I’m interested in becoming a VRC coach next season (or sooner if there’s a team in South Florida who’s able to add another coach less than a week before States).
Does anyone have advice about the best ways to ask schools about becoming a coach, and the best things to talk to them about?
My current plan is to find the schools closest to me who either have teams or might be interested in starting a team, and offer to get involved with their teams or help them start one. (I’ll also see if there are any independent teams looking for help, although I don’t know of any at the moment.)
I’ve previously been an assistant coach for a small homeschool team my dad and I ran for 2 years, but we had to stop when his work schedule got busier a few years ago. Eventually I hope to start my own independent VEX organization, too, maybe as soon as this year if it works out. Until then, I’m interested in coaching for another team, and I might try to help other teams even after starting my own.
I would also be interested in advice on how to try to start a team when I don’t have any existing funding sources, and how to start an independent VEX organization. (For the latter, I’ll try to talk to people I know who have kids/younger siblings and see if they might be interested in being involved in a team, and if there are any parents involved who have the time to be there to manage the areas I can’t handle.)
The best way to ask schools about becoming a coach is simply being up-front. For example, when I applied to become an Assistant Coach for the local VEX IQ team at the library, I just told them that I wanted to share what I learned from my personal VEX experience with other people, and they accepted it. The best things to talk to them about would probably be the highlights of your own experience (Qualifying for Worlds or States), but you should probably include some valuable lessons you learned from any of your downfalls. By the way, when I mean valuable lessons from downfalls, I am not necessarily talking about design or program lessons, but lessons such as teamwork, cooperation, etc.
Thanks for the advice! That makes me feel more confident that something will work out (at least in time for next season).
I’ve also learned a lot from interacting with other teams on the forum and various Discord servers (mainly the one for Florida), so that could come in handy with team management. I’ll also keep in mind the mistakes I’ve learned from (including a lot related to time management).
I might be talking to a school tomorrow or Monday to see if they might be interested in starting a team for next year (or this summer if possible). I think I know what to say already, but I’d be open to other ideas, too.
Do you have any recommendations about things to point out to them, besides the things mentioned on the VEX website? (I’ll look at their education page, and likely also other resources.) I might not need to do much to get the school interested, since I’m guessing they would already be open to having a team, and the main obstacles might be the cost and getting someone who knows how to teach it.
Also, what would be a good estimate for how much a VRC team might need to spend in its first year for it to be worthwhile for the students? (And the same for a VEX IQ team, which I know would be a lot cheaper.)
I’m also planning to start a new thread about fundraising soon (and consult with the old ones), but I might not have time to do that before my phone call with the school.
For starters, I’d definitely recommend going with one of the kits / bundles on this page. The final decision would be based on number of students, budget, and whether or not you want to jump straight into competition, or stick to a classroom-only environment for the near future.
Then just some additional batteries, chargers, spare parts on top of that. (You’re an alumni, so you’ll know what’s needed)
As @lacsap mentioned above, contacting your RSM is another great way to get started, and could possibly even lead to grants to get up and running.
I wish you were up in Gainesville, would love to have you here! Would you like to start Monday? I can only pay you in happiness…
If you need to sell VEX to a new school, you would need to find a teacher that is already teaching technology that you could partner up with. You’re going to have better luck there than just cold calling administrations. Florida has CAPE certifications, which can give the program at a school all the funding they need.