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Old 05-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oh Money! I like Money!

BIG!!!! Thanks to: Horizon, Keebler, Brother Jerry, Trails of Doom, Boo, Lohman446, desertt1, thesauce...and everyone else who responded to my thread when I was putting this together...and giving me stats!!!! (Business Lesson for Us?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7VkWQyzO8E
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It may be just me, but the sound seems really really quiet.

You make some valid points though.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Having watched the video (but not read the linked articles), I have the following questions / comments:

1. Bravo for thinking outside the box with the coaching model, BUT it centers on the incentive as stated in the video of getting your child to be a better player. The obvious question is to what end?

The major sports offer a financial payday for elite athletes in established leagues. You start a sport early, train tirelessly through high school and college with the hope of hitting the lottery in the (NFL/NBA/NHL) draft. Paintball doesn't have this. For twenty-five years paintball leagues have not been able to provide a luxury employment for their top players.

Instead, players often become involved in the development, production and marketing of equipment to stay involved and earn a living salary. Not to mention the ridiculously small percentage that make it big in the major sports.

This is not to say effective marketing can't encourage more kids to aspire to the American dream in athletics through paintball and coaching programs. But as a parent, there has to some level of reward to spending all this additional money on coaching which paintball doesn't provide at its highest level.

This kinda circles back around to the paintball leagues needing to establish serious financial prizes (through major endorsements, etc.) FIRST before parents will let Johnny take up paintball for a career. And that in itself poses the endless debates about encouraging cheating, corruption, etc.

2. You mentioned other sports that use coaching. But the vast majority of student athletes utilize the FREE coaching provide by municipal school athletics. Sure again there are those driven students or elite athletes that use outside trainers and coaches, but again it's justified by potential future reward that isn't present in competitive paintball.

3. Finally, you stated as a parent you would feel better if you son received instruction from a trained professional. Assuming this model comes from your ski industry background, an initial lesson and then usually most skiiers will continue to practice on their own, unless they enter competitive races. A lot of folks don't participate in skiing because they assume they NEED training first. Paintball is nice because it does a decent job of trying to advertise itself as no experience needed and training required to the recreational masses.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There is a pro player on pbn who recently started offering coaching, so you're not the only one thinking this way. I can see the where you're coming from with this, but for me personally it would take a bit of a change in perspective.

I think that paying for coaching would be limited to speedball. It would be geared to the technical skills required to perform on the airball field. This way there is a standard by which players (and the parents who may be paying for the players) can measure their results (ie making it to the finals, podium finish, moving up a division). It's a mindset that emphasizes results (winning). That is where you get somewhat of a disconnect. I have nothing against wanting to win and be the best, I just don't see most people coming into the sport having that mindset. I also think this mentality can lead to burnout.

One of the things I love about recball is showing up and pretty much doing my own thing. There's no one telling me what to do. Any moves I make on the field I do at my own initiative. Its the same with friends I bring out. They just want to have fun. Paintball is not something they would do on their own regularly, but since I happen to have the gear and they have money for paint they'll come out. These are not the kind of people who will spend money on coaching, especially when it involves being told what to do and repetitive drills. To them that would not be fun and defeats the purpose. My friends know how to turn the guns on and shoot, so for a casual, four-weekends-a-year player, what more is there to learn? (or so they argue)



tl;dr I think paid coaching would be great for tournament-oriented players but not so much for your average rec player.

EDIT: RusskiX pretty much beat me to it while I was typing this post: "it centers on the incentive as stated in the video of getting your child to be a better player. The obvious question is to what end?"

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Old 05-04-2013, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, here is my perspective.

First off, paintball is not a "regular" sport. It is an extreme sport.

So comparing it to regular sports doesn't work. You have to look at extreme sports.

How do extreme athletes make money? Sponsorships.

That is where they get the majority of their income... Some extreme sports have contests, but the majority of extreme athletes are the best in their field, as judged by their fans/contests. Nothing more.

That exposure makes them marketable, and manufacturers who only want to sell products and grow their exposure in the marketplace so they can sell MORE products, will be interested in having said person put their logo on their outfit, and promote their brand.

As that sells product.

So now that we have that out of the way, lets look at extreme sports and how you GET to the level where you can get sponsored.

I grew up riding freestyle BMX in the 80's. I spent every waking hour on my bike when I wasn't in school. Rode probably 6-8 hours a day during the week, and 15-20 hours on each day of the weekend. Saying I was obsessed with Freestyle is an understatement...

I also lived on the east coast, which was the worst place to live if you ever wanted to get sponsored in the sport of BMX. But, I worked hard, and put in the hours needed.



I also PAID to get trained. I started going to the Woodward BMX camp in 87 I think... I saved up all my money mowing lawns during the year so I could go for TWO weeks each summer. (that was $325 a week, so I needed $650 + money for other stuff, so it cost me about a grand each summer to get "training").

