What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

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What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:16 pm

Even though the year has just begun, i'm noticing this feeling of a larger and larger discrepancy between our very best players' enthusiasm for the game (mostly just the A team) and everyone else's.

Obviously every coach (and teacher) has the problem of unmotivated students. But what i'm wondering is what other coaches do with the problem of unmotivated quizbowl players... who continue to come to practice ("because it's fun") and attend tournaments when they can ("because it's fun" [to lose over and over again, apparently])... but put little to no effort outside of practices in terms of studying, preparation, or even getting familiar with the canon.

How does one change this mentality? As i start to look towards next year (always have to plan ahead) i notice a large amount of question marks on our team... not in terms of ability, but in terms of dedication. Other than showing them what great preparation and study can do for a team (Charter as an example previously, and now Trey and our A Team), showing them that it is not fun to lose 730-10, and showing them exactly the resources you need to improve (including my website that i work really hard on).... what can i do? What can any coach do in this situation?

Are there strategies others have? I'd like to hear both coaches' and students' opinions on this, if possible.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:43 pm

Well, all you can really do is expose them to as much quizbowl as you can and see if it eventually takes on them. Some people just naturally aren't competitive, and some people just naturally aren't going to want to get good at quizbowl. As long as we recognize this and at least let that these other players who don't care come to tournaments they want to go to, and we make it clear that because they are unmotivated doesn't make it right for them to whine about how impossible this game is (because let's face it, that's annoying), then unmotivated players are just a reality of the game we should accept at face value. If you think about it, these are really the players that help most with the community - if the only people we had coming to tournaments were all-stars or people who want to be future powers, we'd only end up with a bunch of 1 or 2 man teams showing up to stuff, and fields often not getting beyond 6 or so of these teams in very competitive regions. This situation is financially untenable for obvious reasons.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by wilsonmathteacher » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:44 pm

I know that at Wilson this is a major problem because we are drawing from a pretty small pool, and a lot of folks join because they have friends that play or because they liked me as a teacher. I generally find that half of my kids wander away after getting their butts handed to them a few times, and the other half work to get better. Of course, I've not yet actually been successful in building a program that has had much success.

Remember that they are kids, and I know that a few of my kids value the acceptance and friendships they get from practice. For them going to tournaments is something that they will do to be part of the group, but not with any great intensity. I had 2 seniors who I had for a year and a half of practice before they went to any tourneys (they ended up going to 2 or 3), and others who got competitive only after they went to tournaments.

What I guess I'm trying to say is that it depends. Kids act in different ways, and trying to light a fire under a kid's tail depends on the kid. If you figure it out, let me know, because I need it too :smile:
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by rylltraka » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:49 pm

Let the ones that want to play the game for fun do so, and help the ones that want to improve and compete. You can offer incentives for better performance or improvement, if you'd like. Unless you're determined to cut people based on ability and forcibly "change mentality" for the team, motivating people who are, by your account, having fun already to do anything beyond that will be difficult.

On another point, playing the game, even if you are losing by wide margins, can be fun. I did it for years; it speaks to the appeal of the game that winning (or even being competitive) is not necessary for enjoyment. Not sure why it bothers you. They're kids, let them have fun; if you're not into that, it's your team to cut from.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Camelopardalis » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:43 pm

For high school, the two things that I've found help our program keep players the most interested are 1) keeping a friendly, enjoyable, encouraging practice environment, and 2) bringing any player who wants to play to a tournament. A friendly practice environment allows people to feel comfortable in the club, and subsequently come to more and more practices, until they are so into it that they start studying and actively trying to improve, and from my experience, once a player, no matter how apathetic, attends a tournament for the first time, they're pretty much hooked on quizbowl. We brought five teams to our last local NAQT tournament in November, and every player who played there is still pretty active in the club; by attending, they're exposed to a competitive environment, and getting their hats handed to them by the A team shows them where they can reach with time and effort.

