Have you ever thought about creating and run your own Airsoft team? If you’re an experienced Airsoft player you probably have. You’ve seen teams on the field and you wish you were part of a team like that. Well, I have had the same experience on the field but I did underestimate the work you have to put in to create and run a team…
The four elements that makes up a good team are leadership, communication, commitment and training. Gather a group of guys about 6 members who are dedicated to playing Airsoft on a regular basis and you would like to be around with and enjoy and experience the game. Then select a good name, create an identity and set some goals and expectations.
If you’re certain about why you want to start a team and have enough reasons to create your own team (like organizing is your thing, no teams in the area to join or now teams allow you to join) then it might be a good idea to follow these guidelines and thing through the steps in order to succeed in starting and running your own team.
How to create an Airsoft team?
If you ever thought about creating an Airsoft team, you’d probably had already a plan in mind on how you want to do that. Most of us Airsofters who want to create an Airsoft team, don’t have an Airsoft team to join, or you feel you don’t have the same values that are important for you. The style of playing can be an issue too.
Ask yourself these questions first
One way to find out if you really be able to run a small Airsoft team is by asking yourself these important questions:
- What is my real motivation for starting a new team? Take your time and find out the main reason of creating an Airsoft team.
- Are there other teams in my area which I can join? It is possible that no Airsoft teams are established in your area. This may be a good reason for starting an Airsoft team as long as those players around you are dedicated to play on a regular basis. Another good reason is when other teams play different style or have different values. But then I would try to join another team first instead of creating your own team. Joining another team expands your experience and you may find that it grows on you and even makes you a better player.
- If other teams don’t let you join, ask them why. They may perceive your maturity level or skill level to be insufficient. If that is the case, working towards joining a team will make you a better player and might be an easier task than start your own team. (1)
As I was searching on the internet I found these kind of really good questions about motivation and starting an Airsoft team on Airsoft-Squared website, so credit to that site.
If you still want to create your own Airsoft team you may have a strong personality and leadership skills. Or do you feel the need to be in control of yourself and others to feel worthy or respect or admiration? Look inside yourself and be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. If it only makes you feel good to be in charge then it may not be a good reason for you to start a team of your own.
The best way to start your own Airsoft team is when you already play with a group of friends but didn’t create a team in terms of having a team name, a team uniform, team load out and stuff like goals and expectations.
Which role suits their personality?
If you have played Airsoft with friends for a while you probably know how your team mates are playing and reacting in different situations. You and your team mates did spoke about creating a team earlier and they all agree. They even designated you as a team leader and asked you to work on creating a team!
If the existing team isn’t big enough to assign different Airsoft roles , you can try to recruit from an existing pool of players at your local field or from existing teams. Or you visit fora on internet and post that your are looking for (new) team mates. Be aware that you make yourself not popular on the local field when you recruit from existing teams..
Once you have a group of 5 to eight people, it’s time to play several times together and get to know each other. If you decided to run a small team, you need to know their strengths and how each one is playing on the field – their style of playing – and how they perform as a team.
After a few times of playing with your potential Airsoft team, you probably know who is good at what. Then it’s time to assign them a role on the team. After I did my research I’m still not certain about what’s the best way to go from here. Should an effective small team consists of a group with different roles? Or do you only need a group of five to eight players that function effectively as Rifleman?
If you decide to made up your team of a mix of different roles, then it sometimes will happen that someone’s taken out on the field and you don’t have a replacement instead.
For example you decided to have a Sniper, two Support Gunner, two Riflemen and a Squad Leader. Now what will you do when the Sniper is taken out? Who is going to be the Sniper now? So instead of having different roles you may also decide to have six players who are cross-trained Snipers. If someone is taken out on the field, you still have a bunch of other players who can do the same task.
In my opinion you don’t need so many roles to function effectively as a small team. To effectively run a small Airsoft team, you need a small group of five to eight players that function effectively as a Rifleman/ Support Gunner.
These two roles lay a foundation / are the body of a team. Aside from that, everyone starts as a Rifleman or a Support Gunner. So if you attract new people to your team, you can sort of push trough from role to role. Someone who has been a Rifleman for a longer time can now operate as a Sniper and learn new skills.
Another way to assign different roles is to make sub roles. So imagine everyone is Rifleman but aside of that you use somebody’s strengths and give them extra tasks to use those strengths. If for example someone’s strengths is long range shooting, you may decide to assign some of the Sniper disciplines to someone who’s main role is a Rifleman.
