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Old 09-27-2010, 04:32 PM #1
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Thread of the Week: Team Dynamic

I am stealing (and slightly editing) a post from cjlovi, originally posted elsewhere on PbNation.

I like some of what Carl says and want to present it as a topic of conversation. I do not want to continue the drama that is part and parcel of the original thread.

To that end, read, discuss, debate. But if you want to discuss the specifics that gave rise to Carl's post, find the original and post there. I'll delete any post here that continues down that path.

Let me also say that there are a series of articles on ProPaintball that are just fantastic for anyone looking to start up a team or understand what's wrong with the one he's already on. Take a gander:

http://www.propaintball.com/2010/09/...all-mind-game/
http://www.propaintball.com/2010/09/...ball-team-101/
http://www.propaintball.com/2010/09/...ntball-roster/

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlovi View Post

1) If you have something a player want they’re your best friend especially if it’s free. Once taken away that attitude sure changes quickly. But can you expect anything less from players that wish to play at a level they are not capable of?

2) Every team always seems to have a hang around. Regardless of what the title. They feel a need of importance and are usually unwilling to dedicate the time, money or effort to succeed as those that actually play on the field. Some are an asset, such as pitting or podding in X-Ball. Others are just annoying. But in any circumstance they are privy to the inner working of the team. Now consider everyone has a best friend they confide in who also has a best friend that [they confide in].

3) The In “The Closet Bickering” with in a team. So many wonder why the life expectancy of a paintball team is less than 18 months. Thats because they quietly find links of equal or less strength and form hidden inner circles with in the team. The bigger the organization the bigger the problem. Total lack of comradeship.

4) As long as the words Free, Sponsorship, Discounted, National Event, Pro are used to lure players to a team, teams will almost never get the player(s) qualified to succeed to play at that level. It can be done “IF” a strict screening process is enforced, unfavorable decisions are made to cut players and rules enforced that are equitable to all involved. Once favoritism or ones personal greed of self-placed royalty pollutes the process it fails.

5) The New England Tournament Series has come along way over the years! Leagues strive to promote fair play and sportsmanship in an effort to bring new teams and players to the area. I can personally commend the leagues involved for the improvements they have made in the past ten years.

But as long as players and teams push the rules with in their designated limits and grey area (forcing reffs and players alike to understand them better) the sport will become more challenging and more attractive to the future youth of the sport and not discourage them with rumors of foul play and fixed matches.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:53 PM #2
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Well…Interesting to say the least.
To work it backwards….
1) Yes, The NEPL has come along way in the last 10 years. The major accomplishment is the Maynard Paintball Club – great facility that can host larger events.

2) I don’t have an issue getting players that I want – and I use all those words and I play favorites. I also very rarely have to cut someone and just as rarely does someone leave the family. The trick is in not taking everyone who is interested, but those that you’re interested in, believe can grow into what you want and fit well with your current players. To take players just to build an organization and sell product seems foolish and bound to lead to trouble at some point.

3) Building a team is just that – putting the right pieces of the puzzle together that they can function at a high level and achieve the collective goal. Individuals need to be able to put aside personal needs (say lack of playing time) for the greater good of the team.

4) The basic assumption is that anything you say will be found out by the very person you don’t want to hear it. Just assume that’s the case when you’re talking – if you don’t want it getting back to someone – then don’t say it.

5) I’m always surprised at just how few players actually come calling when we hold tryouts. Maybe they know the spots are limited and the requirements (Skills) are high.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:54 PM #3
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The New England Hurricanes and 187 Crew have been just a few of the more respected teams in New England. There are others but no need to put anyone in a uncomfortable position.

In response to #5! Both teams project a no nonsense type attitude. There are rules, they will be followed or you will be cut! That is the perception that many see.

In ten years of playing upper New England Paintball I have personally come across a dozen or so players that meet the skill or development levels that would be required to participate in your programs. I asked each, Can you comply with the rules, make the needed commitment meet the expectations of the team and not get involved with the nonsense that seems to associate it's self with regional paintball. Not one has participated in either of your try outs. Maybe after this a few will.

