Thank you for volunteering your time and talent to coach. The children on your team are going to inspire you, and those around you, in surprising ways. If you have no technical background, don’t be nervous. Sit back and watch as your team does the work. You only need to ask the questions and watch them…GO!
If you’re a new coach, we know this can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry. One of the amazing things about participating in FIRST LEGO League is that you’re now a part of our community. Your team is one of over 26,000 teams in over 80+ countries!
Coaches help other coaches. Teams help other teams. We want everyone who participates – team member, coach, or event volunteer – to have an awesome experience. That’s the reason FIRST LEGO League is built on a set of Core Values.
You do not need to have a technical background to be a coach, just a willingness to learn with the kids and to acquire some basic knowledge of the programming environment and robot building. The coach is the main point of contact and is responsible for disseminating all information to the team. Coaches guide the team through the season, facilitating discussion and problem-solving along the way.
You will need to decide your own optimum time commitment, but generally teams range from around two hours per week with younger kids to up to four hours per week with older kids, with additional hours as the tournaments draw near.
Each year FIRST publishes an Coaches’ Handbook. It’s a bit lengthy, but it’s length derives from its thoroughness. The Coaches’ Handbook is an essential resource that all of us should dive into.
One of the most beneficial resources in the Coaches Handbook is found in Appendix B, which gives a sample schedule for preparing your team.
Besides the Coaches’ Handbook FIRST maintains a Resource Library.
Last, but definitely not least, FIRST Steps is a series of resources that guide new coaches through their initial season with FIRST LEGO League. It’s a step by step, meeting by meeting, framework that allows coaches with no previous experience to lead a robotics team through a successful first season. The course also includes tips throughout the content on anything from how to help kids make collective decisions to how to debug faulty robot programming. The course is free and accessible to anyone via the Schoology learning management system. To access the coach oriented curriculum by completing the request form here.
We maintain a mailing list of FIRST LEGO League coaches in South Carolina. Coaches and assistant coaches are automatically added to the list each season when they register their teams through FIRST.
This mailing list is used to announce important deadlines, schedules, an last second changes. We also send out a weekly coaches’ email with news and season survival tidbits.