A paint ball game is a brilliant place to start if you’re thinking of ways to enhance team building through communication.
There’s more to paint balling than you might think, with a wide variety of options to choose from.
Paintball is an outdoor competitive game that gets your team out of the office and into a fresh environment.
I’ve been on a lot of different team building days, and think outdoor activities work well for all sorts of people and age groups.
The best thing about paintball is that it doesn’t require any expertise.
With paint balling, the instructor shows you how to fire the gun, explains the rules and you’re good to go. After you’ve put on the helmet and other gear supplied to protect you from paint splatters, that is.
The name of the game is simple. Split into teams and compete to see who can successfully complete a mission. You could be attacking, defending or flexing your strategic thinking muscles. It’s an activity that uses all sorts of different skills. You’ll be using the old grey matter and getting a pretty good workout at the same time!
All paintball games have one thing in common. You absolutely must work together as a team to be in with a chance of winning.
You’ve got everything from fast and furious 1-hour paint ball fights to full-day events. Choose between a massive variety of games that supply all sorts of different training opportunities.
It’s not just a simple case of randomly running around in the woods shooting your colleagues with little balls of emulsion.
These days, paintball games are much more sophisticated.
A decent paintball activity centre will give you access to different game zones. You can pick between simple and more extravagant missions that involve buildings and props.
Here are a couple of different game scenarios to give you an idea of what’s out there...
Probably the best known paintball scenario. It’s a good one for team building days as you’ve got two things to think about – how to take the other team’s flag whilst defending your own.
It makes people think about attacking and defending. Or to put it into a work-related context – how to be proactive but also keep the nuts and bolts of your business intact. Capture the Flag is a paint ball game that needs initiative and strategy.
It doesn’t take the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes to realise that both qualities are a must in the workplace!
One of my all-time favourites, The Gauntlet feels like being in the middle of a war movie! More imaginative than many other paintball scenarios, it’s a good one for enhancing teamwork synergy.
Picture the scene: you’re in the midst of battle and many of your men are wounded. The enemy lines are closing in and you’ve got to get your fellow soldiers back from the front line. It’s not looking good and your job is to bring the battle back from the brink and even things up.
This is a simple paint ball game. However, it’s anything but easy! You need to get medical supplies through the gauntlet and to your soldiers without being shot by the enemy. Naturally, the clock’s ticking. You’ve got to get those supplies through before the sands of time run out.
The Gauntlet takes both brains, brawn and forward planning. I’ve played the game twice and there’s no denying it’s a challenge that requires collaboration skills.
Paintball is played pretty much across the world but it’s a really big deal in the UK.
John Tarr, owner of Off Limits Team Building UK says that paintball is always in its top three most popular outdoor team building activities:
“Paintball is a no-brainer. It suits large and smaller groups and never fails to get the competitive spirit up and running. We’ve organised paintball activities all over the UK and Europe. You’ve got everything from simple missions in Sherwood Forest to more unusual games. We’ve arranged paintball sessions just outside Prague that use a former military base as a backdrop.
One of my all-time favourites is the paint ball game that takes place at night! It’s something out of the ordinary and adds an extra element into the mix. Your senses are heightened and you’ve really got to think about your actions.
People often do a double take when I tell them about night paintball. It does sound a bit out there but it works brilliantly. The paint ball teams are briefed on the mission aim and team tactics before the event. The twist is that no-one’s allowed to speak between movements! Everyone has to communicate using hand signals. Once battle commences, the area is lit with flares and markers. It’s pretty ingenious and a real break from the norm.”
(All photographs on this page are courtesy of Off Limits)
Expect to be out of the office for at least half a day. You’ve got to factor in the time it takes to travel to an activity centre. You’ll also need to allow time for instruction and getting suited up.
Pricing tends to vary. Paintball is pretty inexpensive and the vast majority of sessions include the cost of equipment and balls so you don’t get hit by hidden costs.
This isn’t an activity you can run yourself. You’ll need to go through an external company. Talk to them about your team building objectives, so they can help pick the right game for your team.
The planning and organisation is simple. You just need to set a date and time, book it and turn up.
There are so many corporate team building activities available. A paint ball game can be a good choice if you’re after something to boost morale in the workplace.
Why? Because paintball has a dual function. People don’t see paintball as ‘work’ because it’s fun. However, they’re actually learning a lot about the advantages of teamwork.
I’ve been on several paint balling days and have come away surprised each time. You really do learn alot about yourself and get a good insight into group behaviour. A colleague I’d never really gelled with in the office suddenly became my best buddy on the paintball battlefield.
Strange but true! I won’t say everything was rosy from thereon in but we certainly worked better together back in the office.
So if you want to instill some teamwork principles, but want the ‘lesson’ to take place in a fun environment, why not try a paint ball game?
If you decide on this option, you might also like to take a look at our page of ideas for paintball team names. Or alternatively:
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Get your team to create its own story in photos. Or set some team challenges and capture the results on camera!
Play, laugh and interact together with some fun team- based games and activities.
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