Both teams and the perception that others view of you sifts through the rhetoric and brings a better quality player to the try out.

Now I don't associate my statements with all New England Players. "BUT" There are many talented players out there who have obligations (Family/Work/School ect) that hold them back from more serious paintball in which leagues like the NEPL work perfectly for them. If/when the situation changes you could benefit from not only a talented player but one that has matured greatly. Putting Family and responsibilities ahead of paintball is one quality I look for.

Large organizations can work but require a much higher level of discipline, structure and trust with in the management system.

#4 I agree completely! The problem arises when it is said to lure or maintain the presence of a player. A scorned player can easily lead to a scorned sponsor.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:07 PM #4
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depends on what you want. you want a team to aspire to the highest level then you gotta be ready for some of the pitfalls that come with the territory. if your just in it to hang with your friends and shoot some paint, the sport can be a million times more enjoyable to play.

we look for skill, dedication, potential, and all those good things in players with our team, but despite that, there's many more off the field qualities we count with higher importance. the majority of our team has been around the block but also has been together for 4-5 and with some people 10+ seasons. the majority of our players who've left over the years usually do so as they leave the sport, money being the biggest issue.

it's definitely not the cheapest route to go, especially seeing how we're all pretty much piss poor in the wallet. regardless, i can speak for my team when i say we do it for the people that do it with us.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:41 PM #5
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I agree for the most part. I usually don't post on these threads since my opinion doesn't have much weight compared to you guys who have already posted. That having been said, I think if New England is truly, 100% honest with itself, it will show there are not a lot of teams with any national aspirations. Furthermore, the majority of tournament players seem to be made up of older guys who do this for fun, and then a lot of younger kids (teenagers). While I've met some awesome people through paintball who I still call friends, I would say the majority (over 50%) of people for both recball and tournament ball are unintelligent and shallow. As a result, lofty rhetoric about doing bigger and better things is really appealing. On the same token, once people come to believe these assertions (the jump from having to be talked-up to actually believing it usually does not take long as long as its being repeated often), they feel entitled to benefits. After all, shouldnt truly great, developmental players be compensated for their skills?

Carl, in regards to why teams fail so often, look at the people who generally compose teams. I'll just randomly number the typical personalities. Of course, there are variations but I think this covers most of it. Also, this is in regards to every paintball team I've been on - not just Identity, as per the parent thread. In short, if I've played on a team with you and you are reading this, don't take it personally.

1. Kids - The aforementioned teenagers, they love rhetoric because it pumps them up. I did, and to some degree, I still do. There's something empowering about being able to say "I'm doing my best and that will set me apart in this world". At a time when a lot of teenagers are searching for an identity (pun not intended), paintball seems to be a perfect life metaphor. This is why teenagers are rather passionate about other things, like sports, clubs, social groups, ideals, music, etc etc. This is less about paintball and more about how kids tend to be. Once they've forged their identity with a group, any attack on that group, no matter if it is completely false or 100% correct, will be met with vitriol. Kids also tend to idolize older, more experienced players.

2. People Who "Sort of" Made it - The older guys with some national experience. They may or may not still have it. A lot of them really want to believe they still do when in reality, they're long past prime. The experience of these individuals is valuable to a team in terms of learning the game, although when it comes to straight out playing, I'd rely on others. Because they've seen some success or went as far as they can or want to go, there isn't the same sort of intense vigor you see with group 1.

3. Dramatic People / **** talkers / Tough Guy - People who are convinced they are BAMFs and need to constantly assert their presumed dominance to everyone in the world. They're quick to start internal disputes, sometimes related to the pecking order that they aren't even a part of in the first place.