For university, I've found those two things hold true as well. Our school had 3 teams with <10ppb at 2008 ACF Fall, but every person who went to that tournament is still in the club and actively trying to improve. Obviously, winning is preferable, but it demonstrates that an encouraging practice environment and lots of opportunities to compete can go a long way to keeping people on board. Studying together, getting coffee or similar little things keep people connected to the club, often to the point where they become so connected and passionate about qb that they listen to those encouraging them to study and actively begin trying to improve. I mean, a big aspect of quizbowl is the friendship and camaraderie anyway, but that friendship and camaraderie definitely goes a long way to motivate players and prevent apathy.

Also, I've found that just demonstrating and remarking on the benefits of good quizbowl and getting people into the community can help get people pretty passionate about qb. Getting people enthused isn't a science, and there will always be those you can't hold on to; but I don't think people can be expected to just walk in and start being passionate about quizbowl. The onus is on those in charge or who are in a position to get people into the game to spread the love for qb.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:47 pm

rylltraka wrote:On another point, playing the game, even if you are losing by wide margins, can be fun. I did it for years; it speaks to the appeal of the game that winning (or even being competitive) is not necessary for enjoyment. Not sure why it bothers you. They're kids, let them have fun; if you're not into that, it's your team to cut from.
I didn't mean it to come out like "i dont like fun i suck rarrrr" so that's definitely not true. People who know me in person here know i'm a pretty laid back dude and like to joke around at the opportunity... but get serious when it needs to happen. That's what i like my kids to be like.

So, yes, i WANT them to have fun, obviously, but they do in fact later complain (after tournaments) "god they were so good!" and then at the next tournament, don't remember the capital of Spain. It puts me just up in arms. I guess because i couldn't imagine myself in that sort of mentality.

I don't make cuts. I can only think of one person who we really basically let go from the team and it was a mutual decision benefiting both parties.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:57 pm

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote: So, yes, i WANT them to have fun, obviously, but they do in fact later complain (after tournaments) "god they were so good!" and then at the next tournament, don't remember the capital of Spain. It puts me just up in arms. I guess because i couldn't imagine myself in that sort of mentality.
Having watched this exact phenomenon on my high school team, I have decided the proper response is to immediately reply to this in any of its forms with a quick "And if you put in the effort, you could get good too, maybe even that good if you really work at it."
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by at your pleasure » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:18 pm

but they do in fact later complain (after tournaments) "god they were so good!" and then at the next tournament, don't remember the capital of Spain. It puts me just up in arms
Prehaps they labor under the delusion that they "just aren't talented enough" or "just aren't smart enough" to compete. Prehaps a discussion of how many great players came out of nowhere, complete with notable examples, would inspire them and show then that getting good is a matter of putting the trouble in. Also, I don't want to derail this thread but if all else fails and you're desparate to get some results, being reminded of this might help:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=6227&p=95711&hilit ... oss#p95711
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:47 pm

Doink the Clown wrote:
but they do in fact later complain (after tournaments) "god they were so good!" and then at the next tournament, don't remember the capital of Spain. It puts me just up in arms
Prehaps they labor under the delusion that they "just aren't talented enough" or "just aren't smart enough" to compete. Prehaps a discussion of how many great players came out of nowhere, complete with notable examples, would inspire them and show then that getting good is a matter of putting the trouble in.
That's a really good point, Doug. Thanks for phrasing it that way. I think when (or if...) we have enough people show up to practices that we can split off into a separate room for freshmen and sophomores, that's a pretty cool thing to discuss with them. I had been thinking of something like this but you jogged my memory and helped inspire me more to give this sort of "talk" at some point.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:02 pm

