Where Do I Start? Coach Orientation
Senior Mentor Coach Call August 15, 2012 7PM ET

All Challenge material and resources are located on  firstlegoleague.org

Designer, http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/robotgameupdates
 FIRST LEGO League Coaches’ Handbook (in registration packet)
 Project DVD and FIRST Compilation DVD (in registration packet)
 FIRST NEMO (Non-engineering Mentor Organization) www.firstnemo.org
 FLL Partner/website for your region of North America – click on

“US/CAN Contacts” off of http://www.usfirst.org/fll
 FLL Forum – place to talk with other coaches, unofficial -

What does a Coach Do?
  Practice the Coaches’ Promise (pg. i of the Coaches’ Handbook)
  Helps the team set realistic goals
o Review your goals during the season. This is a journey and you should assess it as you go. Celebrate your success as the season progresses.
  Facilitates the meetings – keeps things on track (especially with younger teams or rookie teams).
  Encourages the process, the content will come from the team.
o Teach them a successful method to brainstorm, but they will provide the content.
  Ask questions to encourage the team’s thinking and problem solving.
o What are you trying to do
o Is there anything that you can change
o Can you think of another way to solve the problem
  Help the team monitor their progress and remind them of the important dates/time lines (especially with younger or rookie teams).
  Administrative responsibilities such as tournament registration.
FLL Core Values and Gracious Professionalism, Very Important
  Outlined in the Coaches Handbook (inside front cover and p. 4).
  Be sure the team understands the Core Values as well as Gracious Professionalism.
Review during the season.
o It is about the team – the kids do the work.
o Spirit of teamwork – learning to work as a team.
o Spirit of friendly competition – cheer other teams on, learn from one another
and have fun together.
o Respect each other and one another’s’ ideas and contributions.
o The journey is important – what you discover is more important than what you
Overview of the FLL Challenge
What we do (Robot Game and Project) and how we do it (Core Values)
Three (3) parts of the Challenge:
  Robot Game – Chapter 5 in Coaches’ Handbook
  Project – Chapter 6 in Coaches’ Handbook
  Core Values – Chapter 4 in Coaches’ Handbook
FLL Schedule
  August: Field Setup Kits begin to ship.
o The team can put together the mission models. Teams will not know where to
place models until Challenge is released.
o Building instructions are found on the DVD contained with the Field Setup kit.
o Build your FLL table. Instructions on how to build table are found on the Team
Resources page on the FIRST LEGO League website
  August: Read the FLL Coaches’ Handbook and review the Project DVD and FIRST
Compilation DVD with your team.
o Teams can begin to learn about the theme, brainstorm robot design, practice
o Great programming resources are available on the FIRST LEGO League website,
  August 28th: 12 pm ET – Challenge released on FIRST LEGO League.org website,
o Reference materials will be available.
  September/October: Tournament details posted on the FLL website and possibly your
region’s website. Tournament dates vary from state to state. Be sure to watch for this
information as registering for the FLL program is not the same as registering for a
o No matter what try to PARTICIPATE IN A TOURNAMENT. Even if you think you
are not ready. Your team will gain a wealth of experience and may surprise
  November – February: Local events, qualifiers and championship tournaments.
o If applicable to your team, enter the FLL Global Innovation Award
  Sample week by week milestones – p. 102 of the Coaches’ Handbook.
Team Building
  Team members need to:
o get to know one another. This is especially important with new teams or existing teams that add new members.
o feel comfortable with each other so they are willing to share ideas with each other.
  It is important to get the team communicating in a relaxed atmosphere at first.
  Goal – all members should feel part of the team and feel that their ideas will be listened to and respected.
  FLL Core Values and Gracious Professionalism should be emphasized throughout the season.
  HAVE FUN – one of the most important things to team building.
  Team building is an ongoing process – it won’t happen in one or two meetings.
  Some meetings you will feel like you have taken two steps forward and one step backward (or vice versa). Remind them that this is part of learning to be a team. They need to solve problems when there are differing opinions. This is an important step for the team to learn.
Team Building Activities
  Structured team building activities such as ice breakers and/or games. Get ideas from books from the library, the internet, or other activities you have done with school groups, Scouts, etc.
  Fun structured activities such as bowling, laser tag, etc.
  Non-Structured activities. Fifteen minutes of Frisbee, tag, or soccer during every meeting can go a long way! Each meeting it is important to provide a chance for them to have fun in a relaxed way.
  Team Spirit type activities during a meeting:
o Picking a team name
o Designing a team shirt
o Writing a team cheer
o Making a team banner
o Building a team mascot
o Making small trading items for the tournaments
o An activity where they write down a strength about each team member. Makes them realized that everyone is a valuable member.
Review the basics
  Review the goals during the season and celebrate as you go.
  Remember it is the journey.
  Remember it is about the kids.
  Remember all the life-long skills they are learning: self confidence, brainstorming, planning, listening, time management, presentation skills, being part of a team, making a difference in their community, and doing the best possible job with limited time and limited resources.
Questions and Answers
Have fun, remember it is the kids doing the work, remember it is the journey and to go a competition even if you don’t think you are ready – you’ll be glad you did!