How Paintball Can Save Your Life
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It may be a bit of a stretch to say that paintball can save your life, but there are numerous real-world benefits to playing the game of paintball.  Whether you prefer woodsball or speedball (if you don’t know the difference, please try both!), or you are brand new to the world of paintball; there are many great reasons to play this sport.  This article will discuss some of them, and give you suggestions for getting started in the paintball world.

Although many would argue that paintball is akin to real military combat, there are clearly numerous similarities. First, you must work within the realm of a given scenario.  Like real battle, you have a primary objective (in the case of woodsball, it is often to capture a flag or take out the entire opposing team) and must think long-term with your approach to the game.  Second, you are being shot at!  You must consider every move in light of the fact that making the wrong one may result in you losing the game and letting down your entire team.  Third, you are competing against real people with objectives that directly counter yours.  You have a team that depends on you to make good decisions, work with the team and think ahead of your opponents. 

Paintball is not an individual player sport!  You will rarely find someone that plays any form of paintball without a group.  You will also rarely find someone who, if he has been playing with the same group for long, that doesn’t hold a strong bond of camaraderie with his teammates.  In the real world, the saying goes that “no man is an island.”  In paintball, this is very much true. You cannot be the backman and the frontman at the same time – trust me, it CANNOT be done.  While, those two positions have very different operational goals and movements, they must work in harmony to achieve the overall objective.  The objective(s) in paintball require you to help others and be helped by others.  This builds trust, opens lines of communication and builds tremendous skills in teamwork. 

Those that participate in shooting sports regularly do so with the thought that they will be able to better handle a personal protection situation (defend against a mugging, home invasion, etc.).  While this is true to an extent, none of the shooting sports can perfectly simulate the reality of being shot at.  Tools like Simunitions® can come close, but those types of tools are extremely expensive and reserved for specialized military and police training.  With paintball, you can hone numerous shooting skills that would easily translate to combat or personal protection training, such as:

  • the stress of a shooting scenario (quick burst of adrenaline and fear of being “hit”)
  • safe gun handling
  • appropriate aiming and target acquisition
  • proper trigger control
  • taking accurate follow-up shots
  • mental conditioning for shooting

Unlike real gun training, these skills can be built with less expense, less risk, and a greater ability to practice in more confined spaces.  While there is a bit of realism lost and the risk of injury is unlikely, paintball is probably the best method of face-to-face combat shooting training readily available for civilians. 

In paintball, you will be moving a lot.  You will be jumping, running, diving, squatting, bending, rolling, and doing just about any other physical maneuver you can think of while on the field.  With the possible exception of the positions of backman and sniper, playing a paintball position requires a great deal of physical dexterity and endurance.  Many who regularly play paintball count it as their only form of exercise because it is so physically challenging.  It combines the aerobic exercise (running, jumping) with the general conditioning (weight lifting of gear, stretching, etc.) as well as any other team sport (and better than most).  If you begin playing paintball, you will find your fitness level will likely increase, as will your stamina and flexibility.

While this article has touched on some of the major real-world benefits of paintballing, there are countless others.  If you have never donned the gear and been hit by flying paint, you absolutely must try it!  If you want to learn more about the world of paintball and get started on your journey to “save your life,” check out more of the articles and gear at

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