Matty touches base with X-Factor’s Grayson Goff to discuss his controversial blog post entitled “You’ll never play pro paintball”. They address what it means to be a pro paintball player, the mentality needed to get there, and how the game has changed over the years.
Original Article from PBNation
“Ed Poorman posted an old photo of Avalanche not too long ago. With it, it brought in the who’s who of pro paintball in the 90′s and early 2000′s reminiscing of the old days and arguing which team was truly the best. At some point the tone changed and they began discussing the current state of the game and the soul that has been lost along the way. My initial reaction was to disagree with them, but the more I thought about it, they were right. Our game has soul and always will, but something has been lost along the way.
That generation of paintball is who I learned from. I learned from them because if I made a mistake I was punished dearly for it. You’d get 15 in the back with a slide frame autococker. There was no mercy and no encouragement. It was a bloodsport to them and they were the kings that didn’t want to give up their crown and any new kid that had any potential was their biggest enemy. This kind of outlook harden me and my fellow X-factor players. We were the new kids on the block and could play and these guys hated it. They hated us and wanted us to fail. They didn’t like seeing a bunch of kids with a chance to replace them at the top and they made sure we knew that. There were a few individuals along the way that taught me how to play paintball, but the methods were different back then. If I couldn’t move down the field because two guys were holding a lane against me, I was told “put those ****ing guys in and move” and then shot in the side of the head. That doubt along with the lessons shaped me into who I am today.
Ok, I’ve definitely rambled a bit but it all brings me to my main point. The current generation of pros has been too nice and PC. We lack that soul the previous generation had. We’ve gone soft and forgot the lessons that were passed on to us and forgot what pushed us to be great. It wasn’t people telling me great job and patting me on the back. It was people telling me that I couldn’t, those 15 welts on my back that meant I failed. It was acquaintances looking at me wondering why I chose to play this silly game every weekend. The people I owe the biggest debt to are the ones who doubted me. The ones who said I said we wouldn’t make it at the pro level. The ones who scoffed and gave me a funny look when I missed my graduation for a tryout. Guess who’s laughing now, me mother ****er.
So what I’m telling you today is, You Can’t. You won’t make it at the pro level. You don’t have what it takes because, so far that’s the truth. There’s been no new influx of pro players because this new generation, which is YOU, lacks the mental toughness to hang at our level. And that’s my fault, I’ve been too soft, too encouraging. It’s time someone got real and told you what you needed to hear. My ultimate goal was to replace my spot on X-factor, but you’re going to have to ****ing earn it over my dead body. All that doubt I received early in my career is always gnawing in the back of my head. Some of the greatest human achievements have come from people who were told “You can’t” so that’s what I’m telling you today. You can’t…. so prove me wrong and thank me in 10 years.