Just wanted to make a quick follow-up post after what might have been our largest-attended actual practice in history. I had to split up the rooms because there were enough people there to have a junior/senior room and freshman/sophomore room... and the freshmen and sophomores were great. I worked with them, and we slowly went through one HAVOC packet from past year, noting the idiosyncrasies of tossups, how to throw out random guesses in bonuses, and what important clues to remember. Probably the best practice i've ever had with them. I feel a lot better about taking a group of four of them to Richmond next month for Fall Novice.
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Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by wilsonmathteacher » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:33 pm

Do you have enough buzzers for your whole team? I actually ran into this problem yesterday (not a bad thing). I was thinking of breaking them up as well and going over questions with the newbies, but I can't do that forever. Any ideas on how to keep everyone getting practice in this situation?
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:20 pm

Eh, slapbowl is fine. I let my upperclassmen keep the buzzer set in my room, and the rest of us went to another with papers and pens. Besides, there were so many questions they didn't get without my substantial help and lots of hints ("starts with an 'e'..."), that buzzing in really wasn't going to do anything.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by New York Undercover » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:31 am

So how do you conduct practice with a lot of people? Just individual on tossups, everyone collaborate on bonuses?

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:50 am

David Arquette wrote:So how do you conduct practice with a lot of people? Just individual on tossups, everyone collaborate on bonuses?
We split people up into teams assuming enough people show up to do that. Honestly, the apathetic players thing is beginning to bother me, because I technically can't make them do anything, and I don't have the authority to kick them off the team. Is there anything I can do as a fellow player?
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Charbroil » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:01 pm

Aldo Montoya wrote:Honestly, the apathetic players thing is beginning to bother me, because I technically can't make them do anything, and I don't have the authority to kick them off the team. Is there anything I can do as a fellow player?
Depending on how cooperative and competitive your coach is, you can always talk to him/her to see if he/she will try and push players to be more motivated--many times, players will listen to a coach but not another player.

Also, do you have any decent or at least motivated underclassmen? If so, if you can talk them (since they're likely to be more enthusiatic and/or impressionable) into studying, especially in topics that you don't cover well and which they could learn, you can use them by supplant your lazy upperclassmen, assuming that your coach will play them instead of upperclassmen. Once your lazy players realize they're in danger of losing their A team positions, they might either study or quit*--either way, you'll be rid of them.

Of course, this assumes that that quitting wouldn't actually damage your team significantly. Also, if you don't have any underclassmen already, but have friends or such who might be interested in playing, you can try recruiting them and molding them into a better team.

Beyond that, there isn't much you can do, except try to become a one man team and hope for the best.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:17 pm

We split people up into teams assuming enough people show up to do that. Honestly, the apathetic players thing is beginning to bother me, because I technically can't make them do anything, and I don't have the authority to kick them off the team. Is there anything I can do as a fellow player?
When I dealt with players who I knew had potential but just hadn't gotten serious yet, I would write them a personal letter expressing my belief in their abilities and some tips on how to study and get better. I noticed immediate results as my teammates really got into Quizbowl and made a true effort to get better in order to achieve the goals I set for them.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Lightshayde » Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:34 pm

This is my first post, feel free to disregard everything I say.

I myself am quite guilty of being unmotivated and apathetic. Quizbowl is fun, and I actually do find the game interesting, but I just don't have the drive to get better.

So my teammate threatened me: get good or get off. Which is a great way to help me get motivated. We went to the Bergen mirror of DAFT; I sincerely took notes, scanned them in when I got home, started reading Wikipedia.

I suggest threatening your players if you really want them to get good. Really.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by wexs883198215 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:38 pm

Lightshayde wrote: I suggest threatening your players if you really want them to get good. Really.
Erm, I don't suppose this will work with too many players.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:21 pm

Lightshayde wrote:This is my first post, feel free to disregard everything I say.

I myself am quite guilty of being unmotivated and apathetic. Quizbowl is fun, and I actually do find the game interesting, but I just don't have the drive to get better.

So my teammate threatened me: get good or get off. Which is a great way to help me get motivated. We went to the Bergen mirror of DAFT; I sincerely took notes, scanned them in when I got home, started reading Wikipedia.

