Need advice for improving a team (history bowl)

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Need advice for improving a team (history bowl)

Postby mysticallama » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:34 pm

Hello everyone. I have recently hit an impasse on how to train my history bowl team and on how to improve their overall interest in the subject. I've been learning from my past defeats and experiences while playing for Farragut High, and after witnessing the determination and knowledge of many top players in IHO I decided that I would dedicate more time into my study for history as well as training my team for future compeitions. My main problem is with training my team starts from the beginning. Since I've joined my school's history bowl team, I've scored the majority of the questions while also recklessly missing some of the tossups. I have since practiced vigorously to improve myself in history and my weak areas, but I find that every time I practice with certain members on my team, it's as if they stayed at the same level. That is, they rely on me for the majority of the questions whilst answering a minority of the questions. I've assigned them books and articles to read that covered my weak areas, but under many occassions I find that my members do not read them at all and instead expect that I have that area covered by the competition. One of my members was my fallback person when it came to U.S. history, but I feel he is simply not interested in history bowl as has never shown up to a single one of my practices, he seldom shows up for the majority of in school meetings due to being too invested in other clubs, he has told me on many occasions that he is "too busy in everything else" to devote time to studying. I have since invested more time into studying U.S. history to cover his areas. I am also not a fan of his toxic personality towards my teammates, newcomers, and myself. My second teammate seems to enjoy history as a subject,and is easily sociable and will study what is given to him. My other teammates seem to fare well in subjects like trash and science, but rely on my knowledge for history in general. However I feel they would listen to me if I help them out in their weak areas. I've been heavily contemplating of dropping out of the bowl competition itself and sticking the the bee exclusively if I feel I am making no progress in improvement and overall acting detrimental towards their interest in history. I really need advice on this matter, should I help out my given team, drop out, find new members, etc.?

tldr; certain team members seem to have not improved since last season and I'm struggling on how to help them
Kevin Chen
Farragut High '18
Dartmouth '22
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Re: Need advice for improving a team (history bowl)

Postby Knickerbocker glory » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:15 pm

Hi mysticllama,

I'm Bruce, and I had the exact same problem as you did last year—that is, I studied intensely throughout the summer and throughout the school year, but I had major problems with teammates. I would organize team practices and go over effective study techniques, but my teammates paid little attention or sometimes flat out refused to study certain subjects I asked them to cover or spend more time studying.

Message me privately. I'd be happy to help you out before tensions arise between you and your team.
Bruce Lou
Saratoga '15 | California '19
2018 COLLEGE champion
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Re: Need advice for improving a team (history bowl)

Postby acrosby1861 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:00 pm

mysticallama wrote:I've been heavily contemplating of dropping out of the bowl competition itself and sticking the the bee exclusively if I feel I am making no progress in improvement and overall acting detrimental towards their interest in history. I really need advice on this matter, should I help out my given team, drop out, find new members, etc.?

I'm going to divide this up by what my thoughts are on each scenario because this is going to be one of my longer posts. I apologize if I sound preachy or condescending in this post, most of the stuff I'm writing about comes from past experiences.

Solo Team
Is it possible for you to be a team of one? If you're studying that much anyway, being a solo team won't be that hard (I'm talking from experience a bit here). You'd be expected to cover more because there's no one to bail you out, but since you're already studying a lot, you don't have much to worry about (just your weak points). By becoming a team of one you still get to do the bowl and not deal with your teammates. You just need to tell the NHBB people that there's no one else on your team.

Getting New Teammates
If playing solo doesn't work (or if your teammates don't approve of playing solo), then find new teammates who a) like history; and b) actually want to improve and compete. I put that in bold because it's one thing to say you like history, but it's another if you like it enough to use your knowledge in NHBB.

Working With Your Current Teammates
As for the teammates you already have, the only advice I have is to push them a little more, but not to the point that they will flat out refuse to do what you tell them to do. The end result is not pretty. And if they don't want to be pushed or don't improve with lots of pushing, then be a one person team or get new teammates who hopefully don't need to be pushed to study (or pushed considerably less). Other than this, I don't have much advice.

Exclusively Doing the Bee
What I really like about the Bee is that you're playing on your own, you don't have to deal with anyone getting in your way. But the downside is you are the only factor in whether you win or lose. It all depends on you. If you're planning to stick exclusively with the Bee, you have to consider that. Playing solo in the Bowl helps with the Bee because in the Bee they could ask anything about everything, and as a solo player you can cover more ground. I started out exclusively doing the Bee and started to spread toward the Bowl, so I won't really know how going the opposite way would go.

Conclusion
So, that's about it. Good luck with your team. Feel free to email me if you have questions.
Arianne Crosby

Los Alamitos High School (CA), 2017
--History Bowl Team 2013-2017
--Quiz Bowl Team 2014-2017

UC San Diego, 2021
--Quiz Bowl Team 2017-present
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