As a rookie coach (one of four) for an elementary school that started two
new teams this year (and we lived to tell the story!), Ginny's advice has
been instrumental. She has been our "Virtual" mentor with lots of good
advice and information. We made it to the tournament and had a great time. I
will be attending the tournament in Harrisonburg with my son to get ideas
for next year. I also intend to see the FRC tournament in March and
(hopefully) go to the World Competition in Atlanta.
I'll have to be honest and tell all new coaches that there is a steep
learning curve, especially with big teams from young elementary schools. You
will invest a lot of time and effort, but the payoff is very gratifying. You
will learn a lot along the way. Seeing the kids (and adults) grow from the
experience is the best part of it all.
I would suggest getting a group of rookie (that's still us) and veteran
coaches together during the summer months to discuss strategies for the next
year. Aside from learning about the robots, there is so much to be learned
about the FIRST Lego League, team management, mission strategies, season
schedules and communication issues. We have also found that the environment
(physical space) in which you have your team meetings determines the amount
of focus and work accomplished. Lots of factors to consider!
Thanks for a "growing" ecperience,
Robo Eagles and Blue Dragons
From: First Lego League Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Ginny Echelberger
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Mentoring rookie coaches
If anyone wants to recruit new coaches--NOW is the time.
Invite them to go to the VADC FLL Championships in Harrisonburg on Sunday,
Dec 7. Invite them to go to the FTC Tournament in Charlottesville on
Saturday, Dec 6. Suggest they start reading the FLL website now and lend
them your coach's manual to read. And invite them to the FRC Tournament in
Richmond, the first weekend in March. Also, invite them to attend the
World's in Atlanta in mid-April where they can see FLL, FTC and FRC. We met
the greatest little FLL Team from China--their pit was across the aisle from
the Virginia team and that's how we got introduced. If anyone goes to
Atlanta--try to get there for the Opening Ceremony and stay for the Closing
Ceremony. The speakers are fantastic and the crowd is amazing! Just be sure
that wherever they go, they talk to the kids on the teams. Their enthusiasm
This way, potential new coaches can see all aspects of FIRST and the
importance of FLL in the overall scheme of development for these kids. Then
they'll be excited (although maybe still intimidated) about coaching a team.
Experienced coaches and former coaches are great resources and can help
several local teams at one time. We gave our county teachers and interested
parents an introduction to FLL last spring in May and from that, we had at
least five new teams that competed and several new teams that didn't compete
this year. We also have kept a team going with a new coach, we had one
school restart two teams and we have several people come to the Tournament
to evaluate if they could start teams for next year. We still only have one
area FTC team but we are hoping that our other high schools pick that up as
Don't wait. Start now! There are great opportunities out there to help
potential new coaches understand what FIRST has to offer.
Just my 2 cents worth,
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