Will You Make it to Nationals?

Skink
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Skink » February 9th, 2014, 5:51 pm

Stevenson and New Trier's JV teams are better than our varsity teams (We know from invites THIS YEAR.)
And the sad thing is that they're just getting better. DW has nothing but improved over the time you were in B meaning Stevenson is just getting better over time, too, as those guys filter in. And that's a bad thing far as, well, anyone else in IL in C is concerned! It is interesting that IMSA can't ever pick it up against them. It's probably demonstrating the advantage the public schools have.

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby syo_astro » February 10th, 2014, 2:12 pm

In advance, sorry if this is rant-y or essay-like, just I've been reading this and debating whether to post.

I guess my perspective is slightly different? I don't mean to discount the fact that teams had their starts and everything, but Ward, Mounds View, and Solon I feel have been around a bit longer than some teams in the long term (at least to my memory, I can check to confirm). I do know of newer schools coming up (heck, I think Seven Lakes or something is fairly new) and definitely scioly is a dynamic arena. But that said it isn't easy in the slightest sense going up against perennial teams. At least for my team, we're always getting small mistakes that cost us big time at states. I won't say whether we will get to nats or not, I can't guarantee it (heck Ward and FM I guess can't even, no offense meant). All I can say is Syosset and the rest of NYS will definitely be bringing competition ;).

Another point. So many people ask how to motivate teams...and personally from experience with my middle school and even my astronomy club in high school I know how tough it is to get people to do what you want and well too. Sometimes things have to come with time, and that's all really one can do. A lot of things can motivate. I'll say that people should never become unmotivated going up against top schools, I still tried even in middle school despite knowing that I'd never get to states just because I found it fun. In general, the combination of having to try and motivate your team, and other problems like say unsupportive coaches or lack of resources/experience always can be extraordinarily difficult to conquer (I know first hand). The other thing I must say is teams have different styles, that's certainly true. I can probably say what has worked for Ward Melville, FM, Solon, Troy, Harriton, or a whole slew of other schools may not work at my school, and our system here probably wouldn't work in most schools. There could be aspects like tryouts, invites, practices, hangouts, etc that can be helpful, but really the EXACT way they're done will be different. Even a mentality of let's get 1st or let's have fun may not always work just because different people within a team can work off of different motivation. I know the ideas mentioned weren't meant to be applicable 100% to all (since in general seems like building up culture was the main theme which I agree is important), but I'm just reiterating from what I've seen that exact processes won't crossover.

I guess this is all sort of general, but that's because making nats is just well...so darn tough. I've been through three years of being close, and I'm at least happy we can keep trying hard to get there...but it has been tough. I feel like probably other teams that have gotten close and not made it know what I'm talking about...like idk, my team works ridiculous amounts of hours sometimes and still doesn't come out on top. And that isn't leaving out the fun we have, I have picture proof for kentuckyfan and anyone else that may know of my team XD. But either way, we've even faced troubles this year that we've managed to fight through, and stuff like that I can at least be proud of, but it's just really tough when you're up against a team that has really so much experience. I do always wonder how teams respond to mine sometimes in the sense that technically in the past few years we've gotten tons better, but at the same time we still haven't reached nats yet.

I do agree there aren't so many secrets, but teams definitely gain advantages with time alone, and teams that get to nats for multiple years I think undeniably tend to do better (for a fairly clear reason). That is also clearly no guarantee, I would of course never say that, and I don't believe I have. But I guess it's just all contrasting views. I do agree with the advice given, but I'm just qualifying that it can be difficult (which I believe is agreed upon).
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby MMeteorite1 » February 11th, 2014, 6:17 pm

Overnight trips have been memorable, that is for sure!
For this group, I think that's easier said than done. There are a handful of individuals who aren't exactly...afraid to rack up a few points, and/or simply do not do a lot of work for SO at all. All of us have high expectations of you guys - the coaches, the high schoolers; I'm just not sure some of you guys have those same expectations. SWAnG is right - you need fire.
Definitely. This is it. I will say that how we made it fun is that we went to several overnight competitions, and for middle schoolers that was incredibly fun (and not too stressful because middle school wasn't too difficult). However, I know this isn't possible for all schools, depending on location and what your school districts allow you to do. I can tell you this, though: when a school reaches a higher level (like states or nationals for the first time), people can either get discouraged or inspired. It's about leadership at that point - how you speak to your team.

Passion can come also from things as simple as bonding activities; our SO team often had parties during winter break and before summer let out because we liked to have fun together. I don't know if this is the case for you guys, but being simply good friends is a self-motivator. I suspect that a lot of people assume the powerhouse teams study all the time. I can only speak for Solon, but that is definitely not the case - we do like to have fun, and that's a big part of why we do well. In fact, the night before states, we go out to have fun and BOND as a team playing laser tag and other arcades. We do this so we can enjoy each other's company. Once SO moves past the step of being a loose group of individuals to almost a family (which is what we call it), then people will be naturally motivated. And another plus: you'll start to enjoy SO even more!

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Unome » February 27th, 2014, 4:31 pm

I think our team has maybe a 75% chance.
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby PicturePerfect » February 27th, 2014, 8:09 pm

0% chance... oh well
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby JTMess » February 27th, 2014, 8:52 pm

I can only study, hope, build, and study some more.
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Flavorflav » February 28th, 2014, 4:40 am

teams that get to nats for multiple years I think undeniably tend to do better (for a fairly clear reason).
There is another factor which I think is difficult to overestimate. It is not a coincidence, I think, that the top two NY schools in C are WM and FM, and the top two B teams are Gelinas and Eagle Hill, which are middle schools in the same districts. Similarly, on the national level Solon is tops in both divisions. Having a very strong middle school means that the C teams are getting new students with extensive SciO experience, which is obviously very beneficial. By their senior year, some people on the top teams may have been to Nationals four or five times already. It is not easy to compete with that if Freshman are coming in with little or no experience.

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Astroknight » February 28th, 2014, 7:09 am

I guess this is all sort of general, but that's because making nats is just well...so darn tough. I've been through three years of being close, and I'm at least happy we can keep trying hard to get there...but it has been tough. I feel like probably other teams that have gotten close and not made it know what I'm talking about...like idk, my team works ridiculous amounts of hours sometimes and still doesn't come out on top. And that isn't leaving out the fun we have, I have picture proof for kentuckyfan and anyone else that may know of my team XD. But either way, we've even faced troubles this year that we've managed to fight through, and stuff like that I can at least be proud of, but it's just really tough when you're up against a team that has really so much experience. I do always wonder how teams respond to mine sometimes in the sense that technically in the past few years we've gotten tons better, but at the same time we still haven't reached nats yet.
It makes you wonder if there should be some standardized system for ALL the states, because I know that a lot of teams from one state are better and work harder than some of the smaller state's champion. Maybe there could be some multi-state championships for some states, and split the larger states into more than one "state" like California. That's the beauty of competition though, to have a motivation to get even better.
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby emescferrall » February 28th, 2014, 8:37 am

I revise my earlier post. We now have quite a good chance at going to Nationals, because the margin between 1st and 3rd(us at the last Regional) is only 17 points!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby hmath729 » March 1st, 2014, 2:24 am

Probably not, but I like to think positive. :P But, we're a team almost full of 6th graders in their first year. At least we're going to SoCal State.
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