Recognizing a Good Airsoft Leader


Recognizing A Good Airsoft Leader |
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Airsoft is a team game.  Due to the nature of airsoft, airsofters often end up on a team with a wide variety of players with different levels of experience, tactical and field knowledge, and leadership skills.  You may end up on a team of 10 players where nobody has ever played at the field before and is trying airsoft for the first time.  On the other extreme, you may get mixed in with a team where everyone thinks they are SEAL Team 6 material and their sole mission is to beat the other team into the ground.

No matter what kind of team you end up on, often there is a dominant leader that other players on the team look up to for directions and guidance before the game begins.  Sometimes a leader rises through having played at the specific field more than anyone else or having more tactical knowledge.  Sometimes a leader comes to power by having a lot of good friends on the team or knowing how to find the best spots on the field to hold down the enemy offensive.  No matter how a leader is chosen, the amount of success you have on the field and the fun you have while you’re there, is often determined by how well a leader is able to do their job.  Here are some questions that you can ask to determine if the leader at your next airsoft event is good at what they do, as well as pick up some good tips for the next time you command a team!


Is The Leader There To Have Fun?

This is the biggest question to ask when deciding if someone is a good airsoft leader.  Airsoft is a game, not a talent and gear show.  It isn’t about decimating the enemy team all day long, having the highest kill streak, or laughing at the enemy team while they get mowed down by a bunch of over-serious players.  Airsoft at its core is about FUN!!!  A good airsoft leader will be willing to have fun no matter how the game is going.  Usually they will crack a few jokes when things are going rough, as well as be the first to congratulate a player when they push the objective and secure a win.  If the team isn’t having fun, or at least having a good laugh now and then, it is a clear sign that the leader is being too serious or isn’t doing enough to keep up team moral.


Is The Leader Including Everyone?

A clear sign of a good leader is the ability to get everyone involved in the game.  No matter the experience level or amount of gear someone owns, everyone and anyone can play airsoft and be a part of a team.  Every player needs to be included in the execution of a mission, and also the planning of that mission if possible.  Granted there are always a few players that don’t have a team mentality when playing airsoft (you know “that guy” on the field).  Don’t expect a leader to get those kinds of players involved every round, but they should at least be making an effort to keep the team working together.

(Interested in getting new or young players involved during a game? Than THIS post is for you!)

Is The Leader Knowledgable And Able To Communicate Well?

This is an excellent question to ask about a leader after seeing them command for a few rounds of a game.  A knowledgeable leader will be able to identify issues in the team’s gameplay and strategy and be able to communicate his plan for fixing those issues in upcoming battles.  The good leader will also be able to find the spots on a field that are the best to defend at, as well as the best places to attack from.  Being a knowledgable leader with good communication skills doesn’t mean that they are a walking dictionary of tactics, or are able to shout out orders like a Drill Sergeant.  A real leader will have the common sense to make decisions and get their point across to everyone quickly and clearly before and during a battle.

(If you want to learn more about good communication in airsoft, check out “The 3 E’s of Communication”.  If you are needing some good radios to help enhance communication on the field, HERE is the pair I use on the field.)


These are some great guidelines to use to improve your own leadership skills in airsoft.  Use these questions during a game to discover what other leaders do well, or struggle with.  Armed with the knowledge these questions will provide,  you can become a stronger leader and command the field in a way that keeps airsoft fun and exciting for every player!

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  1. I have a question for you Blake. When I’m at a field and a game is going on, people tend to follow my (would you call it suggestions, or orders or what? I don’t try to be in charge, just feel like it happens) and I was wondering if you had some tips on checking yourself (so you don’t come off or become a dictator)

    • Excellent question, Blue Falcon. That is desire to lead correctly is one of the defining points of an excellent leader. If you can be a part of the team, while also leading them, you will have much more loyal and supportive followers. Besides modeling yourself after the leadership style found in this post, there are a several other things I would recommend.

      1.) Make sure voices are heard. If everyone is providing input, then you aren’t being a dictator. Often some of the best ideas that I am able to implement when being a team leader are created by someone else on the team. I just provide the support and direction to make the idea happen.

      2.) Don’t try to control. Instead, strive to provide a direction. You can’t totally control others, although some bad leaders try. It is better to get the support of the team, and work with committed players.

      3.) Let others try out leadership. Airsoft is a great testing ground for learning good leadership habits. Let others lead if they want to; and encourage someone else to head up a mission or lead the team to an objective when possible.

      I hope this helps out. Seem like all that could be a whole blog post in itself. 😉

      Have fun on the field!
      – TAW

      • Thanks for the tips!! I am used to being in charge (Boyscouts [almost got my Eagle]) just don’t like to take over. Keep up your great articles and have a Merry Christmas!

        • Thanks so much, Blue Falcon! Glad the post was able to help you out. As an Eagle Scout, I can say it is one of the most amazing achievements I have made in my life. Keep up the hard work. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and are looking forward to the new year!

          – TAW

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