FTC Teams are in the midst of State Tournament season, and you can expect things are going to get a bit hectic. In preparation for the big day, here are some tips for getting ready and having the best tournament ever!
The week beforehand:
- Set goals for the week beforehand: The best way to be well-prepared at tournaments is to set goals and deadlines. There’s always too much to do for the time you have in the week beforehand, so plan for what you absolutely need to do and when you want to have it done by. As a team, it’s helpful when there are definite to-do’s. Narrowing down a list might mean skipping out on doing some things, but it’s better than having a vague idea of everything your team wants to do.
- Divide and Conquer: Whenever someone isn’t doing anything, reference the to-do list! Your team members in the week before a tournament should be present and contributing. It’s crunch time! Avoid stress as much as possible by dividing work as evenly as possible.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: It’s more important to make what you have already done be presentable and finished than spend all of your time trying to get everything else done. Judges won’t be able to see everything your team has ever done and its importance---so practice how you will convey this information.
- Do you really need to add that new thing? : PLEASE DON’T ADD BRAND NEW STUFF THE WEEK BEFORE UNLESS YOU’RE SUPER DUPER CONFIDENT. Too much change cuts out necessary practice time, and everything that can go wrong will go wrong without ample prep. Consistency is always most important.
- Keep calm: Know that what’s done is done. Stressing out, even if unprepared, does not help. Find ways to stay calm and collected, and keep the rest of your team calm and collected too.
- Fix what you can, don’t worry about what you can’t.
- Meet as many people as possible: The fun thing about tournaments are the people you meet! My favorite part of FTC are the friendships I’ve developed. It’s hard to imagine how cool other teams are when you spend your whole season working tightly with your own team. BUT TEAMS ARE SO COOL. Teams do a lot of work that would be hard to imagine just by looking at their pit setup. Ask questions! Make friends! Get inspired!
- Stay engaged: Even if everyone is dead tired, try to keep everyone as engaged as possible. It’s always a bummer to see teams who sit in their pit and play video games and don’t really move around. Staying engaged and enthused is the best way to get everything out of your experience at tournaments. Even if you need to fake some peppiness, it really can be contagious. Not only do other teams notice when a team looks bummed out, but so do judges. Make your team as approachable and welcoming as possible.
- Have fun!
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