Monday, February 14, 2011

Tryout Sunday

Some of you may have heard. We had a tryout for the team yesterday. We already have a full roster. The spot(s) available come with no guarantee of anything but hard work, no glory (and maybe, come to think of it, somebody to carry my umbrella at events.) It's not quite that bad but it's close. Whoever is finally chosen may never play a point at any event in 2011. What they will do is work hard, get better, create some internal competition (potentially earning an opportunity to play) and be ready to go if called upon. In some respects it will be more demanding that what we expect of the established players. (I want them hungry and unbreakable--and I want their desire to infuse the whole team.) But it will make them better players and prepare them to fill regular roles in the future.
We wanted players from Florida (or close enough to make every practice, without fail), we wanted upper division experience along with a few other preferences and vetted the original contact list to make the tryout invitation only. Of the 22 players vetted 18 showed up on Sunday morning.
(To all of you reading this who were there, thank you. Ballers each and every one. Not a dud in the bunch. We appreciate your time and effort.)
For the most part we had them run 40-yard sprints, in full gear with guns, and play 1-on-1's. Early on the wins versus losses were less important than they later became as we were evaluating their fundamental gun skills along with things like aggressiveness, game smarts and attitude. Each 1-on-1 began with the players sprinting across the back of the field from one corner to the other to help simulate game conditions and along with the repeated sprints produced a baseline for simple conditioning.
After a series of preliminary rounds we began matching up players to compete against each other with those players with losing records essentially placed in elimination brackets. It was time to start being successful. Around 3 hours into the process the numbers had been reduced to a final 6. Those 6 were briefly interviewed singly in part to reconfirm their ability to meet our demands if they succeeded in being chosen and to answer any additional questions we had. Then it was time to play some 2-on-2's with the players paired with a team player. Here we would see their natural inclinations come into play. How they responded to a greater challenge, their knowledge and understanding of a player's role in different positions on a wire and so on. 6 was reduced to 4. The final 4 played some 1-on-1's against Bryan Smith. While not particularly successful--nor were they expected to be--they all demonstrated they were thinking, (hopefully) learning and attempting to be proactive with each new opportunity.
At the end of the day we weren't prepared to make a final decision. The remaining 4 players were invited to next week's regular team practice where we will have one last opportunity to see how they measure up and fit in. At best they still only have a fifty-fifty shot to make it.


Ibra said...

What do you consider to be the biggest difference between a pro and a d1/2 player?
I assisted the tryouts and was able to get a grasp of the skills I am currently lacking, but I would like to hear from you what is the biggest difference between these 2.

Robert said...

Who are the remaining 4?!!!!

Baca Loco said...

A solid pro--as opposed to a maybe or marginal pro--tends to be more economical in their movement, no extra wasted movement or motions. And the action happens more slowly for the pro. In the team setting the pro tends to take greater advantage of fewer opportunities because either experience or training (or both) has taught them how to play in relation to their teammates and opponents.
Hope that helps some.

As I recall it was #7, #10, #14 & #17.

ibra5 said...

So pretty much the biggest difference is that a pro is able to adjust quicker and is able to read the field in such ways that he would be able to only make the necessary moves?

Baca Loco said...

Yes but a lot of things flow from those sometimes seemingly small differences. As a consequence the pro's gun game will be all around superior as will be their ability to stay alive and remain effective at the same time. And as a consequence of generally better decision making the pro game happens faster with less room for error--or time to think. At the same time nobody is perfect and pros make mistakes and errors as well--it just generally happens inside a smaller window of opportunity.

ibra5 said...

Well, thanks a lot for the advice. Ill take it into consideration and will make the necessary adjustments. Good luck finding the new umbrella boy and ill see you in the pits at Texas.

Francisco Javier said...

I think that the difference between a D2/D1 player and a PRO is that the PROs tend to have a full time paintball lifestyle in which they practice approximately 5 of the 7 days of the week. Not only doing drills and shooting, but working out, doing a good diet and having that physical condition need to explode on the events. Take for example the Russian Legion...