In many ways, starting your own airsoft team is like starting any kind of team in sports. Take basketball, for example.
In a basketball playground, you get there and often you just team up randomly with other players. These may be players you barely know, so you’re not aware of their skills and how they play.
Since you’re playing with strangers, you can’t communicate plays without the other team knowing about what you plan to do. You may even have teammates doing their own thin on the court, unmindful of what the others on the team are doing.
It’s still fun, but it’s a lot more fun with a real team. That means you play together constantly, each one knows their own role to play, and you have special plays that take advantage of the specific skills of your players.
The same goes for an airsoft team.
When you have an airsoft team with people who can work together more seamlessly after lots of practice, you’re bound to win more often. And as any athlete will tell you (even the casual players), winning is a lot more fun.
Can You Lead a Team?
If you’re reading up on how to make an airsoft team on your own, that usually means you have the requisite skills needed. It’s not only about your shooting and playing skills, but also about your leadership capabilities.
If you’re a newbie, you’re better off starting by joining other teams first. That way, you can see how a team works.
If the team works together smoothly, then you can always emulate the ways they do things. But you can also find things to improve, and you can do that with your new team.
Acquire a bit of experience in the field first, before you even attempt starting your own team.
Even if it’s just a casual team with just your friends, it’s best if you all have ample experience with airsoft. It just won’t do if all of you are newbies!
If you’re chosen as the leader, then make sure you deserve the position. You have to be a good soldier—and a good leader.
As a good soldier, that means you keep on practicing and improving your skills. You should be physically fit, be able to shoot accurately, and be able to move around silently using cover.
You need a basic knowledge of field military skills, such as formations and laying covering fire.
At the very least, you provide a good example for your team. That’s what a good leader does.
But to be a really good leader, you need to know more about your teammates, so that you’re able to give them roles to plat that fits their skills and temperament.
Finding the Members of Your Team
In many cases, teams start almost naturally. Many teams start with friends who just want to play with one another constantly.
It’s not a bad system, since friends trust one another and people don’t usually want to let their friends down. In addition, you probably will have a better sense of camaraderie—after all, you’re already friends!
However, you may want to start your own team fresh, with an emphasis on winning. That’s usually the case when your friends don’t have the necessary skills to win most of the time.
In that case, you may have to spread the word that you’re looking to start a new team and that you’re more serious about it.
Cast your net wide, using your personal network and through social media. You should spread the word through your local airsoft clubs, so that you can find volunteers who want to join in.
This is why it’s crucial that you should have a good reputation in airsoft before you even try to start your own team. If you’re the Michael Jordan of airsoft in your neighborhood, then plenty of people may want to play with you.
If you’re a nobody, then why would airsoft players cast their lot on someone they don’t know? In this case, you’re really limited to just your friends who at least know you.
If this is your first time handling an airsoft team, you may want to keep your number small. Have 6 players in your team at the most, though 4 or 5 players in your team is also good.
One of the ways you can pick your teammates is to choose from those who can actually afford to play. Airsoft can be an expensive hobby, with weapons and other accessories to buy.
You may want to check that everyone on your team has a job, so you know they can afford to play.
Of course, if you’re filthy rich like Bill Gates and you have an unemployed teammate who plays like he’s Rambo and Captain America combined, then you may want to finance their gear. It’s up to you.
In an ideal world, everyone has the same weapons. That way, you’re able to share ammo.
But you may have to accept the likelihood that everyone in the team will have different weapons. Often, their weapons will give you a clue as to their skill and knowledge level, and you also get an idea of what role they want to play in the team.
You may also want to think about getting a radio for everyone. This may not be important for small teams, but communications are crucial when
Finally, you may want to seriously consider the idea of getting a team uniform. Military squadrons and sports team have the same uniform for good reasons, so get one for your team.
Here are some good reasons why a uniform is a good idea:
- It promotes team unity, with teammates feeling more connected to one another.
- It looks more impressive and intimidating to others.
- When chaos ensues in the field, you immediately know which ones are your teammates.
If you have your own uniform, you may as well decide on a cool name for your squadron. In fact, add a cool motto as well!
Good Morals and Right Conduct (GMRC)
When you’re choosing teammates and starting a team, you want people you can rely on. In addition, these are the people you won’t mind associating with.
