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Getting back on track

How’s it going? Don’t be alarmed if it is January and your team still doesn’t have

  • Any costumes
  • Any props
  • Any idea of what they are doing!

This is normal. Remember that this Odyssey of the Mind experience may be the first time that they have been entirely dependent on themselves; no teacher to direct the play, no parent to help with costume sewing homework, no sibling help with ideas.

It may be that they have simply ‘played’ during meetings that were meant to get things done.

What can you do (that doesn’t involve losing any more hair)?


Tell them “You have XX hours of meeting time left before you perform in front of the judges – are you ready?”  If not, here’s a chart to get them back on track…

Time Task Responsible Team Member What is needed to complete the task
½ hour Alien costume Robert 3 soccer balls and a can of coffee

Even though Spontaneous may be taking a back seat to getting something, anything, ready for the tournament, remember that a quick spontaneous can be a great stress reducer.

Also, remind yourself that there is more to Odyssey of the Mind than “winning.” If the team doesn’t finish its solution, it isn’t the end of the world and the team will have learned an important lesson about time management. Don’t let your own competitive streak impact your team’s experience.

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