Safe velocity is between 220 and 280 FPS.  Paintball goggles are rated to withstand 300FPS and paintballs themselves are made to shoot optimally between the same ranges.  There is never a reason for a paintball gun to be shooting higher than 300FPS - but it can happen.  Paintball fields have the necessary equipment to test this - and do often. Trust them! 

The more you know - the better your paintball experience can be! If you have questions - call the field and ask them - they will be more than happy to help you feel confident that paintball is more fun than ouch!  

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Beast of the East 2

Beast of the East 2

When the decision was made to bring the Combine back to its original form last year, we were quite aware that a lot of the more advanced players would be left out of the event.  The Combine in it's original form was meant to help new players find teams, and over the past few years the event had been heading in a different direction - a lot of the players that were registering were already on teams, they were simply interested in just getting some time in with the Pro players and taking their chances on winning some crazy, cool prizes.  Because we get it, we wanted everyone who wanted to be here to be able to be here that weekend but we needed a way to keep the integrity of the Combine itself intact but have a place for the more advanced players to go and you know, still showcase that talent... CombineX is where the Beast of the East was born. The idea of the event was to find New England's best all around player thru a series of pro practice drills and scrimmages and make them work to show they were not just in fact amongst some of the best players in New England but possibly the best.  I remember thinking during that even that it wasn't quite what I think anyone thought it would be like, it seemed as though a lot of players were caught a little off guard, but in a good way, the way that makes you pay attention and see what you can learn and do better. The pros certainly put them thru their paces - and you could see confidence rise and fall depending on what was thrown their way.  Along with finding the best player New England had to offer, the Beast of the East event was going to do the same thing the Combine was doing, building a "Dream Team" to send out nationally and represent the best the Northeast had to offer. From the 38 players that registered, 12 were chosen to represent the Northeast in the PSP Nashville event, the one event that most teams were't committed to playing - so we weren't breaking teams up to make it happen and then without warning - PSP Nashville didn't happen.  The layout had been released, the team had been registered, had gotten together and practiced, were making travel arrangements and before you knew it the PSP was no more and in it's place was the NXL. 4 events to finish the season, most of the players committed to the remaining events already and we couldn't collectively make the team happen. We haven't given up hope of getting them all on the same page at an event this season - but we couldn't risk the same issues with a  second team, so we have changed it up a bit this year. The concept is the same, only the players will have to make an initial cut - be amongst the top half of the player to qualify to be crowned.  Players will be selected by the pros to compete in the Beast Bracket, advancing to compete in one on ones by exemplifying the mastery of their core skills, playing to win none other than a Special Edition Boston Paintball......  The pros will once again call on them to dig deep and prove they have what it takes to wear that crown and be called the 2016 BEAST of the East. Don't make the cut for overall Beast? There's a bracket for those players too. Registration is now Open. Think were were a little overlooked last season and have something to prove? Throw your name in the ring.  Know someone who would never claim to be as good as you KNOW they are? Get them registered.

 

register-now-button

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Most Popular

Lori Miller
09 March 2016
This is by far the most common question about paintball and the "pain" part of paintball can be a little intimidating.  Won't lie. The answer is that paintball CAN hurt but the more inf...
Lori Miller
16 August 2016
Paintball vs LowImpact vs SplatMaster Always wanted to play paintball or maybe it’s been suggested and you just aren’t sure it’s a good fit? Let’s talk - ok let’s read - about it!  At Boston Pain...
Lori Miller
11 August 2016
Boston Paintball’s Paintball University was created to be used as a tool for all aspiring paintball players to learn from more experienced players and to introduce players to other players. Not every ...
Ran a practice for Pip Pip Cheerio yesterday. Thought I'd put the practice notes up here in case it helps anyone. Just to reiterate: I'm not a coach. I don't really 'do' drills and what not. So if you...
System Goals The primary goal of my ‘system’ is to disperse responsibilities so that each part of the organization can focus on just one thing, and do that one thing to the best of its ability. This c...