I was on Reddit earlier today and I found a post about what we need to do, as paintballers, to grow our wicked sport. What most of the people ended up posting was that the "cost" of the sport is so high, While I agree that you can spend yourself into oblivion, this isn't the reason that the sport isn't as big as it could be. Two sports that are incredibility expensive, Hockey and Golf are very popular. The cost of your sport or hobby is something that YOU control. You decide on where to play and what kind of gear you are using. If you are letting someone else tell you where to play and what kind of gear to use, you may have bigger problems.
So how do sports that are super pricey, keep people paying the big $ to play? They have "Ambassadors" that establish the sport as a good thing to do. Don't believe me, take a look at junior rep hockey. Each player is "required" to wear a suit to and from each game. It doesn't matter what that player does on the ice, they still look like a presentable young man. This goes a long way with the parents, who in most cases, are going to control whether or not their kids are playing paintball. Think I am full of it? Have you ever heard of Dave "Youngblood" Dehaan? I bet you have heard of his company...DYE Precision-Dave Youngblood Enterprises. Why do I bring this up? Because Youngblood used to "play" wearing a suit!
Now I am not suggesting that we all adopt this as our new attire, but I am suggesting that we all start looking at ways we can become ambassadors. Something that takes away from that takes away from the "war" crazed image that so many people have about paintball. Well a super easy way to do that is to get your friends or team mates together and volunteer for something. There are so many things that you can do around you community it is crazy. Go put your jerseys on and help out at a soup kitchen, take a couple of pictures and post them online. Better yet call the newspaper ahead of time, they might even send someone down to do a story on what you are up to. The point is, if the community sees you as benefit and not a problem, doors open for you and life gets a whole lot easier.
There are hundreds of things that you could do around your community and a little effort goes a long way. So the next time you are wondering what we need to do about promoting paintball, have a look at what is going on in your own town.