4. GO TEAM! Squids - Players who are poor performers, and will always be poor performers. They badly want to identify with the team and are also usually super loyal and the last to leave a group. They feel that sheer enthusiasm will translate into success on the field. These players tend to be "nice guy" personalities, although they can also be part of group 3. In fact, all of these groups overlap. It's easy to talk in overly objective tones here, and before people inevitably say "Who says you're any good at paintball yourself?", everyone sucks at something they enjoy. I have been trying to get into competitive revolver shooting and I am doing generally very poorly. I'm making strides but I'm not where I want to be. If you are a competitor, you have to acknowledge that you may not advance as quickly or as far as other people who are better than you. At the same time, squids are essential for a team as a working support staff. For X Ball teams, having people to coach, help organize, grab gear bags and pods, tech guns, etc etc is particularly important.

5. The Undedicated - I mean, not just "misses practice every now and then". We're talking about those guys who are an asset on the field but you have to put a GPS on them to find where they are for events. They never pay their team dues and they barely show up for practice. Usually captains are friends with these people or find them useful enough that they talk tough (You have to come to practice or there WILL be consequences!) but when push comes to shove, nothing happens.

So already we have a diverse group of people that generally span at least 15 years of age alltogether, with different personalities and goals. Throw a little inevitable drama into the mix and these people are going to rip each other apart. I'd say every team I've been on that has fallen apart (and coincidentally, almost every team I've been on HAS fallen apart after I leave, not because of me but just by chance) following a basic schedule of dissent, clashing personalities, reactions to a major event (losing tournaments, sponsorship conflicts, etc), people leaving, and then the aftermath. If the team is still alive at the end, they are only the same in their name. The rest of the players recycle themselves around the community, find new teams, and the process restarts. Consider it tournament player musical chairs.

I don't think there is a way around the positioning. I think its unintentional. Without being too deep or quasi metaphorical, it's a human thing to do. Tournament players are competitors. We are looking to be the best - the best players we can be, the best players in our group, the best team in the division, etc etc. Players have different strengths and weaknesses on the field and this is sometimes indeed complementary. But paintball players also have the tendency to overestimate themselves. Paintball is unique in that no matter how good of a player you are as an individual, you can still consistently get **** on by better teams because your own abilities do not naturally make the team as a whole get better. I suspect many players of great potential who don't know any better will never be recognized because of this. Players who give their 100% and notice people they don't think are trying OR performing of course are going to frown on this, and will want to share their frustrations with equally minded players who they deem to be in the same boat.

Ultiamtely I think you're right about the power of key words, but to a lot of us, they're hollow. It almost seems like these days players expect the reward before the trial. Your son is a marine - did he get his globe and anchor just for making a committment to join? Obviously, he had to earn his title. People who lacked the drive or the ability to pass training were weeded out, and sent home. Only some men and women can be Marines. Only some men and women can be great paintball players.

I hate to be long winded but this is probably the most substantial post I'll make online for awhile. Let's make one more supposition. Assume you Carl, and Butch, and Jeff Stein, and Dave were all amazing paintball superstars of unequal skill. Assume we don't know each other (which isn't far from the truth, none of you guys know me except Carl). What are the chances we'll immediately hit it off? If we were all "alpha" personalities, the positioning is still going to be there. If we value ourselves as players and are confident in our skills, then we'll expect sponsorships that will match out committment and level of play. If someone falters, and appears weak in their skill or committment, the healthy sharks will certainly be ready to eliminate the weak one. While this sounds like ridiculous social exaggeration, I again think its rater human - we just hide it behind socially acceptable pretenses (the corporate atmosphere, for example). The bottomline in terms of paintball? Its hard enough to get a group where

a. Everyone gets along
b. Everyone is skilled
c. Everyone has a long term vision and can compromise to let life run its course

Nevermind the mysterious and elusive point D - Everyone is GOOD, everyone GETS ALONG, and everyone is out to genuinely push themselves and each other for a POSITIVE result, where both success and failure are shared and felt with equal strength. Those are the truly great teams.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:12 PM #6
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Chris! I had to print that out to read it but "To The Point." One question, and I know age is hampering my youthful literary skills but what is

"BAMFs?"