I suggest threatening your players if you really want them to get good. Really.
I know from personal experience that this does not work at all probably for about 75% of players. Positive feedback is what it's all about.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by narwhal » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:44 am

Even though I've only been with quizbowl for the past year and a half, I've found that's long enough to see the preponderance of apathy that, I fear, might sink Bergen in 2-3 years. As I've understood, we've had solid teams for as far back as any current players can remember, perhaps even further back--NAQT records show we sent a team to the 2001 HSNCT. Furthermore, we've had a spell of low turnout for the team in the past few years...until this one, when we held organized tryouts, and ended up getting some 15 new members. At first, it was great. More people made the practices more fun--but it soon became apparent that it was only the veterans who answered questions. We split up the new people from the veterans, and we've had some success with that. However, the disadvantage of having more people (only some of whom are interested in actually answering the questions; others come for the...well, I don't know what else there is to come for...non-free pizza?) is that the practices are much harder to conduct. We'll frequently have a cohort of people sitting in the back and chatting idly (not to mention loudly) while important announcements, such as in-house tournament or competition info, are being made. Frequently, this won't even cease when questions start being read.

As for my predictions of Bergen quizbowl doom that I make at the beginning, they may be misplaced, (and I do hope so), but I don't know how many serious quizbowl players there will be to take the helm two years from now. While I'm confident that next year's quizbowl club will not crash and burn, I can't say that I have that same confidence in the year after, and the year after that. While I admit that it is tough to forecast that much into the future, I think I've seen a fundamental shift in our quizbowl occur - we, as a club, are not attracting people who are genuinely interested in quizbowl and improving as players. Sure, we might have a couple...but two people can only carry a team so much.

I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:27 am

narwhal wrote:I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
If NAQT A sets aren't enough "crack" for them, then forget them. This is as far as i stoop when it comes to practicing on bad questions, and after Charter's tournament yesterday, my goal for the rest of the year is to never play or practice on A sets with my kids.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by nobthehobbit » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:55 pm

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:
narwhal wrote:I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
If NAQT A sets aren't enough "crack" for them, then forget them. This is as far as i stoop when it comes to practicing on bad questions, and after Charter's tournament yesterday, my goal for the rest of the year is to never play or practice on A sets with my kids.
You should see the sort of thing that's taken as "good" in much of Canada: Reach for the Top, packets of around 80 (mostly) speed-check questions (there are some things like assigned questions, but those are hardly better as they're often just something like "given the country name the official language") with over 10% being trash.

As for getting unmotivated players to get better, sometimes, people are just there for the fun of meeting new people.
Daniel Pareja, Waterloo, Canadian quizbowl iconoclast

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Tanay » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:41 pm

nobthehobbit wrote: As for getting unmotivated players to get better, sometimes, people are just there for the fun of meeting new people.
Agreed. I think the key is to differentiate the serious players from the casual ones as quickly as possible. Last year was the first year of Bellarmine Quiz Bowl, and we did well, but we knew we were losing some seniors heading into the next year. My coach responded by making us each write three 20/20 sets over the summer. The three players who completed this task sufficiently are regularly the three highest scorers at practices, and they are also the Quiz Kids (TV quiz show with speed check questions but awesome prizes) team, which is a huge reward in itself. Furthermore, those three players are on the A team and know that if there is ever a limited cap on team registration (like, if our school can only send one team), they have a relatively low chance of being cut. I guess this just illustrates that there are intrinsic rewards to hard work in quiz bowl, and the sooner players realize them, the sooner they will be motivated to work hard.

However, I don't think threatening (brought up by a previous post, hopefully a joke) should even be considered. One of the top scorers at HSNCT for Bellarmine B (a playoff team) admitted to joining Quiz Bowl just because he thought it would be a neat way to make friends. His contributions at the beginning were marginal, but after several tournaments, he saw the light, picked up some books, and put up over 20 ppg at HSNCT while being a strong leader (a huge boost for a team whose other members were two frosh and two soph).

