Saintball Survival Strategies

The original working title was, “Winning Saintball Strategies.” However, upon further review my own personal results do not justify claiming any such expertise.  But I am surviving, battling off demons every day.  Not the nasty scary ones, just the one in the mirror.  But I do have nine months of experience, so I feel like a parent of the game.  How about I just tell you what I’ve learned.

I hope you have taken on the challenge of playing saintball this week.  If not, you are forbidden from reading this!  Well, nothing bad will happen to you.  But you may miss out on some valuable learning that happens when you begin playing with very little instruction.

I’ll start by revealing my score and learning from the first week I played.  It all began on December 5, 2016.  It was a rather blustery day, Pooh…oh bother and never mind.  I had developed the game, done some testing to validate the scoring system and was excited to give it a whirl in the real world.  Let the games begin.

I set my goal for valuable hours at 13 per day, 80 percent of my waking hours.  Seemed challenging yet achievable.  I set my phone alarm to ring every hour.  I stopped what I was doing briefly each time it alarmed and recorded the hour as valuable or wasted, and tallied my good and bad behavior points.  I kept track on a notecard.  Here’s how it went.

I had one of the most productive and well behaved Monday mornings I’ve ever had.  I did not have a case of the Mondays.  Why?  I was paying attention to how I spent my time, how I was behaving and was determined to score well.  I was just starting to write the sAint Me?! book and spend most of the day doing so.  There really isn’t much opportunity to score many behavior points, good or otherwise when you are not interacting with anyone.

Day one complete.  Earned 72 of 100 saint points and a grade of “C.”  Very disappointing initially, but upon reflection I knew it was a better score than what I would have earned in most past days, and no one said it was going to be easy to become a saint.  Plus, it was the highest score ever recorded by anyone…someone call the Guinness Book of World Records!  See my scorecard if you must. Scott’s First Saintball Score

I won’t bore you with the details of the rest of that week.  Let’s just say that my enthusiasm waned as the week went on, and my results reflected that fact.  Final score, 60 points and an “E for effort” average for the week.  Sure glad to have made up that E letter grade or it would have been an “F” for fire.  I told one of my many friends named Jim about the scoring system and he said, “I assume the F stands for Fire?” and it has even since,  thanks Jimbo!

So here were my early observations and learning’s that may benefit you as well:

  • You waste more time than you think you do;
  • The lower you set your goal for valuable hours, the higher you will score. It is probably best to start with a goal that is a small stretch if you want to feel better about yourself in the beginning.  You can increase the goal over time.  Better to aim low in the beginning than to give up.  You will probably still be more productive than you had been.
  • Having your alarm go off every hour is really annoying. I had stopped by Wednesday.  I just did my tracking whenever I thought about it.  Then I realized that I was much more aware of my actions and accurate with scoring when I did the hourly thing.  I went back to it and changed the alarm to be something that made me smile when it went off.
  • It is difficult, maybe impossible to score big positive behavior points without planning to do good deeds. And you must interact with other people, after all, others are who you do good deeds for.  Start by simply smiling and greeting everyone.
  • Being around other people also has the potential to drastically escalate your negative behavior points. I have no advice for this…well how about, be patient?!
  • The terms “valuable use of time” and “good-bad behavior” are very subjective. Yes they are!  We’ll solve that next week.

So what’s next?  Finish your week of tracking.  Compute your score and grade for the week.  Ask yourself three questions about your results:

  1. What are you happy about? I bet you were an even more productive and better person than usual.  Feel good about that…celebrate!
  2. What are your opportunities for improvement? Don’t beat yourself up too badly, list a couple and move on.
  3. What will you do differently next week? Review your improvement opportunities, choose one to focus on and set a goal.  Write it down.  “I, Scott Froyen will only watch one hour of television per day next week.”  Especially since the U.S. Open tennis tournament starts the following week and the TV will be on all day long.   Hey, it only happens once a year:-)

Next week is do the right things in the right way week.  Let’s get specific.  Thank you for reading.  Be a saintspiration to everyone you encounter over the weekend and enjoy!

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