Now, as an amateur freestyler, there was no golden egg at the end of this for my parents to look at... But, it was FUN to me, and I wanted to become the best I could be at the sport I enjoyed, and I wanted to turn Pro. THAT was the goal. And for me, it was worth it to pay money to learn from the best. And that is who was in charge of the training, some of the best riders in the sport. I rode countless hours each year, and yet, when I went to camp in the summer in June (the hottest time of year in NC, and it was nice to get to PA where it was MUCH cooler). I found that my progression increased at such a HUGE level during that two weeks that it was astounding.

I may learn a trick or two a month on my own with my group of riding friends. All of which were decent riders. But, when I went to camp and was put in a true teaching environment, I would learn an obscene amount of tricks in that two week period...

Like 30 new tricks, easy. And these weren't just little variations either, these were new platforms of tricks, that where outside my level of expertise before my training period. It was a massive amount of progression.

I would go home and from those two weeks, I would pick up a ton more tricks in the following months.

It was crazy. My friends at home never spent money for training, and after my first year I was easily the best rider in my crew. I went back again, and had the same level of progression, and I quickly advanced to a MUCH higher level than my peers. Who learned from me, and progressed, but not as quickly as I did since I was paying for instruction from top level riders, who could look at what I was doing wrong and quickly point out my issues.

After my first summer at camp I started competing, and within my first year, I placed in the top 3 in every contest I entered, and was moved up to the novice level. That next year, again, top 3 in every contest. I went to camp that summer, and learned a TON of tricks, and now I was in the expert classes, which I placed in the top 3 in every contest again! It was crazy how fast I was advancing, and that summer, I turned pro, and became an instructor at the very camp that had helped me so much over the years. I was the first pro flatlander to come out of NC. I got to travel all over the country doing shows, and demos. I did the first halftime show at a NCAA basketball game, did countless shows at schools all over the country. Was sponsored by tons of huge companies, like Oakley, GT/Dyno Bikes, Schwinn bikes, A'me grips, Dia-Compe brakes, Hammer clothing, Vans, VSW, and more.

And when I taught at Woodward guess who one of my flatland campers was... A little snot nosed kid named Zack Yankush, who is now known as Catfish, and has his own TV show and is one of the announcers at most of the huge BMX contests for the past decade...

All because I wanted to become a pro freestyler. The lessons I learned shaped who I would become in life and were extremely valuable. And I credit a LOT of that learning about life from taking the extra step and actually PAYING good money to learn from the best.

Could I have learned those things on my own... Sure, but I wouldn't have learned that fast, it would have taken me probably a year to learn what I learned in two weeks... That kind of one on one individual attention is valuable, if you want to get good at something. And many people will pay just to advance quickly, even if there is no olympics at the end, or the possibility of getting a fat contract from a professional team. Because people like to be good at something.

Here is a video I made after my first year at Woodward, that I used to start getting sponsors. I picked up quite a few from this video and it helped start my journey of meeting my goal and turning pro in BMX freestyle.

It was the 80's... so excuse the oufits.. hahaha!
link for mobile
First Rider Made Freestyle BMX Video 1987 Search for Sponsors Old School Flatland East Coast NC - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPN2-IiVxNU

For people who want to get good quickly, lessons are the key to advancing in your skill level at a rapid pace.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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its a two edged sword to some degree though - monetary gain can be an incentive - a powerful one - but it can also lead to "win at all costs" "find every advantage legit or not" "if you are not on par with us you are not good enough"

Personally I like to find other ways to motivate.....

don't get me wrong - it can also be very positive - but you have to make sure to use it right and not let it get out of control....

/shrug
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeEnterprise View Post
For people who want to get good quickly, lessons are the key to advancing in your skill level at a rapid pace.
I don't think we are devaluing the training / coaching aspect to increase skills. Instead I'm asking where those elite skills get the top level paintball player once they have mastered them?

You mentioned travel opportunities and intangibles that contributed to your personal development and those are definitely positives. But, paintball has been chasing sponsorships / endorsements for a long time with not a whole lot to show for it yet.

A lot of this boils down to playing for the love of the game. If you are paying your own way and want spend your disposable income on training, you have that right by all means. But its a tougher sell to a parent footing the additional bill for paintball training that doesn't lead somewhere.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RusskiX View Post
Having watched the video (but not read the linked articles), I have the following questions / comments:

1. Bravo for thinking outside the box with the coaching model, BUT it centers on the incentive as stated in the video of getting your child to be a better player. The obvious question is to what end?

The major sports offer a financial payday for elite athletes in established leagues. You start a sport early, train tirelessly through high school and college with the hope of hitting the lottery in the (NFL/NBA/NHL) draft. Paintball doesn't have this. For twenty-five years paintball leagues have not been able to provide a luxury employment for their top players.

Instead, players often become involved in the development, production and marketing of equipment to stay involved and earn a living salary. Not to mention the ridiculously small percentage that make it big in the major sports.

This is not to say effective marketing can't encourage more kids to aspire to the American dream in athletics through paintball and coaching programs. But as a parent, there has to some level of reward to spending all this additional money on coaching which paintball doesn't provide at its highest level.