Main Airsoft team roles and sub-team roles
As you decide to keep things simple, you probably would assign the Rifleman role to all of your team mates. That way you can train your Airsoft team and start with the basics like:
- using cover effectively
- how to provide cover fire
- and how to bound and move
As a Rifleman you concentrate on the objective and see it carried out. But you do more. You need a large skill set as you are (the Riflemen) the body of the team. You need to feature many tactical maneuvers as well as operational tasks like clearing a room or bunker, double-stack a door and lay down a barrage of fire. For a in-depth analysis of the Riflemen role follow this link to an article I wrote about the Rifleman.
The Support Gunner is someone who provide assistance where it is needed. The Support Gunner carry ammo and provide covering fire. Most of the time the Support Gunner stays in the middle of your squad constantly looking for threats. Aside from that the Support Gunner is always looking for easily defensible positions with lots of cover(2).
As I think your small team should consist of Riflemen and Support Gunners only, someone with communications skills would be great to have in your team. So a Radio Operator would be an option. A Radio Operator is in charge of all the communications stuff. and make sure the team is able to communicate. The Radio Operator is responsible for communication about where to go and providing essential details about the area.
I would highly recommend that everyone possesses some kind of radio on which they can talk to each other. That way the team can operate as effectively as possible. Everyone needs to hear and relay on important information as it happens on the Airsoft field, right?
Train your Airsoft Team
It all starts after you create your team and assign roles to your team mates. As I said earlier, make sure you have players who are cross-trained and you don’t have to many roles. Keep it simple and make sure the team is as flexible as possible on the field!
One of the most important things to remember is to just take it not too seriously. And what I mean by that is to respect each other even if someone has not the same skill set as you have. Respect is something that’s earned over the course of building a good reputation.
A good reputation is not build by rigid entry requirement or rank structures. You have to take things from another perspective. If someone made a mistake, laugh about it and go on. If it’s about knowledge, share your knowledge to new players and be approachable.
Your first meeting
During your first meeting you would discuss several things like the group image, selecting a team name, goals and expectations. It’s also time to build your team from the ground up and start a formation of a team that will be competitive or just for fun.
Team uniform and load out
The main purpose of a team is to be as uniform as possible. It will give your team a professional look an others teams will respect you more. At least they think you know what you’re doing. At that is a psychological part that gives you an edge on the Airsoft field!
If you have the same load out you as a team are more flexible. You probably can imagine that when you all have different guns it’s hard to help each other out when you’re running out of mags or have malfunction. If you both run another platform it would be difficult to share your gear.
Another pretty important thing is communication. A radio is pretty cheap these days so you can pick up one for let’s say 50 dollar. Lately I wrote an article with the 15 best products for Airsoft which include a Airsoft radio. Follow this link to that article!
If something important happening on the Airsoft field and in order to operate as effectively as possible you need to be able to communicate with each other.
Group image and name
To recognize each other on the field you need a team uniform, team name and a group image. Think about a nice team name which is easy to pronounce and which is easy to remember. The team name can be based on the look of the team or the style of play. Be sure that everyone is involved and give his/her input. The result is a closer team because everyone had the change to vote.
The group image is about the label that you put on your uniform. A nice image is like a brand and everyone will recognize you / your team. How cool is that? Give it a thought about what it should radiate. What kind of feeling is behind the image?
Team goals and expectations
During your first meeting it’s important that everyone understands the team goals and expectations. This is about having some guidelines and rules about standard gear, game play and attendance policies. It’s important that you are very clear about what happens to a team mate that doesn’t meet those standards.
Examine first your motivations when you want to start an Airsoft team. Find out the real reason behind starting your own team. Do you find a thrill in the effort of putting together and organizing a group of Airsoft players? Are there no team in your area to join? Or do you want to have your own group to be in charge of?
The best way to start an team is when it happens naturally. You already play with a couple of friend for a while and you as a group came to a point that you are all in agreement to start your own group. If this is not the case you probably do better in joining another team. This can be eye opening and expands your experience as well.
When you just start you own Airsoft team think about how you’re going to structure your team. I would recommend a leadership structure where 2 people made the final decisions. It’s practical not enforceable to work with no leadership structure.
When on the field have fun together. That way you will keep your team together. Aside of that, communication and strong leadership are also a good way to go. It’s your job to find out what everyone’s interests and motivations are. Accommodate as many of these interests as you can to serve your team well.
As a team you become better when you set a regular practice for your team. Think about some drills and scenario’s, starting with the basics. When you become more involved in the sport (as a team) you can move onto some more advanced skills.
Good luck in starting your own Airsoft team!