This year we had more time to plan. The original team decided to split and form two teams, and grow each. There were some logistic issues with almost an hour between some of the families, the primary reason for the split. It left us with three members on my kids' team. We held an interest meeting through 4-H (the original team formed a 4-H club) for those who might want to join the existing teams. It was a great response that resulted in four teams total, with a total of 10 kids on our team.
Ten kids. Ten middle school kids. Ten kids is the maximum allowed for a FLL team. Now I know why. It has had its challenges. Among the 10 kids, there are three sibling groups, a variety of personalities, and a five year age gap. There have been varying levels of expectations among the adults, which always makes things interesting for a coach, especially a coach that really hadn't planned on being a coach. That was the role I landed in, and it has been quite the learning experience.
This past Saturday we had a practice tournament. There were 54 teams, some of them with quite a bit of experience. The tournament is run just like a real qualifying tournament, but it doesn't count as one. The kids learned a ton. I learned a ton. And we all had fun.
|Goofing around while cheering on our team on the floor|
|Taking a break in the pit area|
|Line dancing while the judges calculate the scores|
|A tense moment during the robot game|