This kinda circles back around to the paintball leagues needing to establish serious financial prizes (through major endorsements, etc.) FIRST before parents will let Johnny take up paintball for a career. And that in itself poses the endless debates about encouraging cheating, corruption, etc.

2. You mentioned other sports that use coaching. But the vast majority of student athletes utilize the FREE coaching provide by municipal school athletics. Sure again there are those driven students or elite athletes that use outside trainers and coaches, but again it's justified by potential future reward that isn't present in competitive paintball.

3. Finally, you stated as a parent you would feel better if you son received instruction from a trained professional. Assuming this model comes from your ski industry background, an initial lesson and then usually most skiiers will continue to practice on their own, unless they enter competitive races. A lot of folks don't participate in skiing because they assume they NEED training first. Paintball is nice because it does a decent job of trying to advertise itself as no experience needed and training required to the recreational masses.
Thanks for the compliments...its throwing the against the wall and seeing what will stick that solves problem.

Here's a quick stat for you ... 76% of parents are like me(real stat from the USSA)...they dont expect their child to become professional athletes. Parents put their children is lessons, clinics and academys etc to learn discipline, team work and a skill. And too keep them out of trouble.

Paintball is a skilled sport. The additional reward for parents to spend money is your child has a better time as they learn proper paintball skills, they learn faster and they get better. Just like any learned skill in life. Remember, thats not me saying that, that's the USSA explaining why they have had a 3.4% increase in sport coaching.

Great point about free coach for the other sports. Those are excellent "marketing" projects by the various sport's associations and government programs. Its a shame Paintball cant do that or get involved in programs like that as we have no coaches.

Skiing industry (and kayaking, canoeing and all the other recreational activities I am involved in) ..... Women and the older generation keep taking lessons to keep their skills up, learn different types of skiing, etc. My children and myself have been skiing for a very long time, we still take lessons. There is too much skill just to take one lesson and think its enough. ..... If there were coaching for PB...I know I would have taken a refresher coarse when I got my Empire Sniper.

When I ran the ski resort, during the weekends, xmas and spring break, parents enrolled their kids in higher levels of training (clinics and academy) to give their kids something to do during their break. Again, its a shame our pb fields cant run camps and clinics during to offer parents the same thing as we have no coaching.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewkroeker View Post
There is a pro player on pbn who recently started offering coaching, so you're not the only one thinking this way.

I think that paying for coaching would be limited to speedball......

One of the things I love about recball is showing up and pretty much doing my own thing. There's no one telling me what to do. ....

EDIT: RusskiX pretty much beat me to it while I was typing this post: "it centers on the incentive as stated in the video of getting your child to be a better player. The obvious question is to what end?"
Yes, I saw PB Nation post....good stuff!!!

Speedball would benefit....and so would the Tactical Guys. While not my thing, I have a number of conversations with Tac Guys over the last few weeks about them trying to run clinics taught by real ex-tac people. Hey...its a market for pb that airsoft has proven!

You not wanting to take lessons for woodsball. For sure!! There is going to a be lots of people like that...and good on ya. But there for the rest...lets give them coaching.

Incentive for parents. See my reply above, 76% of parents put their kids in clinics etc without wanting them to become pros. The incentive is structure, discipline and keeping the kids out of trouble during off times (clinics and camps give that perception to parents).
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think Gmore has a point. You guys are missing it. In general the rule to reach the top of a professional sport is summed up in the 10,000 hour rule. Most professionals know what that is. Spend 10,000 hours between the ages of 8 and 18 working to improve a skillset for a sport and you will likely excel at it. It is not simply a matter of natural ability or winning the genetic lottery. We have not, I think, seen this applied to paintball yet.

Most parents who send their child to a softball clinic, skiing lessons (I think this might be a good example), swimming lessons, and the various like are not likely to see the multi-million dollar payday, nor are they seeking it. When my child plays a sport I want her to be good enough at it to have fun. I do not want her going on the field and not having any chance and thus decreasing the chance of her having fun. She does not have to win but she has to feel like she is not just fodder for the other children. If she were playing a sport and hiring an outside coach for a couple hours a week would get her there I would be thrilled to do it. However knowing that the 10,000 hour rule exists I am not seeking to push her that hard.

I recall listening to an interview with a professional basketball player - I do not know which one. He was talking about the year that his family wanted to go on vacation. Their destination was influenced by where the father could find an open gym for the son to practice in for the five hours a day he was accustomed to because even on vacation that was not negotiable. I do not think most parents are driving their children that way. I don't think the suggestion is a level of coaching where the individual player has five different coaches (in baseball that would be a base running coach, a hitting coach, a fielding instructor, etc.) in order to prepare them for the very top notch. In business, generally, you seek the largest market share rather than the ultra-competitive niche (the top 1% who will become pros and the 26% (GMore's figure) who want to). Yes there is a place for the niche market but the "easy*" money is in the large unexploited share.

*There is no easy money in business.
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