Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind


How Parents Can Help

Parents...they are the ones who are driving the carpools, buying the pizza, drinks, and snacks, opening closets for major scavenging, waiting while the team cleans up after a practice, postponing dinner because one more prop needed to be finished so it could dry, and generally watching from the sidelines while the team gets creative. Parents can be a team's secret weapon, the “wind beneath the wings” of the team and coach, and are a vital part to the Odyssey of the Mind program. As a coach, it is necessary to explain to parents how they can be involved to assist the team without hurting the team. Below is a sample list of what parents can and cannot do.


What Parents Can Do

  • Transport the team to buy things

  • Transport the props

  • Help provide snacks

  • Bring Spontaneous problems and supplies

  • Help get props into the building and into the staging area for the tournament

  • Open attics, closets, basements, recycle bins, for garage sale value materials

  • Provide lots of encouragement

  • Provide a place to meet and/or store props

  • Applaud LOUDLY and help get props offstage after the performance

What Parents Cannot Do

  • Suggest what to buy

  • Repair props if they break for whatever reason

  • Sew, paint, cut, or do anything to contribute to the team's problem solution

  • Put emphasis on score rather than fun

  • Give the team any ideas for their solution

  • Suggest to the team which skills would result in a better looking or better functioning solution

  • Analyze why something failed or did not work

  • Criticize any part of a team's solution

  • Suggest to the team which skills to use to solve the problem