Merriam Webster defines a team as, "A group of people who compete in sport, game, etc., against another group; a group of people working together." Over and over again, we see teams come and go in combat sports, but why do they disappear nearly as fast as they sprout? Is it a pure failure by design or, is there something else at work?
One may not need to look further than the initial inception of a team to find the flaw which brings it to its knees. Many teams begin life as a group of individuals, not bound by loyalty to the group, but as an army of one. Military units from infantry grunts all the way to the most elite counter-terrorism units around the world operate as a well oiled machine of many like-minded parts. A machine that would fail if one or more of those parts operated on their own accord. Even snipers operate as a team; a trigger man and a spotter. With this in mind, what can we as a sport do to create a more realistic feel? The answer is to become true teams.
The first key to any successful team is dedication. Members of the team need to be dedicated to a pre-set schedule of training. If the members of team cannot train together, they cannot fight together as a true group. This leaves you with fighting solely as a group of individuals with the occasional unorganized cooperation.
The second key to becoming a dominating force on the field is communication. Members who develop a system of communication and effectively employ this system often become a force to be reckoned with. Their ability to read the field, communicate the intelligence and direct their fellow teammates effectively almost always leads to victory.
The third key to success if two-fold. Find a coach. Someone who has tactical smarts, the ability to learn and the ability to lead. This person may be in their teens but has experienced some competitive sports like football, or they may be a veteran of the armed forces. Either way, they have the ability to lead. Finally, use everyone in the group's strengths to your advantage. One member of the team may have the uncanny ability to be covert. This person would be a great asset to operate as a scout and relay detailed intelligence to the rest of the group. Another member may have the ability to lead and others will listen to their suggestions without question. This person may be better to serve as the squad leader than even the founding member of the group.
The final suggestion to become successful would be to operate the group as a business. Establish a group of founding individuals to be the board of directors and make all business decisions for the group. Have a standing set of rules and regulations. This assists in keeping the group moving towards it's goals as well as projecting an image of professionalism and organization. The group that I fight with, the newly formed Florida Tactical Action Club, is led by five individuals on the board of directors. Each member has equal voting rights to business decisions and a majority of votes passes any issues which may arise.
Do your research and you will find that most of your professional teams and clubs in the community have rules, regulations, decision makers and some may even be incorporated to operate as a legitimate business.
Its time to give up the army of me mentality, and fight for each other, as a team.
--Brandon Roberts is a counter-terrorism task force officer based out of Meridian, Mississippi. He has been in law enforcement since 2001 and has served as a private military contractor for the U.S. government overseas. Brandon is the author of the Amazon Best Seller List book 'Evading Honesty' and runs milsim with the Florida Tactical Action Club