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Guest_Juan_*
post Jan 26 2012, 01:03 PM
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To sum up my situation quickly, my coach does little to nothing to prepare our team; he's happy with where it is at, considering we won fourth in a lolstate last year, but I am not. I am trying to make my team win. So I've been staying with my team until 6:00 every night, at least the people I can get to come, and I've been reading the power guide to them. This has worked out great so far, but it isn't going to be enough to win. We are going to be scoring right around 36,000 at regionals, but this is only enough to place us in second at best. On top of that, even right after I read it to them, the max they will score on a test is around 600, and that is declining. There is no way I'm going to get them to study at home; I've tried that so many times and I'm satisfied that it isn't going to work. So are there any better ways to teach them?
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stanleytree
post Jan 26 2012, 01:45 PM
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You seem to be doing all you can, but you have uncovered a potentially huge problem in acadec: if your team isn't interested, you're not winning. Most good teams don't have to study with the kids or prepare them, rather the kids are able to do it on their own (with a schedule or some sort of direction). You're in a tough position, so my best advice to you if you're an underclassmen is find kids who do care for next year, or kids who will at least try.
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Guest_tryingtothinkagain_*
post Jan 26 2012, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE (Juan @ Jan 26 2012, 07:03 AM) *
On top of that, even right after I read it to them, the max they will score on a test is around 600, and that is declining. There is no way I'm going to get them to study at home; I've tried that so many times and I'm satisfied that it isn't going to work. So are there any better ways to teach them?

Repetition is key. One thing members of the team S_T and I were on did: have a friend ask you a question about each bullet point in the powerguide. When you know all the testable facts on a bullet point, bubble in the little square next to it. Next time, you don't have to go over that bullet point. Keep going through a small section (5 pages or so) like this until all the bullets are bubbled in, then go over all of them once or twice more to make sure you've got everything. Move on to the next section. Wash. Repeat.

I would also strongly recommend that you make your own powerguide, once you're fairly familiar with the material. Making your own powerguide forces you to go through the material line-by-line, analyzing every single sentence. The one time I made a complete powerguide (Art '08), the subject went from my weakest objective at state to a 960 and a varsity medal at nationals.
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acadecker
post Jan 26 2012, 11:37 PM
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I can't imagine a coach not caring, and yet I know they exist.

I teach EVERYTHING to my kids, sometimes word-by-word, line-by-line . . . except for Connor and Anto. biggrin.gif

I wish I had more kids like you, Juan! Keep up the good work; it all pays off in the end, WAY after your competing years.

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Guest_westsubury_*
post Jan 27 2012, 07:57 PM
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I think the one thing that would help you is creating internal competition - sometimes this shows who wants to be there.. do it weekly using demi dec focus quizzes - chellenge eachother to small bets - or a large weekly one. internal competition can be contagious- its how my team went from average to top in our state. Good luck - I'm proud of your effort - oh, and i agree - outlinning and writing your own guides goes a long way (even though most of my team will disagree)
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Guest_Juan_*
post Jan 28 2012, 05:18 PM
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We did even worse than I thought. They finally released scores and rankings and we scored about 28,000 in nine events (the last hasn't had scores yet, but we're weak in it, we'll probably get about another 3,000 points from it) and right now we're third place but 10,000 points behind 1st place. Is it even possible to make that up in a month? Granted speech was graded very harsh, a team member I had scored 915 and was 1st place in speech, with most people below 800, and I know the region that has the winning team in it usually inflates score by looking at DDSIC... but I think we'll still be behind around 8,000 at state. Should I just give up now? I know some places I can work on my own and get it up another 2,000, but if we can't win, I don't want to waste four hours every day on this. It wouldn't be worth it to me, knowing we didn't do our best, to continue... that basically means that we need to get our scores up 1,000 each to have a shot at winning, and they're going to improve too, I'm sure, so probably 2,250 to be safe. Our scores were pitifully low. Most of our team scored in the low 4,000s so far (9 events).

TL;DR: My team needs to improve like 2,500 points each to win. Is it possible, or should I just quit?
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 28 2012, 05:28 PM
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It may not be possible, but don't quit. Set a realistic goal and see if you can beat it. Some times you can prove yourself without having to win it all.
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Guest_Juan_*
post Jan 28 2012, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jan 28 2012, 11:28 AM) *
It may not be possible, but don't quit. Set a realistic goal and see if you can beat it. Some times you can prove yourself without having to win it all.


Last year I was the captain of a quizbowl team that won state, and I was lured away from it for Academic Decathlon. I still have the option to go back, they would love to have me on it again... it just isn't worth it if they aren't even going to try and we have no chance, even with changing how we do things.
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acadecker
post Jan 28 2012, 06:42 PM
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Juan:

Although I admire your determination and ambition, I do not think you took to heart what Dr. Calculus above said, "Some times you can prove yourself without having to win it all."

I've been at this for a long, long time, and for the vast majority of years my teams had ZERO chance of winning, and everyone knew it. This did not diminish the fun (yes, FUN!) of trying to learn as much as possible, setting individual and team goals, and doing the best you can. The process of learning and studying the ACADEC material FAR outweighs the potential benefits from winning. If you're only in it to win, you are missing the more valuable part of the process.

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Guest_Juan_*
post Jan 28 2012, 06:55 PM
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I realize it has a lot to offer, and I've been experiencing those things, but I bet all the teams you had, had at least two or three people that actually worked hard. Knowing that we lost but we did our best wouldn't diminish it for me. Knowing that we lost and didn't even try will diminish the experience for me. I don't really want to be a part of a program that no one cares about and we have no chance of winning in... I'm going to finish the season and see what I can recruit for next year, I guess. My coach said they will start to study after regionals, so I guess we'll see.
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Guest_Herohito_*
post Jan 28 2012, 07:47 PM
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3 years ago, my school was 4th at state and then lost the ENTIRE competition team(all 9) to graduation. The year after, our coach decided the team wasn't worth coaching because of how hopeless the team was.

At regionals, we ran into a bit of trouble: our already weak team(all rookies or weaker members from previous years) had more trouble. Our top varsity(out of 2. We didn't even have a full team of varsities) had to go to out of town for a theater event his teacher FORCED him to go to(despite our best efforts to stop this). We were already on the edge of not qualifying for state, and this didn't make it any better. We basically had to find a varsity for a program that essentially lost all of its prestige in a single year.

In the end, I had to train my brother in performance and teach him all of Super Quiz in a single week just so that we could just have a chance at state. None of this was easy or pleasant, neither the teaching, nor the fact that I didn't really want to force a varsity to learn or have my brother involved in Decathlon(this has repercussions up to this day).

We did qualify for state, and we were about 33rd place or so, so we just barely made the cutoff. Nothing compared to our team of the year before, but our school had never not made state, so that would've been absolutely horrid for the team's morale. We improved a lot, and we finished 11th. That may be tied for our worst year ever in the history of our school's program, but given our situation, there was absolutely no way we could've done better. We lost a great veteran coach, our entire competition team, and in general anyone with any experience.

We were nowhere close to winning, but we still did well enough to impress the generally disinterested school administration and get our old coach interested enough to coach next year. We got 5th at state the next year, and this year our team is even stronger.

I think our story is a good example of what Dr. Calculus was talking about. Doing well given the circumstances is just as important at winning, sometimes even more so. There's no reason to give up, no matter how bad things get, because there's always something to be gained in any year.
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