We have really solid frosh this year, but there will be practices during which they don't even say a word because our top varsity players are a bit faster. However, we do have frosh-only practices (well, we did...) that gave them a chance to play against one another.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:03 am

Speaking from experience, an unmotivated player is more than most likely not going to get motivated over night, if ever. I had played quizbowl on horrible questions for 6 years before hearing my first pyramidal tossup, and all of those one liners that I learned in 4th grade at public school had made me feel comfortable in my abilities. I was a 3 year starter in football and I can honestly say I never "tried hard" at that either. For unmotivated people, it just isn't going to happen unless they want it to. In all honesty, if getting beat 730-10 doesn't motivate them, nothing you can do will. I like to think I am good at quizbowl but I would never say I "tried hard" to be good at it. At first I studied stuff, but I do not consider listening to questions or reading packets "trying". I, like everyone who is good at quizbowl, have a good memory and this has allowed me to be good by remembering things that I hear/read. I think that if the kids aren't showing improvement equivalent to the time you are spending on them, I would simply stop taking them places/letting them enjoy the fun parts of quizbowl. Maybe you should tell the unmotivated kids a clue from one of the packets you plan on reading that day at practice and see if they can get it at that clue. If they do not, that is a pretty good sign they are not even listening and are there just to goof off. I hope you figure out the solution to your problem and I hope my post helps you a little bit.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:49 am

"People who don't improve are naturally unable to improve, so we should punish them until they do improve" seems like a horrible assessment of how to run a team, not to mention illogical.
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by The Atom Strikes! » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:05 am

The truth of the matter is that in truth, most of the utility one derives from playing or preparing for quizbowl is simply enjoyment of acquiring knowledge and competing on questions about it. Thus, there really is little motivation for a person who does not care about those things to work harder. I think that the best that a team can do is make sure that the players who enjoy getting better are pointed in the right direction for ways to improve and are given opportunities to go to tournaments and put their new learning into practice.
Henry Gorman, Wilmington Charter '09, Rice '13, PhD History Vanderbilt '1X

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by STPickrell » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:13 pm

I would only be inclined to punish players who reneg on committments (i.e. bail w/o even giving notice, consistently bail, etc.)
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Cheynem » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:33 pm

Yeah, I'm kinda in agreement with Shawn. If a player wants to play on a C or D team and put in no effort, well, I guess they can do that. However, if said player is reneging on commitments, being a distraction (i.e., talking all the time or acting like an idiot during games), or impeding other peoples' efforts to get better, then something should be changed.

If you wanted to perhaps impose very very mild benchmarks on a team, you could try doing that--like to play this tournament, you must put in a good faith effort and write a good tossup or something. The point is not to punish them for being a poor or inexperienced writer, but to reward them for putting in work, consulting good sources, etc.

I also remember the Bad Old Days when my coach gave me lists of grammar rules to study because he was sick of never getting grammar tossups. Don't be like that.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:32 pm

Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:
narwhal wrote:I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
If NAQT A sets aren't enough "crack" for them, then forget them. This is as far as i stoop when it comes to practicing on bad questions, and after Charter's tournament yesterday, my goal for the rest of the year is to never play or practice on A sets with my kids.
I'm a big fan of A-sets for new players/our JV team. They great confidence builders if you sprinkle them in with harder material. To hope that a Freshman or new player is going to want to keep playing after not being able to buzz in in most of the questions isn't good, IMO. These people have to feel like they have a chance to get questions, while at the same time see that they still have a long way to go to be good. That's what happened with me.
Jarret Greene
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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Unicolored Jay » Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:48 pm