PM me if you need!
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:09 PM #7
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If you look up BAMF in the dictionary, it will refer you to my Facebook link.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:35 PM #8
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If you look up BAMF in the dictionary, it will refer you to my Facebook link.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:58 AM #9
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:59 AM #10
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One team owner's perspective

As the guy that runs the show (for Section 8) please allow me build upon Dank's post.

Pretty much anyone that has played in the local circuit 6+ years knows that my roster doesn't change much year-to-year. I am proud to say that my guys have an extreme amount of loyalty - imo, it comes from how I run my team.

For the record, I run a team for the pure love of the sport - been play for 22+ years (never missed a season) and have run a team for the last 10+ years. Everyone that is on my [core] team I can call friend and mean it. I derive no personal gain from paintball (i.e., I don't own a store or field).

I run my team openly - I hide nothing from the guys - and I don't make promises I can't kept or back-up. My guys are expected to carry their own weight - not only on the field, but financially and in support of their fellow player (and if that means sitting to win a point [or two] then so be it).

I am very particular about the players that I add to my team - they can have all the skill in the world, but if they can't fit within the general "personality" of my crew they aren't going to make it. As Dank put it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by trogdor444 View Post
... there's many more off the field qualities we count with higher importance.
And in general we have not had problems picking up players (and fostering a competitive team season after season).

It's not that we don't have national aspirations, but I leave it as a "team decision" and take into consideration the current build [competitiveness] and financial status of the team.

BTW – in regards to this statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSGSplatmaster View Post
Let's make one more supposition. Assume you Carl, and Butch, and Jeff Stein, and Dave were all amazing paintball superstars of unequal skill. Assume we don't know each other (which isn't far from the truth, none of you guys know me except Carl). What are the chances we'll immediately hit it off?
From the first time I met Jeff, Carl, or Dave I have gotten along w/ them fine. And back in the day I def had “game” (skills) – lol!

Let me end by repeating (for emphasis) why "we" do it -
Quote:
Originally Posted by trogdor444 View Post
... i can speak for my team when i say we do it for the people that do it with us.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:00 AM #11
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I am truly blessed. I am fortunate enough to have all those great qualities in all my players.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:47 AM #12
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Yes you are truly blessed. I would go to the point of saying one of the more fortunate ones in Paintball along with Section 8 and the Hurricanes. Your management styles dictate the quality of players that approach each of you.

Each of you know what your current capabilities are and develop forward at a pace you feel comfortable with but are not afraid to test the waters ahead of you.

Those are the main qualities for a successful team at any level and in my opinion is the first building block. All that have posted developed teams with long associations built on fact, trust and honesty. With that accomplished the process of moving/advancing fartrther can then start if that's an avenue you wish to pursue.

Now working closely with a few teams from local events to the NEPL and the AXBL the biggest obstacle I faced was losing players to the promise of sponsorship and cheaper prices. One player would would develop this fantasy then the inner circle would leave in the middle of the season.

Most of your teams were developed prior to the huge influx of new fields and leagues springing up all over New England. This makes it extremely challenging for someone like myself to obtain players with the qualities discussed.

I would guesstimate on the low side that 1 of 10 players meets or has been properly mentored into these qualities.

The reason for this I believe is the competition amongst fields to bring players to them. The promise of false sponsorship, The excitement of having a big sponsor name attached to the team (which in my opinion is a very affective marketing and sales tool) This hurts the talent pool quality and the fields themselves.

The 2010 season has enlightened me and forced me to take a serious look at the over all state of paintball in New England.

My current position on 2011 is that I'm encouraging players to stay where they are. That if they feel a need or have a want to move ahead, work for it because if you expect it for free disappointment and lack of self confidence will follow soon there after.

Now I've developed a very strong sense of respect for New England Teams, especially those that have posted here. I have sat through many derogatory comments and my only question to the person stating it "Where Are You In Comparison To Them." I rarely get a response.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:12 AM #13
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Originally Posted by cjlovi View Post
Yes you are truly blessed. I would go to the point of saying one of the more fortunate ones in Paintball along with Section 8 and the Hurricanes. Your management styles dictate the quality of players that approach each of you.

