Number 14 of the Los Angeles Ironmen, Greg Siewers, gives a rundown on last weekend's team Ironmen tryouts -
“Respect is not given, it’s earned”
Tryouts are hard. Period. It doesn’t matter if you are trying out for a high school soccer team, t-ball, or a professional paintball team - you will be under scrutiny, under pressure, and facing some of the hardest competition you’ve seen in your sport.
The Ironmen tryouts this past weekend were no exception to the rule. We had over 40 players attend - many of which flew in from all over the country - to compete for 2 or 3 player openings on the legendary Ironmen team. On top of the typical pressures of a high level tryout, the beautiful weather of Southern California was non-existent. The fields were just short of floating away when everyone arrived Friday morning and barely playable come the start of the tryouts Saturday morning.
To top off the difficulty, the tryout players were playing against us, the new and improved Ironmen. This is where the mental state of the tryout players really shines through. Each one of them showed up because they felt they had a chance of making the team. They all come from areas where they are the “big fish” at the local field and/or the “star player” on their current team. They had to realize that on this weekend, they’re just another dude with a paintball gun going up against Bobby Aviles, Scott Kemp, Demetri Ninios, and myself, all who have years of experience in the pro division and world titles under our belts. So, respect had to be earned because we sure as hell weren’t going to give it away.
In the mist of the chaos of the terrible weather, large number of players, and constant points being run, we had our own hurdles to maneuver on the Ironmen. This was our first weekend playing together as the majority of the 2017 roster. On Saturday, we felt the effects of the typical “new team.” We dropped our communication, we made a few mistakes in the game plans, and we had long talks on how we felt the layout should be played. Luckily, our experience and overall mentality of bringing back the legendary name that the Ironmen held for so long allowed us to get on the same page for Sunday’s points and come together as a team a little more.
After all of this, only a small handful of players will be invited to our practice against my old team next weekend. As the Ironmen, this is our opportunity to set the tone for the 2017 season early. For the players trying out, its an opportunity to showcase their skills playing with us and against some of the best in the world. As much as we prepare, only time will tell who makes the team and what the 2017 Ironmen will be made of.
- Greg Siewers #14