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    Top 7 Tips from the LifeSmarts Student Advisory Board

    Lisa Hertzberg

    The LifeSmarts program is grateful to the Student Advisory Board for providing us with feedback about many aspects of the program. I love that we have a leadership opportunity like this for LifeSmarts competitors. I also appreciate the chance to talk in-depth with committed participants and coaches to gain from their experiences with the program. The students and coaches who comprise the Board provide us with their authentic voice, enthusiasm, and suggestions for improving and growing this program that we’re all so passionate about.

    The fifth LifeSmarts Student Advisory Board convened last April at the National LifeSmarts Championship. Thank you to the members of the 2015-16 Student Advisory Board:

    Kelsey Becker, ND; Coach Marchel Krieger

    Andrew Halley, DE; Coach George Horn

    Kerstin Peterson, MO; Coach Linda Cumpton

    Eli Shea, RI; Coach Samuel Schachter

    Tammie McCarthy, retired

    In our first meeting we asked the Board members to tell us what successful teams do to prepare for state and national LifeSmarts competitions. Their ideas were so helpful to us, and I wanted to be sure to share them with all LifeSmarts participants.

    The students’ top 7 tips for teams are to:

    1. Practice on a regular basis; enough to be comfortable and quick to answer.
    2. Foster team chemistry; get along with your teammates and know their strengths and weaknesses.
    3. Become familiar with the buzzers and the rules. If you don’t have practice buzzers, build your own or find a close substitute.
    4. Strategize with teammates about the questions and the competition.
    5. Utilize the LifeSmarts resources at LifeSmarts.org.
    6. Have knowledge in all LifeSmarts topics. Team members can specialize, but also diversify.
    7. Be confident during competition; don’t second guess yourself, babble or barnstorm.

    Coaches also gave us their top 7 tips to help teams prepare for competition:

    1. Hold regular, engaging team practice sessions.
    2. Ask a wide variety of questions on a variety of topics.
    3. Show your passion for the program.
    4. Establish clear expectations for team practice, attendance, and behavior.
    5. Make team practice very competitive.
    6. Remind the team that LifeSmarts is all about information they NEED to know and help them learn it.
    7. Invest your time, effort, and interest in the program.

    We appreciate the group sharing their wisdom with us to pass along to other students and coaches!

    This summer we are all ears as Board members advise us on programmatic elements including competition enhancements.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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