Each of you know what your current capabilities are and develop forward at a pace you feel comfortable with but are not afraid to test the waters ahead of you.

Those are the main qualities for a successful team at any level and in my opinion is the first building block. All that have posted developed teams with long associations built on fact, trust and honesty. With that accomplished the process of moving/advancing fartrther can then start if that's an avenue you wish to pursue.

Now working closely with a few teams from local events to the NEPL and the AXBL the biggest obstacle I faced was losing players to the promise of sponsorship and cheaper prices. One player would would develop this fantasy then the inner circle would leave in the middle of the season.

Most of your teams were developed prior to the huge influx of new fields and leagues springing up all over New England. This makes it extremely challenging for someone like myself to obtain players with the qualities discussed.

I would guesstimate on the low side that 1 of 10 players meets or has been properly mentored into these qualities.

The reason for this I believe is the competition amongst fields to bring players to them. The promise of false sponsorship, The excitement of having a big sponsor name attached to the team (which in my opinion is a very affective marketing and sales tool) This hurts the talent pool quality and the fields themselves.

The 2010 season has enlightened me and forced me to take a serious look at the over all state of paintball in New England.

My current position on 2011 is that I'm encouraging players to stay where they are. That if they feel a need or have a want to move ahead, work for it because if you expect it for free disappointment and lack of self confidence will follow soon there after.
Now I've developed a very strong sense of respect for New England Teams, especially those that have posted here. I have sat through many derogatory comments and my only question to the person stating it "Where Are You In Comparison To Them." I rarely get a response.
thats the way it should be. you have your team, why leave one for another for a promise (which in paintball politics usually are never left un-broken) when you can stick with your teammates and build on what you have to get better. help eachother out and eventually the not as strong player starts to get stronger. thus making better performances at events.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:20 AM #14
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Help each other out and eventually the not as strong player starts to get stronger. thus making better performances at events.
This post overall has produced another issue in team development. After receiving numerous E-mails and PM's from my other post the following developement issues arise.

1) Players will state one thing in public but then have enough confidence in you to speak openly when privately discussed. This is a sure destructive mentality to any team. When asked why the issue wasn't brought to the attention of management through out the season "I Receive No Response." This reinforces the destructive condition of the "Inner Circles" I spoke of.

2) Players dreaming above they're capabilities - I believe that if you want to succeed you have to set your goals higher than your currently capable of. (Dreaming) You need a goal.

Now that you have a goal you need to map out a plan to achieve it. I believe that 60/70% of players do this. But! They acquire a team that the book cover says will get them there but soon find that the encouragement needed to succeed is a "Watch and Learn" process instead of the more advance guiding them.

The player, in order to advance and succeed needs to realize that they're talents, skills and abilities aren't up to par with the others. They need to be able to accept constructive criticism and learn from it.

Quality Leadership - This is the one reason those posting here and other New England Teams unmentioned are succeeding in Paintball today at different levels.

Your solid leaders, capable of developing the resources you have at hand and developing the skill level needed to compete at a winning level.

You seek out talent and personality and take the time to mold it to your team needs. Up front and honest and no commitments of various perks that can't be kept.

What I mean by this is! You know what tools you have to work with and don't recruit on promises of "This could come down the road." That statement preys on the dreams of many and will almost always draw players in numbers not talent. It doesn't take long for a player to realize he's not the only one dreaming.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:24 PM #15
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Carl -

Another prolem I think is that an oversaturation of absurd promises and rhetoric is that it floods the market with hypocrites and makes it difficult for those peopel who truly do have talent amd ambition to make themselves heard.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:21 PM #16
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what i would give for a roster full of players who came to every practice and played every event.

our biggest problem has always been keeping players. we have had the same general core but players peel off, go to school, get broke, lose drive, crash their car...

im sure a lot of it has to do with management or lack of rather. until recently i was the only one willing to do it so i did it.....not really because i was qualified as a leader but just because i was willing to put in the time.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:52 PM #17
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im sure a lot of it has to do with management or lack of rather. until recently i was the only one willing to do it so i did it.....not really because i was qualified as a leader but just because i was willing to put in the time.
But that's leadership by example! That is what many teams lack today. Those teams that remain together and endure growing pains develop into winners! It may take time but your a perfect example of a qualified leader. You accept the responsibilities no one else would.

