Large paintball events such as tournaments and scenarios can be fun and challenging experiences that players remember forever. Teams put a lot of time, effort, and money into these events. It is important to properly prepare for a tournament or event in order to give yourself (and your team) the best possible advantage.
Practice Before the Event
Practice before the event shouldn't be overly stressful. Go over the basics with your team such as snapping, sliding, and breakouts. It is good to have the essentials fresh in your head. If anyone is struggling with something specific, go over that as much as you can until the entire team has it down.
At the end of practice, talk to your team about the tournament and make sure everyone knows when they should be there, how much money to bring, and what is expected of them.
Day Before Event
Drink plenty of water through the day to stay hydrated. Eat healthy and have a somewhat active day. Staying on the couch will just cause your muscles to cramp on the day of the event as they adjust to the sudden strenuous activities. Go for a light jog or play some basketball, however you choose to stay active. Play paintball if you can! Do not overwork yourself, and try your best not to break a leg or anything - you'll need it for paintball.
As the day comes to an end, make sure your gearbag is packed up with all of your gear. Pack plenty of essentials such as water, o-ring kits, swabs, etc. Make sure your gun is ready before packing it. It should be in the proper mode and under the legal limit before you step foot on the field. Make a checklist of all your gear and go over it. If you already have paint, pack it into pods.
Although it may seem like a stellar idea at the time, going out and partying with your team is the absolute worst thing you could possibly do before an event. You want to have a decent supper, and go to bed early. Get a good rest.
Morning of the Event (Hooray!)
Wake up early, have a light breakfast and stretch. Get ready for the day and pack up all your gear into your car. Call your team mates and make sure they are up. Drink some water.
When the time comes, head to the field. Get there as early as you can. Register your team and buy paint (highest quality possible). Set up an area to stage that is close to the pits, and fill pods and prepare your equipment so that everything is ready to go and everyone is ready to play.
Once your team is ready, it is a good time to go ahead and walk the field. Go over all the positions as a team and feel free to bend/lay/kneel/crawl over bunkers to see the proper angles. Walk the field for as long as you can or until your comfortable at each bunker knowing who you can shoot, and who can shoot you.
If you still have time remaining, go ahead and relax for a bit. Talk with the refs and other teams, have some water, stretch, and mentally prepare yourself. If you aren't the first team to play, watch other teams matches. You can pick up on their weaknesses and habits they fall into (ie snake runner always goes to S2, back center always lanes dorito side). Relay this information to your team mates.
Gather your team ten to fifteen minutes before your match. Carry all your paint and gear into the pits and set up (see my article on staying organized in the pits). Figure out who is playing first.
When it is your match, get out on the field and chrono if required. Remember if it is a 321GO count or 3215SECONDS count down, don't leave the board early! As you play, remember what you went over in practice. Stay calm and don't be afraid to make big moves.
Communicate with your team, and remember to shoot the other players.
Have fun out there!