Making hard work out of team work…
As we come to put a lid on the issue of Ai that you have before you I’ve been taking the time to ponder a few things about my own airsoft activity and the internal politics of it. The airsoft industry as a whole can and does get quite “political” behind the scenes, just as any industry that is as tight knit as this one, but I’m not really talking about that. I’m coming from and angle that nearly every airsofter will have some involvement with at some point.
Personally, I’m not a massive fan of team sports, I’ve never been drawn to football, rugby, ice hockey or anything. Not that I’m not competitive, but I tend to prefer individual games. Don’t laugh when I say I’m more than a little partial to a round of golf. I’m not sure whether or not we can categorise airsoft as a “sport” just yet, but it goes without saying that it’s something that can get quite competitive. With more than one player on each side, it’s inevitable that teams form. Whether they are temporary teams that only have the colour of the band on their arm that day in common, or they are a more long-standing organisation it doesn’t really matter, teams are essential to the mechanics of the game.
Problems begin to kick in though when teams are formed and they need to be orgainised. Frenchie has pondered the issue of leadership in this month’s “Ninja” feature and it’s something everyone even considering forming a team should read through. Although we all have our own egos and our own motivations there always has to be one person in charge otherwise the principle of the team will be entirely lost. If that person in charge is you, you need to step back and wonder if you are being the sort of person you would listen to in that situation. I’m not the biggest proponent of ranks on the airsoft field but I will concede to the fact that somebody, at some point has to press the button and have the final say.
If a well-organized team can take their discipline effectively to the field, they are sure to be a worthy opponent, but the single biggest weakness for any team in infighting. Insubordination is dealt with harshly in the military and for good reason. If infighting breaks out, the enemy can forget about doing anything and simply sit back and watch as the team destroys itself. Again, I’m not condoning a court-martialing on the airsoft field but somebody needs to be in control. This is where the point comes round full-circle to something we mentioned a few issues back… Everyone wants to be something special, it’s natural. Everyone is going to want to be the leader, the commander… Ever heard of that phrase “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”? I’m sure you get my point…
What’s the solution to this then? I can’t give you s straight answer to that but perhaps the best way for you to find out how your team works is to rotate the position of command on a regular basis. The great thing about airsoft is the only consequence of failing is a dent in your pride. You can afford some trial and error and you can afford to let everyone have his or her turn.
One thing is for certain; you best get your team sorted as soon as possible. At the end of summer the Ai 5-Man returns and it’s sure to be the most strenuous test of your squad’s ability to achieve an objective. Why not book in and spend the summer sorting out your own pecking order before the big day on August 3rd? Just please; try not to fight amongst yourselves!