Inkana7 wrote:
Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:
narwhal wrote:I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
If NAQT A sets aren't enough "crack" for them, then forget them. This is as far as i stoop when it comes to practicing on bad questions, and after Charter's tournament yesterday, my goal for the rest of the year is to never play or practice on A sets with my kids.
I'm a big fan of A-sets for new players/our JV team. They great confidence builders if you sprinkle them in with harder material. To hope that a Freshman or new player is going to want to keep playing after not being able to buzz in in most of the questions isn't good, IMO. These people have to feel like they have a chance to get questions, while at the same time see that they still have a long way to go to be good. That's what happened with me.
This is something I've been wanting to do with the newer players at my school, but the problem is the lack of a second buzzer set so that the more experienced players can practice separately from them.
Jasper Lee
University of Tennessee
The Ohio State University '14
Solon High School '10

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Kouign Amann » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:02 pm

Bird Sonata wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:
Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:
narwhal wrote:I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
If NAQT A sets aren't enough "crack" for them, then forget them. This is as far as i stoop when it comes to practicing on bad questions, and after Charter's tournament yesterday, my goal for the rest of the year is to never play or practice on A sets with my kids.
I'm a big fan of A-sets for new players/our JV team. They great confidence builders if you sprinkle them in with harder material. To hope that a Freshman or new player is going to want to keep playing after not being able to buzz in in most of the questions isn't good, IMO. These people have to feel like they have a chance to get questions, while at the same time see that they still have a long way to go to be good. That's what happened with me.
This is something I've been wanting to do with the newer players at my school, but the problem is the lack of a second buzzer set so that the more experienced players can practice separately from them.
Is it possible to hold their practice on a separate day? That's what I do for our MS/freshman. I run practice just for them on Tuesday, and then everybody practices together on Thursday. That way, they don't have to get killed by Matt all the time, but they do get to see what a great player looks like.
Aidan Mehigan
St. Anselm's Abbey School '12
Columbia University '16 | University of Oxford '17 | UPenn GSE '19

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:23 pm

Prof.Whoopie wrote:
Bird Sonata wrote:
Inkana7 wrote:
Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS wrote:
narwhal wrote:I'm almost of the opinion that we should go and buy some practice speed check (a.k.a. "crack" in the Bergen lexicon) just to try and hook these new people on quizbowl.
If NAQT A sets aren't enough "crack" for them, then forget them. This is as far as i stoop when it comes to practicing on bad questions, and after Charter's tournament yesterday, my goal for the rest of the year is to never play or practice on A sets with my kids.
I'm a big fan of A-sets for new players/our JV team. They great confidence builders if you sprinkle them in with harder material. To hope that a Freshman or new player is going to want to keep playing after not being able to buzz in in most of the questions isn't good, IMO. These people have to feel like they have a chance to get questions, while at the same time see that they still have a long way to go to be good. That's what happened with me.
This is something I've been wanting to do with the newer players at my school, but the problem is the lack of a second buzzer set so that the more experienced players can practice separately from them.
Is it possible to hold their practice on a separate day? That's what I do for our MS/freshman. I run practice just for them on Tuesday, and then everybody practices together on Thursday. That way, they don't have to get killed by Matt all the time, but they do get to see what a great player looks like.
Yeah, this is what we did before we got our 2nd buzzer set. Monday was JV and Wednesday was Varsity. Otherwise no one would have fun just listening to me and my one teammate answer every question.
Jarret Greene
South Range '10 / Ohio State '13 / Vermont '17
Member, PACE

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Re: What to do with apathetic/unmotivated players

Post by Unicolored Jay » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:24 pm

It might be hard to. Just about everyone in quiz bowl at my school has other things to do after school, so there aren't really any good times to hold practices for a specific group of people. Plus I do not know if we can get another room to practice in for the rest of the year (assuming we end up playing slap bowl). We practice Tuesdays and Fridays; the problem is that not many people show up at all on Tuesdays, which means that if we did split up practice, some varsity players would lose opportunities to play as they can't show up on Tuesday. It's confusing.
Jasper Lee
University of Tennessee
The Ohio State University '14
Solon High School '10

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