Firstly, this means that you should have people who have discipline. Any kind of team sports revolve around working together, and it doesn’t help when you have rogue team members who keep doing their own thing.
That’s why military members have to take an oath, unlike other jobs in the civilian sector. While you don’t have to make them swear an oath, at least make sure that these teammates keep their promises.
That means they should accept it if they’re not assigned a role or a rank that they think they deserve. They should also adhere to team rules, regarding procedures and practice sessions.
Also, it’s crucial that your team plays by airsoft rules honestly.
At the very least, that means everyone calls their hits every time.
Let’s assume (since you’re reading this), that you’re the team leader. That means you have the requisite airsoft skills, plus you also have basic military knowledge that you can impart to your teammates.
Now it’s time to assign roles. As the leader, you should have a clear idea of the skills and temperament of your teammates so you can assign each role to the right player.
You can’t have a team comprised of equals. That just won’t work, since it just leads to squabbling about what to do next.
Since you’re the leader, what happens to the team when you’re taken out? Even in practice sessions, who calls the shots if you’re at home bedridden?
Yes, you need a ranking system. The most convenient way is to just use regular military ranks.
You can be the General, and then the 2nd highest rank is the colonel. Then you have the major, captain, lieutenant, sergeant, corporal, and private.
That way, your team knows who takes over when one player is taken out of the game.
You may also divide your team into several smaller groups, so that each group can take care of a mission separately.
- You can have one team engage an opposing team directly, while another team flanks the opposing team.
- Sometimes you have an assault team, while another team lays down cover fire.
- Or you may have a scout team moving ahead of the main squadron.
Each team should have its own leader, to make sure they act cohesively.
Obviously, you can’t just scream out to each other on what you guys (or gals) have to do on the field. In many cases, you have to communicate silently and securely.
This is one way to communicate silently. You need hand signals for just about everything you want to say.
The good news is that you can easily Google for hand signals that the military already uses. These signals include:
- “You”, “me”, or any other person you want to do something
- Warnings such as you’ve heard something or you saw something
- ID, which indicates whether you saw or heard the main opposing force, a sniper, a scout, or places like a window or door
- Actions like “Come here”, “Hurry”, “Halt”, or even to go on a single file
- Weapons you want used, like a rifle, shotgun, automatic weapon, pistol, or grenade
As the leader, you have to make sure that everyone understands all the gestures and hand signals.
Don’t worry, most people learn this through practice, and some of the hand signals have obvious meanings.
Even if people have different brands of radios, they should at least be able to talk to one another.
When you do talk to each other over the radio, you need to realize that your opponent can stumble upon the frequency you’re using and hear what you’re saying.
That’s why you should use code words to indicate what you want done by certain people.
You can always use the NATO code words (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, etc.) for specific actions, so your opponents can prepare for what you’re planning to do.
Just develop your own codes, and then practice them so that everyone knows what the codes mean.
Like regular military troops, you need people to play certain roles.
Most of the time, everyone is a rifleman (which is a very USMC attitude). That means everyone should be able to move effectively, use cover properly, and provide covering fire.
In addition, riflemen should know how to clear a room or building.
You may have a designated support gunner. In fact, lots of teams have just one or two support gunners with the rest acting as riflemen.
The job of the support gunner is to help wherever help is needed. Their job can include:
- Laying down cover fire
- Carrying extra ammo for the squad
- Looking for the best defensible positions
These are the players who lug around the automatic weapons, so they can lay down cover fire more effectively.
Sniper and Spotter
This is usually the person who can hit targets at a greater distance. In many cases, a sniper team is a 2-man operation, with the spotter working alongside the sniper.
The spotter can observe the targets and the surroundings, since the sniper can see very little with their sniper scope. They may also defend the sniper’s position and communicate with the rest of the team when the sniper is busy.
This is your communications specialist, who’s in charge of all radios and communications. While it’s up to you to assign specific jobs for the radio operator, often their job consists of:
- Making sure all radios work and can communicate with one another
- Relaying your orders through the radio when you’re busy
Lots of Practice
In the end, you still have to practice working together, just like other sports teams.
That way, you learn the codes, signals, and actions needed for whatever comes your way.
Your team becomes better through experience, and then you can play better.
As you practice more and become better, you win a lot more often—and that’s always fun!