+1 (actually +1000).


I always told the team, “Remember, this is a sprint, not a marathon. You will not get everything done; that’s part of the challenge.” And every year, about two or three weeks before Regionals, NOTHING worked. And then things would start to break loose, and by tournament day, we were OK – never “great”, but OK. And made State every year, so something went right…!


Putting my cynical glasses on (actually, I’m afraid they rarely come off these days), it’s a refreshing counterpoint to the modern everybody-wins-a-trophy, just-give-them-another-chance/more-time kind of attitude that’s all too common. We’ve all heard stories about kids who get jobs and think they can just show up late (or not at all) and are then surprised when they get yelled at or fired. FLL is a gentle but solid dose of reality – one that many kids can benefit from.


Phil Smith III


Coach, The Capital Girls (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 John Barrett
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:20 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Qualifier scheduling



I want to re-iterate what Nick, and others, have said.  Quite simply, there is never enough time.  Never.  I coached for 7 years (and the teams did well) and we never had enough time.  And that’s how life is.  If we can teach our FLLers how to make the most of the limited resources they have and most notably the limited time they have available, then we’ve truly taught them a life lesson.  FLL teaches kids about engineering, programming, team work, Gracious Professionalism, and Co-opertition. VA/DC FLL’s season adds to those things by emphasizing time management, focus, and grace under pressure.  And these are lessons I wish more people I come in contact with professionally understood better.  The season may seem overwhelming at times but don’t forget that you are teaching your team valuable lessons in the process.

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