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What Does It Take to Become a Pro Paintball Player?
Skilled paintball players meet every year to dodge rounds of paint, target their opponents and do their best to win. Professional paintball happens at skill level much higher than you can find at your local course. While paintballers play many courses, from speedball to woodsball, and many game types, like deathmatch and capture the flag, professional matches generally happen on one type of course.
Professional paintball players receive money or equipment from sponsors to compete in matches. Most teams are put together by members who later register to play in National Professional Paintball Association (NPPA) matches. One of the most important parts of becoming a professional paintball player is forming a cohesive, skilled team with the desire to play professionally. Speak to regular players at the courses you frequent and plan local competitive matches if none exist for which you can register. Paintball retailers and those who run the courses should have information on local competitive matches. Ask the most skilled, reliable players to join a team with you with the intention of competing in the NPPA.
Search for sponsors when you’ve proven yourself in local or regional matches. Sports stores, paintball suppliers or athletic shoe stores may offer equipment or money to help you meet the needs of your team. Speak to car dealerships, realtors and other professionals with high advertising costs as well. Offer to include a patch advertising their business on the team’s uniform. Offer to appear in commercials. List your sponsors -- along with a thank you, a description of their services and a link to their website -- on a website you create for your team. The more exposure you offer sponsors, the better your chances of acquiring sponsorship.
Practice paintball at every opportunity; a season pass to a field is your best friend. Save money to buy top-quality equipment. Ego paintball guns are used by most professional teams. The best ones cost more than $1,000. Train to increase your endurance and speed by practicing both sprints and long-distance running. Paintball markers fire fast. Work with hand weights to increase your dexterity and become a faster reloader. More than anything, practice your aim. Don't settle for still targets on trees. The best target practice you can get is firing at a moving teammate who's firing back at you.
Join a local paintball league and attend every practice. Know your course; get used to scoping out the hiding places and useful vantage points for observing your opponents. Most professional paintball matches are speedball. Gameplay occurs on a flat field with shelter and cover built from wood, metal and inflatable bunkers. Check out professional paintballer magazines for tips on your equipment and skills. Log on to the NPPA website and click on the "Events" tab to see which are upcoming. Navigate to the registration page to sign your team up for a match and pay your fees.
Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.