A Few Tips for New (and old) Coaches
Adapted from material by Tom Shuman
1.) Read the Problem Definition and School Rulebook!!
Many teams lose points simply because they did not read the rules or understand their long-term problem thoroughly enough.
a.) Read the rules about team signs. Make sure you know what should or
should not be there!!
b.) Know the staging area rules. Practice before competition so you can get everything out of the staging area within the alotted time.
c.) Fill out your paperwork -- CORRECTLY!! The paperwork you fill out helps the judge help YOU. If you don't have a required form or it is incomplete or filled out incorrectly judges will usually do their best to work with you, but they only have a limited amount of time to work on a problem YOU should have researced in advance and already taken care of. With respect to cost forms, always leave room for error in case a dispute arises. If your team writes a poem, song, or musical score, or has pictures that will help the judges evaluate your problem or performance, give them a copy. Judges only have a short time to process a ton of information, and everything you contribute may help your score. When you fill out your style sheets, pick out areas of your program where your team shines. If you're lead character is funny, make humor one of your style areas. Have four or five other "strong points" on a separate sheet of paper at competition. If for some reason you can't use one of the style items on your style sheet, you have a ready list of alternatives.
2.) Prepare for the competition:
a.) Have fun with your team!! If they're having fun, it will show and make your program that much better. Take risks -- that's what OM is all about!!
b.) Learn from your competitors. Go and see other OM competitions and see what others are doing. While you can't duplicate from another team's solution, there are many ways new ideas are generated in the mind.
3.) The best programs:
a.) are those that scream originality. And the use of innovative props, music, dance, rhyme, and choreography are almost always big factors among teams that make it to World Finals. Get a tape from a world finals competition. It will give you a better idea of what others are doing.