My coaches restricting resources

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Bread
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My coaches restricting resources

Post by Bread » September 8th, 2019, 3:28 pm

VHS has been alright for the past couple of years, but our coaches want it to be better. This means they are making our practices and competitions more strict. Practices are simple, basically do your work. Don't do homework or roam the halls or whatever. Competitions are weirder though. They decided that the best way for us to improve is to take away our cheat sheets or binders. Before I say anything else I should mention they are only for invites, so maybe take it with a hint that I'm salty I don't get a binder for orni, but bear with me. So for example, as I just mentioned, I would not get anything but a list to take for ornithology at the three invites I'll compete in (assuming no conflicts and such). Personally, I don't see a benefit of this. I understand they want us to be more reliable than be dependent on a binder, but taking it away I feel is a bit much. Binders in ID events are almost necessary because of the amount of info that could easily be confused. To memorize all the eggs, environments, migration patterns, etc. would take forever. I'd probably have to drop out of school to even be remotely competitive and still have time for my other events. And from what I know, they're doing this for the other events as well. Again, I understand that they don't want us to be completely dependent on our resources, but if I blank on something I should know or there is something very obscure on test, then I could be toast. This problem could even cost me a spot on the team. If I get something like 15th in orni and everybody else gets like 10th or above in the other events, wouldn't they want to take the other people? Even if they know I'm at a disadvantage, since they're taking away cheat sheets they might see it as an equal disadvantage (which I think people would agree is not the case). That's something I would have to ask my coaches about, but I'm sure it'll still worry me. And my last complaint is I want do well. Carmel, Munster, Lake Central, the Bloomingtons, everyone in my state that I'm going to go against are preparing for the invites with binders and notes at the ready, while we're kinda stuck here. I want to get medals. And at least if I didn't medal in something I would know that I need to work harder, but now I just don't know. Maybe it's possible that I could beat everyone at every invite I go to if I had a binder, but I just won't know and that really irritates me. Anyways, am I overreacting? Should I argue this with my team? Should I just sit back and wait? I want to hear thoughts.
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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by TheCrazyChemist » September 8th, 2019, 4:13 pm

It seems quite harsh for most events. Like, in physics events, for anything but history you shouldn't need a binder, but ID events definitely need binders. Now I'm not saying to go pick up a fight with your coaches but I'm sure that other people on your team won't like this rule for ID's and will mildly protest it with you. And it definitely makes sense on the "how well you did" scale because you simply won't know.

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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by cbrant554 » September 8th, 2019, 5:41 pm

TheCrazyChemist wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 4:13 pm
It seems quite harsh for most events. Like, in physics events, for anything but history you shouldn't need a binder, but ID events definitely need binders. Now I'm not saying to go pick up a fight with your coaches but I'm sure that other people on your team won't like this rule for ID's and will mildly protest it with you. And it definitely makes sense on the "how well you did" scale because you simply won't know.
Everyone in the ID events has talked about their dislike of the rule to the coaches and they have yet to budge so we'll see how that changes closer to the invites. We are hoping to sway them are way of the binder. I guess we'll only see the closer we get to them

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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by Unome » September 8th, 2019, 5:59 pm

This is obviously a terrible idea and your coaches should have the ability to figure out why pretty easily. I don't know what else to say. Feel free to show this post to them if you think it'll help.
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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by gz839918 » September 8th, 2019, 6:04 pm

How would your coaches react if you asked them whether it would be wise to go to states with having used your binder only once? If you never used a binder until regionals and states, how could you navigate your notes against teams with fluent binder skills who've memorized not only most of the content but also the exact order of every section in their binder?

I don't know whether Valparaiso is student-led or coach-led, but if your coaches are reasonable, they should see the downside of denying you a binder from the argument above. In the case your team is coach-led and your coaches resist letting you use a binder, perhaps you could negotiate a compromise: you could ask to have four notesheets in lieu of a binder for invitationals, so you still have to memorize, just not nearly as much. Alternatively, you can put together a binder, take a practice test, and make an agreement with your coaches that if you ID 80% of things correctly on the practice test, you're at a point where the binder can safely go with you to the invitational.

