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> Decathlete Advice to Coaches
Guest_the_crazy_honors_*
post Mar 27 2012, 01:22 AM
Post #81





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Having not read all of these, I hate to be redundant, but here's my perspective on a few issues:

1) RECRUITING AND RETAINING. My team tends to get about 15-20 new Honors each April, but we were down to 8 by August and 5 by the time competitions rolled around. So many Honors - like myself at first, I'll admit - join AcDec just to have another line on their (our) resumes, which I personally think is a perfectly fine reason to join in the first place but needs to be corrected before they get overwhelmed and burn out. What kept me in AcDec longer than many of the other Honors was the sense of community we established in the early fall. Then you have the Honors who are kind of just there. They show up at scrimmages and maybe meetings so as not to get kicked off the team, but they don't care much about their scores. That was me until someone I've always disliked beat me on a test I thought I had in the bag. Moral of the story is, Honors need motivation to give a crap. For me, that motivation was sheer competition. As for Scholastics and Varsities, everyone else seems to have said it all. They go for food and the opportunity to impress colleges. If you need to find varsities to recruit in the first place, just ask other teachers. They're your best resource.

2) TEAM-BUILDING. It's important. Not only does it keep the team intact, but having an almost familial structure in our team really helped whenever we broke into pairs (assigned by the coaches, not chosen by us) to practice our speeches. Every minute of fun makes us more comfortable with each other, which in turn makes us more open to constructive criticism.

3) VARSITIES IN GENERAL. My team this year had a varsity who nearly tied my score (I was H1) the same weekend he ran our school's musical. We also had a varsity who fell asleep during his essay and got an 11. The bottom line is, getting good varsities is - and I mean this with all due love and respect to our V3 - a hit-or-miss. Some varsities can become decent scorers through various incentives, but you really have to work hard to find good ones in the first place.

4) SPECIALIZATION. My team only spent about 20% of our time on Super Quiz this year, while our top rivals spent significantly more effort on it (as far as I know). The nice thing about what we did was that specialization in the other 6 test areas allowed us to team-teach. I'm convinced that my physics score doubled due to our awesome V1, and I doubt it's coincidence that my closest friends on the team outperformed the others in economics, my specialty. Team-teaching is also great because it allows coaches to focus on the novel, which really helped our team.

5) SUMMER. Use it. Use food, pool parties, etc to convince people to show up. Keep the meetings laid back and fun, but establish good work habits at the same time.
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Guest_the_crazy_honors_*
post Aug 16 2012, 02:08 AM
Post #82





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QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ Apr 14 2010, 04:01 PM) *
Get competitive people.

Get salutatorians. Especially the ones who have just lost the #1 spot and have a ton of frustrated competitive energy. Let AcDec be their cool new outlet and tell them how arbitrary grades are.
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