10 Ways to Improve Your Team

  1. Recruit students. The best recruiters are often students already on the team. You should also seek advice from administrators and other club heads. Be persistent, and don’t worry about being repetitive. Also, publicize your team throughout the season.
  2. Encourage learning and help your students figure out how to learn. Teams and individuals can get better at Scholastic Bowl over time. There are a lot of different methods: reading lots of questions, reading study guides (such as NAQT’s You Gotta Know lists & Qwiz’s Qwiz5 guides), having questions read to you online (such as via Power QB or QB Reader), taking notes while practicing, making flashcards, reading books, reading articles about topics, etc. Students don’t have to do everything — they should do what works for them.
  3. Practice a lot, and get through lots of tossups when you do. Students need to get used to playing tossups. The more tossups they practice, the better they will get.
  4. Play a lot of matches, including tournaments. You can find tournaments via the IHSSBCA.
  5. Encourage teamwork. A lot of coaches emphasize teamwork during a match, which is important, but the most important teamwork occurs when the match is not happening. Do your students treat each other well? Do your students work together to improve?
  6. Encourage respect within your team and towards other teams and officials.
  7. Choose good questions to play and practice on. The links above have good questions. Of course, Reinstein QuizBowl is a great question source. Other high-quality vendors include Sages and Olympia.
  8. Encourage students to build on their strengths. Your team will improve when your best science player gets better at science, your best math player gets better at math, your best language arts player gets better at language arts, your best social studies player gets better at social studies, and/or your best fine arts player gets better at fine arts. If your team is weak in a given area, then students who care about the success of the team need to start stepping up in that area. You will always need to encourage students to learn more literature and fine arts.
  9. Choose a captain who is respected and is a good listener. The student answering the most tossups does not need to be the captain. The captain needs to be a great teammate.
  10. Prepare your students for various situations. Some situations to prepare for: winning, losing, blowing out a team, getting blown out, somebody on your team making a mistake, a clarification protest, the captain choosing the wrong answer when students disagree, a sub knowing an answer when the team in the match does not.