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A formula for a Novice Mentoring Regional Sport Kite Event

The AKA Novice Mentoring Sport Kite Competition (NMSKC) format is a “grass-roots” competition format designed to provide a competitive learning environment for new sport kite competitors. The NMSKC format is comprised of 3 components:

1. Flight 101 – each novice is paired up with a volunteer experienced competitor for an hour of basic flight instruction.

2. Open competition – Experienced and Masters class competitors compete against each other while novices watch and/or shadow judge.  This allows the novice to see how the competition works.

3. Novice competition – Each open discipline is followed by its novice match, allowing the novice competitors to “see it then do it”.  The novice competition is followed by an extensive de-brief with the judging panel.

Another basic tenet of the NMSKC format is that the event be done with as little expense as possible.  Novices and first-time fliers should be allowed to participate in the competition for free.  Open competitors should be charged as small a registration fee as possible.  Keep in mind that your open competitors, while there for the competition, will also be called upon as mentors and judges for the novice competition, so registration fees should be kept to the least possible minimum.  Because the event will only collect a small amount of registration fees, operating costs must also be kept to a minimum.  If possible, use a field that is free, hopefully with built-in bathroom facilities, such as at a local park or soccer field.  The AKA event insurance can be a useful tool in procuring such a field; landlords will be more amenable to forgoing rent if their liability is minimized.  If a PA system is available for free use it; otherwise, use a boom box, placed between the judges and the competitor, for music events.  Use local resources only; there’s no reason to pay for travel or hotel rooms for anyone for these events.  The only items NMSKC organizers should invest in is AKA sanctioning, printing flight orders, figures and score sheets, and bottled water.  It is a good idea to keep a cooler full of bottled water on hand, especially for warm-weather events. Another good investment is lunch.  If possible, have some pizzas or other inexpensive lunch delivered to the field.  It will provide some “compensation” to the open competitors who are also your mentoring staff, as well as providing a welcome to the novice competitors.  A target budget for an NMSKC event should be $300 or less.

Schedule

1. “Flight 101” Novice mentoring (1 hour): Pair each novice that shows up with an experienced or masters competitor that competes in the same discipline (dual- or multi-line).  Each pair (novice and mentor) takes a section of the field(s) and works on whatever the pair decides is most important to help the novice win the competition that day.  In most instances this will be as simple as working on straight lines and clean corners, landings, or perhaps just the basic skills to keep the kite flying.

2. Open Individual Precision (OIP or OMP): Whichever discipline (dual- or multi-line) you have the most novices flying in should be the first precision event of the day.  Because Novices are not allowed to fly Program Precision, all Precision should be flown in the traditional style.  Experienced and Masters fliers compete using the same figures that the novices will be competing with.  Novices should be heavily encouraged to shadow-judge this event.  The goal should be to have every novice shadow-judge at least 1 open event.  This is essential to the learning process for competitors.  Because you’ll have a lot of shadow judges, expect this event to be the longest of the day, with lots of judge conversation between fliers.  For scheduling, plan on 13 minutes per flier.

3. Novice Individual Precision (NIP or NMP) Pre-flight briefing:  This is the normal pre-flight meeting for the discipline, but make sure to take the time to thoroughly explain:

a. Bringing your kite onto the field and setup time limits

b. Boundaries and out-of-bounds rules

c. Time between figures, time between last figure and technical routine

d. Detailed figure explanation

e. What to do in the technical routine

i. Minimum and maximum time

ii. “do what you do best, don’t repeat yourself, get out before the judges get bored”

4. Novice Individual Precision (NIP or NMP):  The novices now have the opportunity to do what they watched (hopefully as shadow judges) the open competitors do.  Having an experienced, patient field director is key to the novice disciplines. For scheduling, plan on 11 minutes per flier.

