What Nick said!
I was going to express it this way:
One big suggestion: calm down. Your role isn't to worry; your role is to keep them from worrying too much. Remind them that the table performance is ONLY 25%. Remind them that they're rookies (I assume). Remind them that they're learning -- that NASA blew up more than a couple of rockets before they got things working.
And promise them that the tournament will be a *blast* no matter how they do! Last year a team backed out at the last minute because they "weren't ready". That breaks my heart, and makes me think that the coaches didn't "get it".
One of the MANY wonderful things about FLL is that teams who do "horribly" at the tournament still have fun. In eight years of being involved, I've seen one kid cry, and she had fallen and was in pain (and was fine a few minutes later). Even glum faces are rare; intense scowls of frustration while watching a robot misbehave are a bit more common, of course...!
Phil Smith III
Virginia State Judge Advisor, 2007, 2008, 2009
Judge Advisor, Northern Virginia Regional tournaments, 2007, 2008
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)
From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Swayne, Nick
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 2:56 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] A few new coach questions
This is really supposed to be fun for all. Don't dread the robot!
You'll see a lot of new teams at all 18 of the regional competitions. There are more than 350 teams currently in the system and I'd guess half of them are new to FLL.
The fact that there are 4 components to the tournament really levels the playing field for those who have never built robots before. Lots of rookie teams build robots that look almost exactly like the tri-bot in the instruction book and do just fine at the competition. Some actually win because they concentrate on the teamwork and research which account for 50% of the total. If the kids can explain their experience level, design and programming well - they'll do fine there as well.
Also - if your robot holds the crash test figure for the entire 2.5 minutes and you don't knock over any of the penalty pieces, you'll end up with 95 points.
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