Focus on Team Building
OK, so you have a team or a prospective team. Good teams produce more creative and technically solid solutions as well as have more fun so start with some team building exercises. Try one or more of these even for a few minutes each meeting. They also can be great ways to reduce tensions if conflict flares up at some point along the journey.
This site has plenty of fun activities that are well suited for DI teams. Have people who aren’t sure about the program? Go outside and try the “Great Egg Drop”
Here are some group activities you might find fun and useful.
One team member pretends to be an elevator operator and the next member “gets” on as a unique character (dog catcher, very pregnant woman, etc). The operator has to figure out who or what the character is and then the operator gets off and the passenger becomes the next operator. As team manager, participate often in games like this and stretch the ideas for what kind of characters enter the elevator and how they communicate. The goal for this kind of game is for team members to be able to communicate the character quickly and obviously without coming out and saying it.
The object of the game is to get all of the people in the group onto a piece of paper Everyone must have at least one foot on the paper. HINT: Do not to give solutions, but tell them to listen to other’s ideas. You may enlarge or decrease the size of the paper, depending on degree of challenge you would like.
The group starts out in a tight circles. Everyone in the group reaches across the circle with their right hand to grab another group member’s right hand. The group then reaches in with their left hand to grab a different group member’s left hand. The object is to untangle the group without letting go of hands until a circle is formed. If the group is having extreme difficulty, you can administer “knot first-aid” and break one set of tangled hands (with group consensus), otherwise group members may not let go at any time. You may have to decide as a group that the knot is not solvable, after prolonged attempt. NOTE: Can have group do without talking if they are advanced enough.
WORD AT A TIME STORY
This is an exercise to train group narrative. All players sit in a circle. We are going to tell a story one word at a time. Each player provides one word of a sentence. End of a sentence can be indicated by a player saying `period`, although that is not necessary.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
One player starts by doing an activity (it almost always seems to be bouncing a ball), the next player comes up and asks, “What are you doing?” The first player replies some other activity (for example, washing the cat or petting the car) which the second player must now perform until the next player asks, “What are you doing?” and so on.
In addition to some team building be sure to do the following:
- Go over house rules.
- Explain “What is DI?” in 5 minutes or less for younger teams or no more than 10 minutes for older.
- Read the previews of the team challenges.
Somewhere either before, during or after the meeting arrange a meeting time and get contact information (email, cell phone, home phone) for parents and, if older, team members.
Solicit help in setting up Instant Challenges, the tournament official, and most importantly, the tournament appraiser.