5. Novice Individual Precision (NIP or NMP) Post-flight de-briefing:  This is essential.  Immediately upon completion of the novice precision event, gather the novice competitors together with their judging panel (this is also a good time for lunch break).  Have the judging panel review their notes with the novices (don’t mention scores, just observations).  Allow the novices to ask questions or make comments on the competing process.  If a judge has a specific note for a specific flier; it’s appropriate to do that during the debrief, just remember to be positive and constructive. For scheduling, plan on 30 minutes.  If there are enough staff, the next event can start while this debrief is going on.

6. Repeat steps 2 – 5 for Individual (dual- or multi-line) Precision:  Get both of the precision events done first.  Novices tend to gravitate toward precision rather than ballet, mostly because precision is not dependent on imagination or choreography.  During the precision events, the ballet events should be promoted as a chance to “just have fun and show what you can do” to the novice fliers.

7. Open Individual Ballet (OIB or OMB):  Whichever discipline (dual- or multi-line) you started the day with should be the first ballet discipline as well.  Again, attempt to get as many novices as possible to shadow judge the event.  There will most likely be less shadow judges for the later events than the early ones.  For scheduling, plan on 5 minutes per flier.

8. Novice Individual Ballet (NIB or NMB) Pre-flight briefing:  This is the normal pre-flight meeting for the discipline but make sure to take the time to thoroughly explain:

a. Bringing your kite onto the field and setup time limits

b. Boundaries and out-of-bounds rules

c. Minimum and maximum ballet time limits

d. How to fly ballet

i. Simplify it – “Ballet is flying in rhythm”

ii. “do what you do best, don’t repeat yourself (unless the song calls for it), if there are big moments in the song, try to create a big moment with your kite”

9. Novice Individual Ballet (NIB or NMB):  Again, the field director is the most important person on the field.  Make sure you have someone who is experienced, patient, and positive.  For scheduling, plan on 5 minutes per competitor.

10. Novice Individual Ballet (NIB or NMB) post-flight de-briefing:  Get the novice competitors and the judging panel together immediately at the conclusion of the discipline.  ).  Have the judging panel review their notes with the novices (don’t mention scores, just observations).  Allow the novices to ask questions or make comments on the competing process.  If a judge has a specific note for a specific flier; it’s appropriate to do that during the debrief, just remember to be positive and constructive. For scheduling, plan on 30 minutes.  If there are enough staff, the next event can start while this debrief is going on.

11. Repeat steps 7 – 10 for Individual (dual- or multi-line) Ballet.

12. Awards:  Awards do not have to be extravagant; in fact, the best award is probably just a paper certificate with the competitor’s name.  What’s more important is that the novices receive encouragement to continue competing and improving.  Special emphasis should be placed on the next upcoming closest sport kite competition; make sure that every novice at the regional knows when and where the next competition is occurring.

Sample Schedule – assuming 3 dual-line novices, 2 multi-line novices, 4 open dual-line fliers, 3 open multi-line fliers.

Time

Event

# fliers

Total time

8:00 – 9:00

Field setup, novice registration

0

1 hour

8:30

Fliers meeting

0

15 min.

9:00 – 10:00

Flight 101

5 (+ 5 mentors)

1 hour

10:00 – 11:00

Open Dual-Line Precision (OIP)

4

52 min.

11:00 – 11:45

Novice Dual-Line Precision (NIP)

3

33 min.

11:45 – 12:30

NIP de-brief, lunch break

 

 

12:30 – 1:15

Open Multi-Line Precision (OMP)

3

39 min.

1:15 – 1:45

Novice Multi-Line Precision (NMP)

2

22 min.

1:45 – 2:15

NMP de-brief

 

 

2:15 – 2:45

Open Dual-Line Ballet (OIB)

4

20 min.

2:45 – 3:15

Novice Dual-Line Ballet (NIB)

3

15 min.

3:00 – 3:15

NIB de-brief

 

 

3:15 – 3:30

Open Multi-Line Ballet (OMB)

3

15 min.

3:30 - 3:45

Novice Multi-Line Ballet (NMB)

2

10 min.

3:45 – 4:00

NMB de-brief

 

 

4:30 – 5:00

Awards, final comments

 

30 min.

Last Updated (Monday, 15 July 2013 15:15)

 

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