How to Evaluate Potential FLL Team Members

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

With so many students trying to join a First Lego League team, a coach often has to decide which students are the best fit. 

How do you do that? Through trial and error, I've created a system that can work for you too.

But before starting evaluations, wait at least a month after competition! Current team members should be involved in the decision-making. Competing is both time-consuming and rewarding. Give your current members a much deserved mental break. As a coach, you'll enjoy a bit of a time off!

Once you and your team are well rested, begin hosting open practices for potential members to attend. The goal is to have your current team interact with potential teammates. This will serve two benefits. First, your team will get to advance their robotics skills. But more importantly, you'll get to see how interested students perform in a team environment. 

Core Values can make or break a team. Are potential team members using kindness when working toward their missions? Emphasizing Core Values will keep your team interaction positive. 

How we treat our teammates, coaches, and competitors is an integral part of FLL. 

Take open practices as an opportunity to fairly evaluate all students interested in joining the team. If you have more students interested than open spots, see who works best with your current team members. Ask team member input on strengths and weaknesses. Team members often see things from a different perspective than a coach. 

Making final decisions is hard! But ultimately, you must choose the best fit for your team. Once you've decided, invite them to the team and celebrate. It's going to be another awesome year! 

If you're a veteran coach, how do you evaluate potential new members? 

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