Some leaders are self centered, selfish, glory hounds placing themselves on a self built pedestal demanding respect and turn a def ear to the team. They don't deal well at all with constructive criticism.

Successful leadership requires you to put your players before yourself. Sitting the bench one time more than everyone else. When glory is abound such as in a magazine you incorporate your team into the equation and not individualize it. When interviews are conducted you say talk with my Captains they're better capable to answer that than me. (Some Times) ect!

And most important of all you "Listen." Leaders make mistakes almost as often as subordinates. Turning a def ear to your subordinates, right or wrong, a leader needs to listen and assess the situation and make competent decisions even if at times they are unfavorable.

Leadership and respect are developed over time. Which I see many New England teams developing. I made the comment above about how far we have come in ten years. Leadership and respect is part of what I meant!

Now I've had the opportunity to watch you guys over the years. I would put your team in the successful end of the spectrum.

Good luck this weekend.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:10 AM #18
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Seekey, that's a tough position to be in. People will start to expect things out of you when you didn't want said responsibilities in the first place. Not sure if there's any alternative though. As for the high turnover for players, with an increasingly younger player base, life events and finances are pretty volatile.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:07 PM #19
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Much of what I read above is a laundry list of generic character flaws you find within any moderatly sized group of people. People are selfish, basically, doing what is in their own best interests. That is not to say they are wrong for being that way. It is just the truth.

So this needs to be figured into the "make a team" formula.

I have always believed that for a team to survive, the "team" has to be able to exist apart from the players. Look at the Hurricanes. The roster has completely turned ove, multiple times, yet it continues.

As long as there is someone to carry the fla and keep on, I don't think a team ever truly dies.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:16 PM #20
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Originally Posted by NECanes Coach View Post
Much of what I read above is a laundry list of generic character flaws you find within any moderatly sized group of people. People are selfish, basically, doing what is in their own best interests. That is not to say they are wrong for being that way. It is just the truth.

So this needs to be figured into the "make a team" formula.

I have always believed that for a team to survive, the "team" has to be able to exist apart from the players. Look at the Hurricanes. The roster has completely turned ove, multiple times, yet it continues.

As long as there is someone to carry the fla and keep on, I don't think a team ever truly dies.
That requires a "Leader." "One In Charge" "One Who Is Respected." "One Who Motivates" but still understands non favorable decisions need to be made yet gives praise when due!

Not someone who will "Hold Your Hand and Change Your Diaper." None of it can be accomplished with out respect and "Respect" "Is Not A God Given Right."

Thats why the Hurricanes continue to rebound and move forward! The one (and associates) in charge, even though some will not agree is well respected with in the sport.

You are right! It is a "Laundry List." But it's the current mentality of the thousands of players and hundreds (+) of teams across the country. Very few are blessed with what Jeff and Dave have accomplished!

After watching the web cast of the Las Vegas NPPL, Maybe we'll have another team or two joining the ranks!
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:44 PM #21
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%$##%^^^ team %^*** ad! pages 30 and 31
http://www.digitalpublisherpro.com/M...issue_id=400++
www.digitalpublisherpro.com

Perfect example of of my statements on the term sponsorship/free/discounted ect and the type of player drawn to it.

Maybe my blowing a head gasket in public had some affect. The team is featured and not the individual.

But in all honestly. it's a good PR stunt for sponsors but those teams that have posted, do you need to do this to reach out to quality players?
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