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Deadwood members on the team. Is it better to kick them off?

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  • Deadwood members on the team. Is it better to kick them off?

    We have a couple team kids who are not contributing and may not really be able to satisfactorily answer questions during Core Values questioning. They also have a very limited appearance in our project (we are doing a skit)

    We are conflicted between

    1. Make an excuse to the judges that they were on vacation for a good 2 weeks making their contributions limited mostly to missions only.

    2. Booting them off the team now and going in with a 4 member team instead of 6 as originally planned.


  • #2
    3. Keep them on the team and help them to participate to the best of their abilities. To do otherwise is not in keeping with the Core Values of Teamwork and Inclusion.


    • #3
      Agreed. The entering argument should be to keep them on the team. Unless they are having serious behavior/respect issues (more than the normal middle-schooler), they should stay on the team. Give them work assignments that align with their knowledge and awareness of what the team is doing. If you feel that you really, really need them off the team, then you need to have a private meeting with the parents to find out if they think the team is meeting their expectations. If they see it the same way as you, then perhaps leaving the team is the best decision. FLL isn't for everyone, and that's ok.
      Norfolk, Virginia, USA
      FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014


      • #4
        We've had a few personnel issues over the years. I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out if each was not getting what they were after, and worked to remedy that situation. A couple of those were my fault as a coach. Some had difficult things they were going through in their outside life. And my son, for instance, is a brilliant builder and programmer, but cracks under pressure, so he was happy to not go to the robot table (after I convinced him that he made more than his share of contributions before even arriving at the venue). A few just had behavior issues, and the goal was to redirect them into being productive if possible, but if not, to not disrupt those who were making progress.

        The main concern was, as you said, in the judging rooms. For the project, we made sure someone was prepared to back them up (read their lines, if they wouldn't).

        The core values room is the one I wish I had an answer for. Other than doing everything you can to boost their confidence, reinforce the importance of teamwork, and lean on the other members to be inclusive, etc. I'm not sure. I'd like to think that the judges are familiar with the inclusion aspect, and recognize when the rest of the team is doing the best they can to include a problematic member.