Dont know if everyone has seen this yet. But if you haven't, you should read it.
from the team Ultimate website... http://www.teamultimate.com/index-2.html
Ted Wolfson opened both a Paintball field and a store to subsidize team expenses on the tournament circuit. A few years ago, Ted and a bunch of kids fell in love with the sport of Paintball after playing in the 5-man rookie division at World Cup. Even though Ultimate is now a national competition team in the Open class XBall division, they are fundamentally a youth group, which is an extension of Ted’s life long duty as a Christian. “I came from a deeply religious background and I was a youth group instructor, so I wanted to do it for the kids as part of our ministry. The kids are not all religious but I at least try to have a positive influence on them,” he explains, “Our goal is to help the kids grow into young adults so that they can become positive examples within society.” Personality and character are very important to Ted. There is no time to worry about kids getting into drugs or trouble. At the Chicago PSP this season, he was forced to make a decision regarding on half of the team. “I had to let a few people go. The were good players but they didn’t mesh well. I don’t want any superstars. I just want to go and win and do it right.”
The changes within the roster started to show last winter. “They were followers rather than leaders. They are still good boys and I worry about what they are doing with Miami Effect and Infamous, but I will not tolerate a lack of respect towards the team or myself. My partner and I give everything we earn from the field store to the team; the kids never pay for paint or other expenses. To see the disrespect is hurtful and I fell that letting them go was the right thing to do because I don’t think that we would have progressed in the sport with them. The team chemistry was not there. Each player must be dependent upon the others because it’s not just about individual skill, but rather a team effort.”
To fill the void that the players left, Ted pulled up younger talent from Ultimate Kids, their farm team. After skipping the North East Open, Ted brought in seven young guns to compete at Cup. Although none of the players had ever played a game of Open Class Paintball, Ultimate still performed at the same level of intensity, taking the Naughty Dogs into overtime. “I played everyone and they gave it everything they had. I can’t wait till next year”.
Show some respect
One rule that the Ultimate roster must adhere to is respecting everyone. “I demand respect,” asserts Ted. “The drugs and alcohol aren’t even a thought to my kids, but the respect issue is very important. It not only emphasizes our professional status but it’s a good value that the kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
Cussing, cheating and bad grades are also strict rules, but the majority of the kids are in accelerated programs at school or even in college so Ted does not fret over their grades, which also makes the parents very happy.
Ultimate has two girls rostered; one is a sister to two of the boys on the team and the other came from Femme Fatales. There is no special treatment for the girls nor is there any disrespect. Both have been playing a while and know how to handle male aggression.
Life lessons are a big teaching from Ted. Being a Christian, he passes along his knowledge on how to deal with life’s little hurdles in the way that a Christian should. Parents are made aware ahead of time that while playing with Ultimate, Ted will attempt to instill positive morals into the kids via his religious teachings. “The religious part is played up a lot because it is everything to me. I’m not telling the players that they need to attend church, but I am using my religious background as a way to teach them life lessons. I do not alienate people if they are not Christians, but I do try to teach them how to have better morals and deal with difficult situations involving stress and anger.”
Many of Ted’s teachings transcend Paintball. The kids on Ultimate learn how to be assertive and work hard to succeed in not only Paintball but also everyday life.
“Getting cheated on the field is the same as having someone lie to you in the workplace or trying to get ahead by doing the wrong thing. It doesn’t make it right for my guys to wipe a hit of to win a game. When you get mad in Paintball, are you going to yell at someone? Are you going to do that in the work place or with your wife? It’s just a game and they need to work things out and suck it up and play the game.”
Parents do not have a problem with Ted’s teachings; they have developed a high level of trust in him because he has helped to shape their children in a positive way. When the kids are at a tournament, parents know and trust that Ted is always with them and overseeing their every move. “The parents really like the level of trust and in turn makes them want to be more involved with the team. I see a lot of kids whose parents are not involved with their lives and their relationship suffers because of it.”
Like Doc, there is no monetary return for Ted. “Everything we make is put right back into the team. There are no financial gains. Emotionally there is a gain, but it might not be shown for a while. My reward would be for them to think back 20 years later and say, ‘I learned how to be a good man or woman because of the values that I learned from being on Team Ultimate.’ It’s just a game, it’s just Paintball, but life and working are for long time. The kids need to have enough self-esteem to do the right thing in everyday life.”
Sometimes, the Paintball lifestyle can take hold and never let go. The romance of being on the road and playing at the top of the sport can create an ego so big that it can consume a person’s humanity. A player can get wrapped up in the excitement and fail to see the negative effects until they make so many mistakes that they hit rock bottom. It may take more than a coach or other players to lift the person back up – sometimes it may actually take a little divine intervention…"
Now that is paintball done right.