You’ve signed up. You’ve received a packet of problems and a book of rules. Now the fun begins! Here are five important steps to kickstarting your teams and setting them up for a successful Odyssey year.
A well-rounded team is a successful team. So perhaps the “class clown” would be great to provide humor to the script, class leaders will help bring teammates together, art students and builders will help to create sets and costumes, and more. Personality traits that aren’t always included in other school competitions can often become a strength in Odyssey of the Mind. Have your team members sign the contract included in the packet to make their participation feel “official.” Remember, each of your teams is allowed to have up to seven members.
Look for your local contacts: There’s a list in the membership packet with the name and contact information for of our each association directors and most local associations have their own website with information specific to the area. Your local association will have a representative contact you but just in case, you can reach out to your director at any time. Your local association will organize your competition, coaches training sessions, and other special events.
Read, read, read:
Read the current program guide early and often! This is important to solving the problems and attending competition. Prepared teams that know the rules of the program are more likely to advance to the next level of competition and preparedness helps to calm nerves. Read the entire problem thoroughly and more than once. Many teams also split the problem between themselves and become “experts” in their part of the problem.
Practice, Practice, Practice:
Set a practice schedule. During practice ask your team to work on brainstorming and creating a solution to a small part of the problem. This is important to team-building and preparing for spontaneous problem solving. Aside from creating and practicing its long term solution, it is also important for the team to practice for the spontaneous portion of the competition. Each practice should include some type of spontaneous practice, check the Odyssey of the Mind product page for books with spontaneous problems and kits. There are also a few free problems included at the end of the Program Guide.
Clarifications: If you have read the problem and the Program Guide, and reread them, and your team has a question that is unclear, it can submit a clarification clarifications. It is also important to check throughout the year because sometimes a clarification for everyone is posted. This could affect the team’s solution and its score, so continue to check all the way up to your tournament. Not every question is a problem clarification. For example, the size of the competition site, the floor surface, snow dates, etc.
And a bonus tip!
Get social! Look for Odyssey HQ on your favorite social media platform. There are often fun tips, reminders, and activities posted that can help the team have fun and be prepared! Your local association or region may have its own page as well. Both are helpful!