If only it were true. You know, the old adage that once you learn to ride a bike you never forget. Well, it ain't true and you do--forget. Not completely of course and past experience will allow you to regain a modest level of proficiency again fairly quickly depending on how good you once were but you don't immediately pick up where you left off. There is a difference between wobbling along down the sidewalk and pelting along the side of the road with speed and confidence. The same holds true for playing paintball. At least it does at a serious competitive level where the margins between success and failure are measured in millimeters and fractions of a second.
Then why do most of you prepare to compete as if the adage were true? As if once you've learned how to shoot your gun comfortably with either hand you can check that off your list and move on to something else. Or spend all your practice time on learning how to play a layout instead of first learning how to play. The real truth is, regardless of level, you can't even maintain a consistent level of performance (much less excel) without constant repetition of the fundamentals.
The ability to compete begins with the development of individual technical skills. (And the maintenance and improvement of those skills must continue as long as you compete.) But that is only the beginning. Further each player must learn the fundamentals of game play and that begins with understanding angles and the advantages (and disadvantages) involved in positional play. Next comes how one plays the game as part of a team and finally that team must build a belief and confidence in one another that the inevitable ups and downs of competition can't tear down. Short change or neglect any of those facets and your chances for success are diminished regardless of the level at which you compete.
More often than not, especially in North America, it is the measure of technical excellence that is allowed to slip away as if once learned it no longer requires attention. But wherever your weakness lies it is not like riding a bicycle. Rather it demands your constant attention and determination to outwork the next guy.
(Consider this not only a call to action if you need it but also a recognition of the very real limitations most compete under.)