If you're really cautious about questioning your coaches, you can propose small changes and build up—for your first invitational, you get a binder with four pages; for your second, you get a binder with twelve pages; for your third, you get twenty pages, and by regionals/states, you get a full binder. Have teammates back you up politely: if nobody wants to do cheatsheet events or binder events because the coaches want to tighten team discipline, then the coaches may not have much of a choice or a team, an outcome they'll probably try to avoid. Calmly discussing this to your coach with a group of friends may change their mind.

I wish you good luck on talking to your coaches!

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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by Alex-RCHS » September 8th, 2019, 7:13 pm

Unome wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:59 pm
This is obviously a terrible idea and your coaches should have the ability to figure out why pretty easily. I don't know what else to say. Feel free to show this post to them if you think it'll help.
Yeah, exactly this. Part of being good at an ID event is making and learning to use a good binder. Taking it away will only hurt.

Maybe try to compromise with them. One compromise could be for them to require that all binders must be self-made (meaning no copying someone else's binder, or copying-pasting large chunks of info online).
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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by dxu46 » September 8th, 2019, 8:20 pm

I think that this is one of those "the path to pigeon is paved with good intentions" type of situations. I think that not having to rely on binders too much is useful, but this seems to be taking it too far. IMO, your coach should allow binder usage at competitions, but restrict some binder usage at some practices when you take practice tests, so that you can still get the benefits without sacrificing medals at competitions/practice for state/etc.

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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by pepperonipi » September 8th, 2019, 10:29 pm

Alex-RCHS wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 7:13 pm
Unome wrote:
September 8th, 2019, 5:59 pm
This is obviously a terrible idea and your coaches should have the ability to figure out why pretty easily. I don't know what else to say. Feel free to show this post to them if you think it'll help.
Yeah, exactly this. Part of being good at an ID event is making and learning to use a good binder. Taking it away will only hurt.

Maybe try to compromise with them. One compromise could be for them to require that all binders must be self-made (meaning no copying someone else's binder, or copying-pasting large chunks of info online).
These are all very good points. If using a binder/cheat sheet is going to help you earn a better score in an event, then use it. There's a reason the rules allow access to these resources during events. Also, like Unome said, maybe show them this thread of other members giving their advice on this situation, and hopefully that can help them reconsider.
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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » September 9th, 2019, 4:38 am

Yep, I think this is unanimously agreed upon as a bad idea. You can take practices in-house without resources if you really want. Tournaments should be for practicing using the resources you have. The only exception might be if you have an invitational that is generally not very competitive, then maybe you can go without some resources as an extra challenge, but as a general blanket statement, this definitely hurts more than it helps.
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Re: My coaches restricting resources

Post by Bread » September 9th, 2019, 12:08 pm

Thanks all for the advice. I'll talk with my teammates tonight and see what they think and probably show this to the coaches. Some more info, I believe Valpo was more student run in the past, but this year its more coach oriented. Not based entirely on them, but its there more than past years and possibly even more so than my years at TJ. Another idea I thought of, was this was just a scare tactic to get us to study our butts off, but I don't want to take chances. I just don't know why they'd implement such a drastic handicap without the input of the competitors.
VHS '22
2017
VU/Reg/State/Nats
Rocks:10/2/3/21
Dynamic:3/2/11/46

2018
Reg/State/Nats
Rocks:1/1/15
Thermo:1/6/29
Roller:3/10/20

2019
VU/Reg/State/Nats
Fossils <3 :1/1/1/2 :D 
Dynamic:4/1/2/26
Thermo:2/1/1/5 :D 
Roller:9/-/1/51 (tier)
Rip maybe next year

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