Growing Young Players

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Growing Young Players

Post by jonathanshauf »

We have a number of young/inexperienced players on our team. Is it best to try to have easier practices to try to slowly bring them up to A-team level, or are more intense practices and harder questions a better way to accomplish this?
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Re: Growing Young Players

Post by Wartortullian »

We've found it useful to have a separate novice practice on easier questions, followed by a practice at regular difficulty for the whole team.
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Re: Growing Young Players

Post by ganman0305 »

Hi Jonathan, I 100% support with Matt's post above. I think its important to create a good base from which newer players can enter a game rather than throwing them into the mix or forcing other players to slow down.

With that being said, I highly recommend attending tournaments as much as possible. While practice does go so far, I've always found that its a different game when actually competing, and the sooner that newer players can master competitive play, the better. Furthermore, I recommend playing up newer players (per their comfort and confidence) as much as possible by bring B teams to more competitive tournaments. Again, exposure is the name of the game here, and the more experienced your newer players become, the more confident and motivated they will feel towards quiz bowl! I hope this helps!
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Re: Growing Young Players

Post by ErikC »

The University of Toronto club has been using a really good schedule. In September, the club run novice practices exclusively for new players on days we don't normally have practices early in the semester. The rest of the semester has had junior practices (playing about ACF Fall level) from 6-7:30 on Tuesday and Thursday. This runs at the same time as "regular practice" on Tuesday, where ACF regionals level questions are generally played, and "hard practice" on Thursday, where ACT Nats or a Nats prep might be played. People who attend junior practices are encouraged to join the regular practice, as that usually runs from 6-9.

I think this system has made the club as big as it is now, while still maintaining interest from the experienced teams and open players like myself. A high school might not be able or need to do all this, but I do think new and relatively new players should have the option to play harder things with the club regulars but still start off with easier questions against their peers.
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Re: Growing Young Players

Post by Jangar »

Our team also holds two practices separated by difficulty. However, if we notice players in the lower room clearly dominating their peers, we'll have them move to the upper room; although they might not quite properly be at that high of a level yet, they're still more likely to learn more by being in the upper room than by staying in the lower room, where they'll also be hindering the growth of other inexperienced players. (In many cases, players in the lower room will stand out because they study independently and are more dedicated, which will allow them to persevere better in the tougher competition of the upper room as well.)

We also generally increase the difficulty in the lower room throughout the year; starting off, we'll have them play NAQT A sets or SCOP Novice or something of comparable difficulty, and then after a few months we'll move them up to occasionally playing harder sets. This is both to increase their knowledge base and to make them more comfortable at tournaments of higher difficulty levels, which pop up more and more as the year progresses; we've found in the past that if younger/less experienced players play easy sets all year, they'll frequently become frustrated when going to larger tournaments because so many of the clues are just things they've never even heard of before.

Integration of the two practices at some point is also fairly important, in my opinion. Once the newer members have built up some confidence in their own practices, integrating them in with the A or B team members will give them a better taste of the competition that they may face at tournaments and also help them transition more easily when it comes time for them to take up the mantle of being the lead players themselves.
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Re: Growing Young Players

Post by DMajik »

Players need to build their confidence. The only thing that's making you come back to quizbowl is the sweet rush of hearing someone say, "correct." So players will need a lot of that. You also want players to consciously think about their strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths will grow naturally but players should make an effort to learn the basics in areas they're weak in so they can pick up some easy points and giveaways. I'd also encourage players to share those strengths and weaknesses with their teammates to try to build the best squads for competition.

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