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First Lego League in Virginia and DC


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First Lego League Discussion <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 12 Nov 2008 12:29:27 -0500
Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
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Listen to this experienced coach, folks -- she's got it nailed.

At this stage, your team is probably in a panic. Remind them that THEY WILL HAVE FUN. They will do their best. Some things will work, some things will not. But it will be fun anyway!

I'd especially take heed of her warnings about protecting the robot.  In 7 years of participation, I've yet to see a team totally destroy their robot at competition.  Of course, it may have happened without my knowledge, and as a coach I was always terrified that it was about to happen!
Phil Smith III
Virginia State Judge Advisor, 2007, 2008
Judge Advisor, Northern Virginia Regional tournaments, 2006
Division 1 Judge Advisor, Virginia State tournament, 2006

Coach, The Capital Girls, Oak Hill (retired)
Team 1900 (2002)
Team 2497 (2003)
Team 2355 (2004)
Team 1945 (2005)
-----Original Message-----
From: First Lego League Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alstat, Kathy
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 12:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Tables & Carts at the Competition Table

While practicing, I explained the housekeeping rule to my team.  Their
solution---have one team member in charge of the box of attachments,
parts, etc---one of the plastic bins that held the mindstorm parts works
perfectly-and is smaller than base.  I have no intention, even if it
were allowed, of packing an av cart in addition to everything else
needed for competition.    The other team members take turns with the
different missions---each team member stepping up one at a time.---So
one child remains at the table at all times, the others step up, then
step back for their part.   Teamwork is sometimes about making
compromises and adapting to the situation.  My team this year may be a
little clumsy and slow on their missions, but they are doing their best
and they have improved with practice.  I have been coaching since 2002.
No matter how hard the kids work, no matter how many meetings we may
have, we never feel ready for competition. Sometimes all of the missions
that we have working before competition fail abysmally when we reach the
tournament.  Sometimes we based a mission on an erroneous assumption.
Sometimes my kids have come up with an 11th hour solution at
competition.  FLL is about teamwork, learning through adversity and
adapting ---sometimes on the spot.   Tell your team to do the best they
can, to laugh and learn from their mistakes and not to stress
competition day or worry about how they will do.  Tell them to have fun.
Give them a chance to meet the other teams and learn by watching them
and sharing ideas.  If your team makes it to state---celebrate!---if
your team doesn't---celebrate!  (At least you have a free weekend !)  No
matter what happens afterward, we always have an ice cream party!


Oh... and remind all members not to run in the halls.  Have your team
carry the robot in a box.  I usually have the team form a protective
wall around the teammate carrying the robot as they travel through the
hall ----We have had several near crashes as team members scamper down
the halls.   If you have the opportunity, try to take your kids outside
sometime during the tournament for a little supervised recess---they
tend to get stir crazy.  A rousing game of red light/ green light  or
tag sometimes helps them focus.  Good luck to everybody and have fun!


Some things you might want to pack;


1.   4 copies of team info sheet

2.   Robot in Sturdy Box

3.   Extra Parts for Robot

4.   Project Board or display if you have one

5.   Laptops

6.   duct tape

7.   clipboards

8.    and sign in/out sheet

9.   hand wipes/hand sanitzer

10.                     paper towels

11.                     trash bags

12.                     Scripts for Presentation 

13.                      Powerstrips

14.                     Extension Cords

15.                     Camera and Memory Cards

16.                     Extra Batteries, Floppy Disks, flashdrives

17.                     Printed copies of programs

18.                     Buttons

19.                     t-Shirts

20.                     Trading Items

21.                     Pens and pencils

22.                     Health Histories

23.                       Bottled Water

24.                     Snacks

25.                     Cell phone Numbers of parents






Kathryn M. Alstat

4-H Agent, Greene County

Coach of the C.C. of G.C.  --team 4060

10013 Spotswood Trail, Stanardsville, VA 22973

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