Every club has a president. Every company has a boss. And every team has a captain or TL (team leader). In airsoft, and especially when playing as a team, this figure takes on special importance. He is the one who is in control, who guides, who gives the orders, who makes the decisions.
Often times people think that decision making is something simple, a job that everyone can do. But it is actually easy to prove otherwise; take a step forward, adopt the role in a game or milsim and find out that it is not as easy as it may seem from the outside. Issues such as pressure, the fun of your colleagues and the resolution of the objectives, sometimes depend on decisions that you must make in a few seconds.
Here lies the full potential of this role. The team leader must have a very observant and analytical mentality. He must not let nerves or adrenaline get the better of him.
In first place, a TL must be mentally reviewing the position of its operators at all times. There must be a good communication system in the team and if the team is divided into pairs, squads or patrols, maintaining constant communication with the other TLs or ICs (in command). At this point I would add that, from my own experience, the team is grateful that the TL are constantly talking to each other on the radio channel, informing of their location, showing that they have the situation under control, because this gives the team a feeling of safety and it allows you to be more relaxed.
We must admit that it is a second-line role. A TL cannot be at the forefront, because he would fall easily and leave the team with a leadership gap, which would create confusion if a second in command has not been appointed beforehand. In the same way that if you were escorting a VIP, the TL must adopt a position within the team, always a risky-free position, from which to see clearly all the environment and in case of contact, have a complete view of the battlefield.
He must have a continuously analytical vision.Analyse the terrain in which the team is moving or will move through. In case of ambush, you have to know where to fire, how to make the most of the advantages the terrain gives you, and avoid all those things that may be a problem. Analyse also the organisation of your team, if they are working in pairs, patrols or just as a squad. And also their weapons, whether you have support, snipers and even recon tools (drones, mobility, other friendly units in the area, etc).
And last but not least. Analyse the main mission, where can you move towards and why do so. This includes being aware of possible enemy positions, empathising with the enemy to try to avoid possible traps, or to attack them when they less expect it.
Something I have learned over time, especially in milsims, is that scouting is very important. Scouting consists of sending a couple of colleagues who can fend from themselves, go unnoticed, gather as much information as possible from the terrain, the area, the enemy, etc. and thus be able to act on more solid information later on.
HOW TO AIRSOFT: TEAM LEADER (Part II): DECISIONS
THINGS ON WHICH A TL BASES HIS DECISIONS:
- Information gathered by the scouts.
- Your team's fire power and enemy threat level.
- The priority in achieving the objective.
- The danger of casualties of the team a specific route may entail.
- The team's opinion (Beware! Never ask for it in combat situation or under stress).
- The fun for the team, after all, airsoft is just a game.