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FLL JR Coaches Corner

Week to Week Management:
It is highly recommended that you plan out your meetings before they happen.  Use the Team Meeting Guide to do that.  Some steps need certain materials or set up.  Understanding this ahead of time is important.  A weekly chat with your co-coach will also make things go smoother too.

Regular communication with parents:
Communicate early and often to your parents... and PLEASE don't make the mistake of insisting your own child  is the only one who does something on the team just because they are the coach's child.

It is also STRONGLY suggested that you provide a recap of the team meeting to the parents. Click on the image below to see a sample recap message.
Sample Parent Email

Managing Parent's (and kids) Expectations:
Remember the real goals of FLL JR... 

(As stated to all parents and coaches before the season starts:)
FLL and FLL Jr help kids explore technologies and a real world problem in a fun way.
Hopefully as part of that, they learn to work as a team, do research, solve problems, and HAVE FUN.

Your team's and their child’s goal should not be to WIN at this.  It’s about experience and learning    through teamwork.  No matter how your team does at a competition, your team should feel like winners given what they learned through the preparation for the competition.

"FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehicle for the kids to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect - of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and a sense that they can create their own future." - Dean Kamen

“We’re not using kids to build robots, we’re using robots to build kids.” - Dean Kamen

When the expectation of parents and coaches get out of alignment, the coaches' job can become a lot more difficult.  Some common questions you might get asked if there isn't good communication are:
  • Why isn't my child spending more time working on _______? (programming/project/research, etc)
  • Why aren't you teaching my child programming?
  • What do you mean we aren't trying to win this Expo?  
  • I thought this was just a LEGO building party...

Expo Day:

Moorestown Robotics will help get you registered for your Expo.  Dates can be found here (link) on Rowan's website. Sometimes we can sign you up for them, other times the coaches are required (the region keeps changing the rules).  Either way, we will need to know your ranking of what days to compete from most-preferred (1) to least preferred (4).  What date Rowan assigns you to will be based off of preference and how quickly your team is registered once they open up the sign ups.
In most years Moorestown Robotics would like to balance the number of teams at the expos.  If there are two expos, we would like to have half of the teams go to one and half go to the other.

Expect to spend the whole day at an Expo, though some run shorter than that.  Expos are often held at the  same place/time as an FLL Competition, and FLL Jr kids are welcome and encouraged to check out the bigger kids robots.

While each expo's timing is unique, we are often asked what the schedule MIGHT be like. Below is a sample schedule.  Please allow flexibility if/when your expo differs.  We often don't find out the final schedule until the week of the event:

10:30am Jr FLL team check in and Set-up

11:00am Jr FLL Activity

11:45am Opening Ceremonies FLL & Jr FLL

12:30pm  FLL Qualifying Rounds Begin

           Jr FLL Reviewing Begins

1:30pm Jr FLL Reviewing Ends

1:45pm Jr. FLL Awards

Note that not all Expos offer awards, as an expo is meant to be non-competitive.