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  • Team Tryouts

    Hi everyone! I'm the 2nd year coach of the "Nebulas" team # 43963 from NW Oklahoma. I am posting here to see if anyone has any tips and tricks for holding "try outs" for this season? We are expanding our team this season due to good community interest (and extra coach!) but still only have x amount of spots available. Any ideas, suggestions, even examples of what you do during recruitment events would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    My wife & I run 2 teams out of her school. We have a 3-part process to select from the way-too-many kids that are interested in joining the team:
    * A short-answer application which asks about previous teams (of any kind) they've been on, what they're interested in, and why they want to join. It's only a couple of pages but we know for sure it's kept some kids from applying, because filling that out would be too much work.
    * A 200 word essay on one of several topics that change every year.
    * One or more nights (usually 2 because of the number of kids involved) of teamwork tryouts. We run them through several team-building exercises & watch how they react to each other. We have observers from the FRC team that provides our mentors, and then talk to them after the kids leave about highlights and lowlights they observed.
    We also have an info sheet & form that the parents have to fill out & sign.

    All of our applicants go through this whether they've been on the team in the past or not. We have the applications ready at meet-the-teacher night (which is a couple of days before school starts) and only give them a week to return their apps. Tryouts are the next week.

    This will be our 10th year of coaching; we've done this all but the first year. It's not a perfect process; we always have one or two kids that don't do well working in a team or only want to play with LEGO. The unfortunate part is we've almost certainly had kids that had just a bad night & would have been an asset to the team. But in general we think it works well.

    I can provide more info if you want; you can PM me or I can explain here if there's interest. Also check out this thread from a few years ago: There were some good points made there for not doing this. And also, this thread has some links to great activity ideas:
    Last edited by someonewhobikes; 08-07-2019, 04:21 PM. Reason: Added links to relevant forum threads
    Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
    KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at [email protected]


    • #3
      If you do a search on this forum, you will find a number of past threads discussing this very important subject.

      You will also want a "try out" process for the parents. I have known several coaches who quit because of the behaviour of a few of the parents.

      When our older son aged out and we were looking for a team mate for our younger son, the local partner referred a family with a son with prior FLL experience to us. The father had a very high opinion of his sons abilities that we did not agree with. Instead, we invited someone from our sons swim team with no prior robotics experience. We already knew we could work well with his parents. When Daniel could not go to St. Louis, we invited another swim team member to replace him. I am certain it worked out better for all involved than if we had gone with the young man referred to us.