Concordance Work, Part 2

Determining what you need study in the concordance is an important first step. Next we need to talk about how exactly you go about teaching these things to your team. As always, there are numerous options. We’ll look at a few ideas and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Divide and Conquer

A lot of teams will take a master list of concordance items and divide it amongst team members. This has the advantage of not putting too much work on any one quizzer. It also makes it easier to help the quizzers review. The drawback is that it can mean that the person you need to answer that critical question isn’t in the game when you need them. This is a good method, but let me give a couple pieces of advice. First, divide them in a logical way, by number of answers or degree of difficulty. Second, try to have the most important stuff double-covered. That way you’re more likely to avoid losing a game because the wrong person quizzed out.

The Whole Enchilada

The polar opposite of the first strategy, this one requires one or more of your quizzers to know them all. If you have only one really strong quizzer, this may be your strategy out of necessity. The positive side of this is that usually the quizzer who does the work is very self-motivated, so you can be certain they will know their stuff. Ideally, you’ll have two or three quizzers who will do this. The downside of this is obvious. If the only quizzer who knows concordance stuff has a disaster game, you’re in big trouble at Regionals or Nationals.

The Weekly List

The idea here is for you to break the master list into smaller chunks and give it to your team to learn in lists each week. This requires more time from the coach, but can be less intimidating for newer quizzers. It can also allow you to stop and back up if the quizzers don’t seem to be getting it. On the negative side, if you have too many weeks in a row where quizzers have trouble, you’ll find your team in a bad way at competition.

A couple other notes to give your quizzers as they study:

  • Review a lot. A good rule of thumb is to review everything you know twice a week. With concordance stuff, you may have to do a little more, especially starting out.
  • Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. If you try to cram too much into one day, you won’t remember any of it.