This isn’t something that’s ever crossed my mind before until I opened my inbox today and saw an email from Tippmann about a Tippmann Certified Tech Class that they’re hosting. In Pittsburgh. Think I’m busy that day.
Anyway, even though the class itself isn’t about training – it’s more a technical overview of how to choose, handle, maintain and get the best from a range of Tippmann’s own superior paintball products – it’s part of The 2011 Paintball Festival and Business Conference and, like most of these industry conference things, it’s only open to industry people I think; but once someone completes the course, Tippmann will certify the course they work at. Nice!
Anyway it got me thinking about how, as a general observation, most people don’t really think twice about actively getting out there and ‘officially’ bettering their paintball skills and knowledge. Why not I wonder? If you want to get better on the guitar you might grab some lessons, or go on a cookery course if you want to make a mean soufflé, so why not paintball? I think it comes down to a few things.
One, the resources aren’t widely available.
Take The Paintball Training Institute for example. The website says it’s “recognised as the global leader in paintball education and communication”. This obviously poses a few question in itself – like what is paintball communication? I’m sure the organisation does some sound work, but even trying to navigate the website for what the courses actually involve is tricky, which suggests that not a lot of people ever do.
Likewise, a search for “training for paintball” brings up a website which is basically a landing page to try and sell a paintball guide.
I’ve blogged about simple paintball exercises and tactics that you can employ to make your paintball playing more accurate, fulfilling and enjoyable sure, but is there anything out there to turn Joe Average into a lean, mean, paint splattin’ machine? I really don’t think there is. At least not outside of the tournament circuit anyway. And certainly not in the UK.
However, the reason for this is probably down to demand. Paintball is a fun hobby for most people, and a semi-serious action pursuit for others. Unlike fencing, for example, you don’t need anymore than half an hour’s safety training to get to grips with the basics and head out into the Game Zones, so people tend not to think about improving their game beyond beating Derek from finance at the annual office team building outing.
Maybe there’s a gap in the market for any die-hard paintball vets out there?