I am replying to this late, but wanted to say that I think just letting
people know that this list can be a huge and wonderful resource, and
encouraging people to start conversing here as early as they can, is very
helpful. As a rookie coach, I was incredibly lucky to have advice and
guidance from people who knew much more than I, but I did still feel like
there were some things I just had to figure out for myself. Some things you
just don't know until you're in the middle of it.
But people should be encouraged to reach out, ask for help, ask questions.
I did, and it was very helpful! Thanks!
Sonya in Harrisonburg
On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 1:33 PM, Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Thoughts on the mentoring of rookie coaches...
> Being a rookie coach is hard work. There is a lot to learn about FLL, a lot
> of kid-management and kid-guidance to be done, the challenge of a short
> season. Success at a regional tournament involves a lot of planning and
> insight that may be elusive even for those who read the coaching manual and
> read the listserv, and it may not be apparent to some rookie coaches that
> there are books, guides, conference calls and whatnot available to them.
> This season (my third) I had the opportunity to provide some help and
> mentoring to a school librarian coaching a young rookie team at a school in
> a nearby county. Although we never met in person, we corresponded a number
> of times and talked on the phone a time or two, which gave her the
> opportunity to ask for guidance (from "where is the regional tournament?" to
> "what's really expected in the research project?" to "how can I know what
> the judges will ask?" to any number of questions about the intricate
> robot-match rules), and for me to offer advice that she may not have even
> known she needs. Although there were still a lot of aspects of the
> tournament that she found eye-opening, I think it was helpful.
> I wonder if VADCFLL ought to consider formalizing such an arrangement for
> all new coaches. The idea would be to pair up each new coach with one (or
> maybe two) experienced coaches. This would be best done right at the start
> of the season, to make sure the rookie gets hooked up to the relevant web
> sites, listserv and other resources, and gets some tips on how to organize
> the work, set realistic goals, create appropriate ground-rules, understand
> the role of the coach in FLL, and pace out the short season. Ideally the
> experienced coach (or maybe his or her whole team, if experienced) would
> meet with the rookie group early in the season, but that would be
> above-and-beyond. As tournament date approaches, the mentor coach could
> provide guidance on creating a suitable presentation, interpreting the
> Q&A's, and how to get the kids, families and materials organized.
> Mike Blanpied
> Reston, VA
> 2006 #4809 Nano People
> 2007 #1666 Power Bunnies
> 2008 #5013 BLT--Brilliant LEGO Team
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